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Armillary – Exeter Quay

Page updated 31st July 2016

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This armillary sphere can be found in the front of the Custom House, on the quay. It is a sculptural piece, cast in bronze, by Roger Dean (b 1937), and dates from 1990, and dedicated to Sylvia Bull. Dean is an Exeter based artist who is also responsible for the original 'blitz fountain' that was in Princesshay. He was commissioned by Land Securities to produce a replacement for the fountain remembering the blitz, which is behind Broadwalk House.

Armillary spheres are astronomical instruments – the earliest date from the 3rd Century BC, and had the earth in the centre while modern ones have the sun. They are used as a teaching tool to demonstrate the motion of the earth around the sun and the movement of the other planets. There are even clockwork armillary's that animate the planets positions relative to each other.

Armillary, the Quay

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