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St Thomas Congregational Church sits
inside the L-shape formed by Church Road as it connects Cecil Road
to Beaufort Road. On the OS map for 1890 the ground here is open and
lightly wooded. The church was built at some point between then and
1904. National Archives records suggest a founding date of about
1900. It closed in 2011 and planning permission was granted to
convert it into three trendy apartments. That work was completed in
Salvation Army Donation Centre Alphington
Street is at the south-east corner of the busy Alphington
Street and Haven Road junction, on the west bank of the River Exe.
It is one in a long line of Salvation Army locations in the city.
Others include Belmont Park Hall (closed mid-1920s - see links),
while the St Thomas presence started in Alphington Street, moving
to a hall next to the former County Ground stadium. Another opened
temporarily on Burnthouse Lane, near St Paul.
The lost Chapel of St Thomas on the Bridge
stood at the western end of the old bridge, the same one which had
St Edmund's Chapel at the east end (seen over the river here).
Construction on the bridge began around 1190, perhaps not being
completed until around 1240. A date for the building of St Thomas
seems unknown, but St Edmund was built in the 1200s. St Thomas was
removed in 1778 when the new bridge was built to align with New
Bridge Street to its east.
The Riverside Centre (Assemblies of God)
is on the west side of Okehampton Street, facing out over the River
Exe on its western bank. The building opened as the King's Hall
on 2 October 1912, serving as a church hall. It also had the
capacity to show the earliest motion pictures, and in 1921 the
building became a full-time cinema. Bigger and better cinemas saw it
off and it closed in 1937. Various other uses seemingly ended in the
1990s before worship returned.
St Andrew's Priory stood on the west bank
of the River Exe to the north of what is now Hayes Barton Court,
close to Okehampton Street. Whilst the precise configuration of
the priory's buildings is unknown, the location of the house
photographed here matches up with the marker on the late Victorian
OS map. Otherwise known as Cowic Priory (Benedictine), it
already existed by 1242 but suffered several misfortunes (including
flooding) prior to the Reformation.
Emmanuel Parish Church stands inside the
north-west 'v'-shaped corner between Western Road and Okehampton
Road, and within a stone's throw of the London to Cornwall railway
line. The first church for this district was an iron one erected in
1887. The present early Perpendicular building replaced it in 1899
with seating for six hundred. Declining attendances saw it sold off
more recently, and by 2019-2020 the building was being converted
into private apartments.
Buller Road Evangelical Church was home to
the Open Brethren strand of the Christian Brethren. The gospel hall
in which it met stands on the western side of Buller Road (originally,
briefly, Cleveland Road), midway between the Nelson Road and Clarence
Road turnings. It was built between 1890 when the street was only
partly built up and 1904. In 1938 it was labelled as the Mission
Hall. The congregation was forced to disband in 2020 after 'more
than 100 years'.
Independent Evangelical Church (Trefoil Lodge)
stands on the western side of Buddle Lane, about twenty metres north
of the junction with Woodah Road. The original buildings on this
site were in existence by 1890 while all around was undeveloped
green field land. By 1938 what appears to be the present building was
in existence. It is primarily a girl guide hall in which the church
group also meets. It was due to undergo refurbishment in 2020 to
make it more accessible.
St Thomas Union Workhouse Chapel, Redhills,
is almost hidden at the centre of a residential complex on the
former workhouse grounds, on the eastern side of Exwick Road. The
workhouse was built in 1836, to a Sampson Kempthorne design,
architect for other Devon workhouses. It took 450 inmates. The
chapel was erected in the north-east yard. The workhouse became a
Public Assistance Institution (1930) and then Redhills Hospital
(1948). It closed in 1990.
St Thomas' Cemetery was laid out on the
eastern side of Exwick Road, with the twin chapels sited at the far
end of a short driveway from the main entrance. The cemetery opened
in 1877, with the first internment being handled free of charge. The
post-war OS map shows that the cemetery still bore its original
name, but during the later years of the twentieth century it was
rebranded as Exwick Cemetery. By 2020 the southernmost of the
chapels was becoming unsafe.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler.
Additional information from Historic Collections, Relating
to the Monasteries of Devon, George Oliver (P A Hannaford,