St Pancras Church, Exeter
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The oldest Christian site in Exeter
The church dedication provides a clue to the history of the site. There are 2 possible saints named Pancras, but we do not know which one the church is dedicated to. The first was a teenager killed by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in AD 304, the second is a 3rd century Sicilian bishop.
The church has had a difficult history. It fell out of use completely from 1658 until 1831, when it was restored by Robert Cornish. Cornish found the Saxon doorway mentioned above during restoration work, but the doorway was later lost. Three carved stone fragments from the medieval period were set into the south chancel wall. Look for the peculiar carved face on one of the fragments. Also notice the exterior south west corner, which was chamfered to allow easier passage horses and carts.
The small bellcote contains a single 15th century bell, cast a foundry off Mermaid Street. The bell is rather aptly inscribed with a Latin phrase which translates as 'I may be small, nevertheless I am heard over a wide distance'.
The church is usually open weekdays, and is a welcome sanctuary of peace within the busy Guildhall Shopping Precinct, off High Street.
About St Pancras Church
Address: Guildhall Shopping Precinct, Exeter, Devon, England
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Within the Guildhall Shopping Precinct, behind the Guildhall
Website: St Pancras Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Exeter Guildhall - 0 miles (Historic Building)
Exeter Cathedral - 0.2 miles (Cathedral)
Exeter, St Olave's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Exeter, St Martin's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
St Nicholas Priory - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
St Catherine's Almshouses & Canon's House - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Exeter's Underground Passages - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Tucker's Hall - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
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