The non-metropolitan district of Devon known as Exeter is a popular place for visitors, even though tourism isn't the largest attraction for this town. It is believed that this area was settled as early as 250BC thanks to some coins dating from the Hellenistic period found in that area.
There are many buildings and ruins that visitors find interesting. The cathedral is one of the first places people stop. Built in 1050, the bishop's seat was moved to the walled city of Exeter from the nearby town of Crediton. The cathedral, which has exquisite architecture, is also home to the statue of Richard Hooker a 16th Century theologian who, while he never served as rector of the cathedral in Exeter, was born in the town.
Another popular stop on the visitor list is the Rougemont Castle. Built in 1068 in order for William the Conqueror to maintain control over the city, the castle buildings were still in use by the royals until 2003. The buildings are enjoyed by visitors from the outside, the actual castle has never been open to tourists and few residents have actually been beyond the gates. There are those who are trying to make the castle and its grounds open to the public, but as of now this castle is still closed to the public.
Visitors who want to visit the still closed castle can visit one of the adjacent spaces next to it. The Rougemont garden is an ornamental open space. It was originally part of the defenses of the nearby castle. Today the garden is used to stage Shakespearean plays during the summer months and is linked to the neighboring Northernhay Gardens.
The Quayside area in Exeter holds a lot of interesting things for visitors. This historic industrial area is home to many unique buildings and warehouses. The Custom House is the main attraction, as the first purpose built custom house in the Country. Today the warehouses along the quay are now shops, tea rooms, craft centers and restaurants.
Exeter is also home to a unique passageway. Originally constructed to provide the city with fresh water from the springs that lay outside the city walls; the underground passages are now open to the public. These subterranean aqueducts were built during the 14th and 15th Centuries. Guided tours are provided for visitors that are interested in seeing these marvels in engineering.
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