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Country  England
Area  18.16 sq mi
Region  South West England
Mayor  Percy Prowse
Points of interest  Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Crealy Great Adventure Parks, Powderham Castle, St Nicholas Priory - Exeter, Northernhay Gardens
Colleges and Universities  University of Exeter, Exeter College - Exeter, Exeter College of Art and Design

Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district and is therefore under the administration of the County Council. The city is on the River Exe about 37 miles (60 km) northeast of Plymouth and 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Bristol. Its population was 117,773 at the time of the UKs 2011 census.


Map of Exeter

Exeter was the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement in Britain. Exeter Cathedral, founded in the early 12th century, became Anglican during the 16th-century English Reformation. The modern citys transport hubs include St Davids Railway Station, the Bus and Coach Station, and Exeter International Airport.

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The modern name of Exeter is a development of the Old English Escanceaster, from the anglicised form of the river now known as the Exe and the Old English suffix -ceaster, used to mark important fortresses or fortified towns. (The Welsh name for the city, , similarly means "fortress on the Exe".) The Exe is a separate development of the Brittonic name—meaning "water" or, more exactly, "full of fish" (cf. Welsh pysg, pl. "fish")—that also appears in the English Axe and Esk, the Welsh Usk (Welsh: ), and Scottish whiskey.

The Met Office, the main weather forecasting organisation for the United Kingdom and one of the most significant in the world, relocated from Bracknell in Berkshire to Exeter in early 2004. It is one of the three largest employers in the area (together with the University of Exeter and Devon County Council).

Among the notable buildings in Exeter are:

  • The city museum is the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Queen Street. The museum recently underwent extensive refurbishment. It reopened on 14 December 2011, and was subsequently awarded the National Art Fund Prize – UK Museum of the Year 2012. The Museum also runs St Nicholas Priory which is just off Fore Street.
  • Exeter Phoenix and the adjacent digital Media Centre occupies the former university site in Gandy Street and programmes international, national and outstanding regional artists.
  • The Spacex (art gallery) shows exhibitions of contemporary art and promotes artist-led projects, events and research.
  • Exeter cuisine

    As a predominantly rural county with a temperate climate, frequent rains and fertile soils, Devon has for centuries been a net exporter of high quality dairy produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, particularly after the nineteenth-century expansion in the railway network which enabled the fast transport of fresh goods to the cities. This tradition continues, and many food products, such as premium fish and crab landed in Brixham remain highly regarded, particularly in London.

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    As of 2012, Devon boasts a Michelin Guide two-starred restaurant at Gidleigh Park and three other one-starred establishments. Several high profile restaurant owners have relocated to Devon, to take advantage of its high quality produce, including Damien Hirst, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Mark Hix with a particular cluster in East Devon around Axminster, Ilfracombe and nearby Lyme Regis on the Dorset border. Another gastronomic cluster in the South Hams centred on Totnes, Dartmouth and Modbury, results from these communities pioneering of the Transition Towns concept to develop a sustainable relationship between producer and consumer in the rural economy, while the historic towns of Tavistock, Okehampton and Widecombe-in-the-Moor remain well known for their ancient seasonal markets.

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    In October 2008, Devon was awarded Fairtrade County status by the Fairtrade Foundation. A monthly county magazine, Devon Life, regularly publishes articles on the food and drink of the county, and the Cornish & Devon Post, a newspaper published in Launceston, also publishes Cornish & Devon Farming Diary and a yearly eating and entertainment guide, Country Cuisine.

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