St Olave's Church, Exeter
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Possible Saxon tower
William gave the church to the monks of Battle Abbey, who established the nearby St Nicholas Priory in 1087. The Saxon chapel was rebuilt in the 14th century, with a north aisle added in the 15t century. Oliver Cromwell had St Olave's closed during the Commonwealth, and the building was briefly used for a school.
The church fell out of use again in the 18th century and records from 1744 show that it was once again being used as a school. Throughout this period it also served as a military chapel for regiments stationed in Exeter. The churchy was restored in 1815 and 1874.
One historic feature that cannot readily be seen is the solitary medieval bell, inscribed with a Latin verse which translates as 'By my lively voice I disperse all that is harmful'. On the west wall is a painted coat of arms to William III, dated 1699.
St Olave's is normally open daily and is just a short stroll from the cathedral at the top of Fore Street.
Do take the time to visit St Nicholas Priory, in an alley behind St Olave's. The Priory had close links to the church throughout the medieval period. It was converted into a Tudor town house after the Reformation and boasts very good Tudor plasterwork ceilings.
About St Olave's Church
Address: Fore Street, Exeter, Devon, England, EX1 1EZ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On Fore Street, a short walk from the cathedral. Usually open daylight hours. For satnav purposes use the postcode EX4 3AT
Website: St Olave's Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Nearest Accommodation to St Olave's Church: