Friends' Events

This page includes information about events for the Friends of Exeter Cathedral as well as other public events that may be of interest to members of the Friends.

Exeter Blitz Anniversary

On 4 May 2017 Exeter City Council will mark the single most destructive event in the recorded history of the city.  That day will be the 75th anniversary of the Exeter Blitz. 

There are two earlier events when the city was heavily damaged (by the Vikings in 1003 and during the Civil War of the 1640s) but the scale of the damage then is unclear.  In contrast, exact details were recorded of the German bombing on 4 May 1942: 1,734 buildings were destroyed and another 18,849 were damaged. Many significant buildings, such as the Lower Market, Deller’s Café, Bedford Circus and the medieval church of St Lawrence, were among those which were lost. Reports of the number of deaths vary between 156 and 273. It is difficult for a modern generation to understand the scale of destruction: a considerable part of the city centre was destroyed.  The recent widespread sense of loss which was felt in Exeter following the destruction of the Royal Clarence Hotel is one means of understanding how shocked the people of Exeter were following the Blitz.  However, we have recently lost only a handful of buildings and there was no loss of life.  In contrast, on 4 May the commemoration will mark an event which fundamentally altered the city of Exeter in all aspects of life.

To mark the event Dr Todd Gray MBE, an Honorary Research Fellow at Exeter University, will give an illustrated lecture `The 75th Anniversary of the Exeter Blitz’, at the Guildhall, on 4 May 2017 at 11am and 2pm.  Admittance is free, but by a ticket which can be obtained at the Guildhall, Monday to Friday, normally from 10.00 to 2.00 and 2.00 to 4.00 pm.  For further details, email Emara Roth on  or telephone 01392 265524

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