Page updated 17 September 2008
between the High Street and Rougemont
Castle, Bailey Street only came into existence in 1953 when Exeter was
rebuilt after the war. The wall beneath
the British Legion building, now the Timepiece, was underpinned and
built up from below with concrete, as the new street was below the
previous level. The whole was then faced in
Marks and Spencer was completed in 1951 on a site opposite Little Castle Street. Its construction was unusual for the time, in that the builders initiated an early version of 'just in time' delivery of materials, requiring no land for storage next to the site. In addition, all the site huts were sited on the building ground, making a very clean, and non disruptive construction.
The Castle Hotel had been destroyed by the bombing in the war, but some more buildings above blocked Bailey Street from joining with Castle Street. The buildings were demolished in 1959 and a large, wooden buttress was put in place to support the next standing building - many will remember the timbers covered with vegetation, until their removal and the addition of a retail store on the site. Initially, it opened as Monsoon, but it is now the jewellers, Michael Spiers. Because of the steep approach to Little Castle Street, care was taken to merge Bailey Street in a gentle slope.
The other end of Bailey Street, incorporating Bailey Street Square was not completed until 1964.
It was supposed to have been named Bailey Street because it ran along one side of the castle bailey. However, the Express and Echo reported in 1995, that it was named after Frank Bailey, father of Henry Preston Bailey.
It is now a service road for the rear of the High Street and gives access for vehicles to the City Library and the Castle.
Little Castle Street left branches off Bailey Street - Michael Spiers is extreme left.
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