Exeter, Devon

Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles

The north transept of Exeter Cathedral has a handsome astronomical clock of 1376 [1] or 1423 [2] or 15C (local guidebook) or the late 15C (local postcard). A placard in the cathedral says a clock is recorded there in 1284, the earliest recorded clock in England, though it was probably a water clock. The current works date from 1885.

The Royal Albert Museum, Queen Street, Exeter, contains the Exeter Puzzle Jug, probably made in the Saintonge region of western France, c1300, perhaps the finest example of medieval pottery imported to England and the earliest extant example in England of a puzzle jug, though the puzzle aspect is quite simple.

Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), founder of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, was born in Exeter, as was William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879) who attended Mr Templeton's Academy there. There is a commemorative plaque on Cliffords childhood home, 9 Park Place.

Frederick Temple (1821-1902), Henry Smith's predecessor as mathematics tutor at Balliol College, Oxford, was Bishop of Exeter in 1869-1885, on his way to becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. Once (not while at Exeter) he devised a proof of the four colour theorem during a tedious committee meeting. The West Window was glazed in his memory in 1904, but was destroyed in WW2 and reglazed in the style of the 1904 window. There is a commemorative plaque by the west door of the Cathedral.

References (show)

  1. Stanier, Peter. Devon. Shire County Guide 27, Shire, Aylesbury, 1989. pp. 33-34
  2. Blue Guide for Devon

The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles was created by David Singmaster.
The original site is at THIS LINK.