Loading
FBJoin the Exeter Memories Group Page

Contact EMail

Free Download plus Buy Books and Downloads
New - Exeter Pubs by David Cornforth.
Help fund Exeter Memories

Buynow

The Princesshay Redevelopment - Page 2

An ongoing photo essay by David Cornforth © 2005

I have compacted the photo essay by removing some images - Latest update - Page 4

Page 1 May 2004 to 2nd June 2005

Page 2 10th June 2005 to 17th November 2005

Page 3 13th December 2005 to 12th July 2006

Page 4 30th July 2006 to 15th March 2007

Page 5 29th March 2007 to Latest Update

Other Related Links City Council Webcam


10th June 2005 - there does not seem to have been so much progress this week - they have been spending a lot of time clearing rubble from the site and levelling off. They are boarding up in front of the post office, prior to its demolition. The hole boring machine was working on the edge of the Fanum House site.

Hole boring 10th June 2005 - photo David CornforthThe hole boring machine is working in the 'place to be seen'. This is in the corner of the Fanum House site, just behind the Southernhay houses. I tried to get a photo with soil falling, but it seemed to vaporise half way up the screw!
10th June 2005

Post Office 10th June 2005 - photo David Cornforth Posts are being fixed along the pavement prior to boarding up the front of the post office. Not long before that's gone as well!
10th June 2005

16th June 2005 - I turn my back for a moment and they knock something down - last week, the Paris Street shops were still standing, today they are flat. The new carpark entrance to Broadwalk House is almost complete. They are putting in the finishing touches and surfacing the roads. The killer driller machine on the main site is working overtime, creating clouds of dust - a great view can be had from the Princesshay Information Centre.

Drilling concrete 16 June 2995 - photo David Cornforth A huge concrete wall is being broken up by this hammer attachment on the digger arm. The concrete broke up leaving a twist of exposed, internal reinforcing rods. No progress has been made on the sorting office behind.
16th June 2005

Eastgate House 16 June 2005 - photo David Cornforth A group of foreign tourists are walking down the High Street past Next at Eastgate. The soft demolition is in progress with internal fittings and windows being removed. Henry VII is still fixed to the facade at the end of the building.
16th June 2005

25th June 2005 - Today is a Saturday and its grey - no blue skies to light up the photos. However, the demolition squads and the diggers and piledrivers for foundations are all working away. The changes to the site are more subtle now, with clearance, tidying and the start of digging the foundations. The post office and Eastgate House are still proudly standing, waiting for the men to Wring the life out of them

Postoffice and Cathedral 25 June 2005 - photo David CornforthI couldn't resist this one - a view rarely seen and soon to go - the post office window reflects the Cathedral - you can probably see me lurking with the camera.
25th June 2005

Interior postoffice 25 June 2005 - photo David CornforthThe abandoned and partly stripped interior of the old post office. I have queued many a time at this counter for travel money and stamps - no more waiting.
25th June 2005

7th July 2005 - Eastgate is waiting for demolition - Paris Street and the High Street will be closed in the evenings, during next week, for demolition. The Bedford Street site is progressing slowly - work has not yet started on demolishing the Post Office, although everything is in place, waiting to start. On the opposite side of the street, the concrete pilings are going in, after the hole boring of 10th June on the Fanum House site.

EastGate House 7 July 2005 - photo David CornforthEastgate House stands like a lone tooth waiting to be pulled from a mouth full of gum! By this time next week it will be gone.
8th July 2005

Fanum House site 7th July 2005 - photo David CornforthA digger is parked up for the night in the middle of a swarm of shuttering for concrete piles. It will be good to see some real building work start.
8th July 2005

12th July 2005 - Another hot day and the work continues - I've been told the Post Office is coming down in 'weeks'. At the moment, its been covered in plastic sheeting so that specialists can remove the asbestos from the building. I was able to get access to Broadwalk House and have included three shots - the height helps to get an overall view of the site. There is also one shot from Debenhams showing the latest stage of the demolition of Eastgate House. The windows were a bit dirty so there may be some smudgy areas on the photo.

Broadwalk carpark entrance 12 July 2005 - photo David CornforthThe old entrance for the Broadwalk House carpark is being removed. The carpark is in use, from the new entrance on the opposite side of Broadwalk House, although there is a large, boarded off area while the old entrance is closed.
12 July 2005

Eastgate House from Debenhams 12 July 2005 - photo David CornforthEastgate House from Debenhams. The High Street, Paris Street junction is clearly seen. It is possible to see the demolition that has gone on to the side of Eastgate House and behind.
12th July 2005

26th July 2005 - A cooler, cloudy day at the site. Apparently, the demolition of the Post Office is imminent - maybe starting this afternoon. The demolition of Eastgate House has been delayed due to additional internal demolition and preparation. The archaeologists are well into their patch of ground in the centre of the Princesshay site. A whole row of brand new wheelbarrows - would have been more impressive if they were mechanical diggers! Apparently they have found evidence of Roman occupation and have and also unearthed some medieval glass.

Henry VII - step down please - photo David CornforthHenry VII is waiting to be given a hand down. The delay to demolishing Eastgate House is because more internal 'soft' demolition was needed than originally thought.
26th July 2005

Bedford Street - spreading concrete - photo David CornforthSir Robert McAlpine and its contractors have moved in. Spreading concrete on the old Fanum House site in Bedford Street. There is going to be a lot of concrete, judging by the amount of steel on the ground.
26th July 2005

2nd August 2005 - The archaeologists are making progress. They have uncovered a wall from a Roman house. They are to continue for another 10 weeks at this spot before they move to another part of the site. The end of the Post Office has now gone (see the sequence above), leaving a gap on the corner of Post Office Street. I also noticed a worker carrying the Bluecoat Lane sign away which looked odd. Eastgate house is almost covered with scaffolding and polythene ready for demolition.

Eastgate House 2nd August 2005 - photo David CornforthEastgate House covered with polythene.
2nd August 2005

Archeology at princesshay 2 August 2005 - photo David CornforthThe archaeologists are uncovering Roman and early mediaeval remains including coins and pottery shards.
2nd August 2005

10th August 2005 - I missed the action as the bulk of the Post Office was demolished on Monday. However, there is still a bit left which I've shown. They are starting on Eastgate House today with the main demolition starting at 7pm on the 15th August. Henry VII was still there, but was to be taken down today - it's covered in sheeting, so there is nothing to photograph.

Eastgate House 10 AUgust 2005 - photo David CornforthA view from the street of Eastgate House. The demolition starts today from the rear of the building.
10th August 2005

Post Office, Exeter 10 August 2005 - photo David CornforthThe Post Office has nearly gone.
10th August 2005

Eastgate House 10 August 2005 - photo David CornforthA photo of Eastgate House from Wednesday. It will probably be down by the time the next bus arrives!!
10th August 2005

Eastgate House 12 August 2005 = photo David CornforthA Wring Group worker is damping down the dust from a cherry-picker.
12th August 20055

12th August 2005 - It's all happening today in the sun. They have started knocking Eastgate House down from the rear using two Hitachi machines. They also have someone on a cherry-picker, watering down the dust - it's very reminiscent of the firemen in the blitz! The last stump of the Post Office is being attacked and should be gone by Monday. I've also included a shot of Eastgate House from Wednesday just because I like it.....

Post Office covered in plastic 12 July 2005 - photo David CornforthThe Post Office looks like its been wrapped in a huge eiderdown. The specialist asbestos workers are removing the deadly substance before the machinery has its day.
12th July 2005

Post Office and dumper 12 July 2005 - photo David CornforthAnother view of the Post Office. The old red Post Office sign hangs upside down, still proclaiming this is where you post your Christmas cards and letters to lovers. Have to walk to Sidwell Street for that sort of thing now!
12th July 2005

12th August 2005 - It's all happening today in the sun. They have started knocking Eastgate House down from the rear using two Hitachi machines. They also have someone on a cherry-picker, watering down the dust - it's very reminiscent of the firemen in the blitz! The last stump of the Post Office is being attacked and should be gone by Monday. I've also included a shot of Eastgate House from Wednesday just because I like it.....

Eastgate House 15 August 2005 - photo David CornforthDust drifts across the High Street, Sidwell Street junction.
15th August 2005

Diggers 15 August 2005 - photo David CornforthThe diggers are synchronised today!
15th August 2005

17th August 2005 - The High Street was busy with people waiting to be informed by Lt John Lapenotiere, at the Guildhall, that the British Navy had beaten the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar. Admiral Nelson has lost his life. Lapentiere changed horses and continued to London to inform the Admiralty of the magnificent victory and tragic loss. Meanwhile, Wring seemed to have stopped to allow the above to take place in peace.

Eastgate House from Debenhams 17 August 2005 - photo David CornforthThe usual view from Debenhams shows the progress from yesterday.
17th August 2005

Eastgate House 17 August 2005 - photo David CornforthThe top of the front facade has almost gone on Eastgate House.
17th August 2005

24th August 2005 - Wet and grey today. They have almost completed the demolition work on the site. There is a lot of rubble to be moved but the serious re-building should start soon, around the areas marked out for the archeologist to investigate. The whole process will be slower so I will only have to visit the site about twice a month.

Eastgate 24 August 2005 - photo David CornforthAlmost gone - I think I only have one more trip for the demolition.
24th August 2005

Eastgate 24 AUgust 2005 - photo David CornforthJust a bit of polythene and scaffolding and one small piece of concrete remain.
24th August 2005

Demolition is ended - now archeology and building can start in ernest

27th August 2005 - These photographs show the site at the end of demolition. Progress will slow now, but I shall continue to post photos of the progress of the redevelopment over the next couple of years. The Exeter Phoenix rises from the ashes for a second time.

The Princesshay site 27 August 2005 - photo David CornforthAn extra large photo of the whole Princesshay site. Demolition is complete, apart from clearing the front of the site. What was New London Inn Square is shown as a dreary cross roads. Its a pity the new Eastgate will be such an ill match for the High Street.
27 August 2005

Debenhams from Southernhay 27 August 2005 - photo David CornforthDebenhams is no longer blocked by Princesshay from Southernhay. The redbrick building on the left is Waterstones and the former site of the ABC/Savoy and before that the New London Inn.
27 August 2005

21st September 2005 - I've kept away from the development for a few weeks as all the main demolition was complete, and progress was likely to be slower. Since I was last there, the Catherine Square and St Catherine's Almshouses refurbishment is complete. The old Norwich Union building is almost ready and the boarding is being taken down. The main site has a lot of new equipment for boring holes and for pile driving. However, the progress is slower with only subtle changes. The trenches in the archeological site are deeper but essentially the same.

St Catherines 21 September 2005 - photo David CornforthSt Catherines Chapel and Almshouses are complete. Glass, door shaped screens with pieces of pottery sandwiched inside are in place. It's called Marking Time by Patricia McKinnon-Day. It does look very attractive although at least one visitor muttered to me that she "didn't like the glass".
21 September 2005

Paris Street demolition 27th May 2005 - photo David CornforthEastgate House from Debenhams - as can be seen, the rubble that was there last month has been cleared - they are still digging out the concrete that formed the basement.
21 September 2005
Supersize Image - 800 by 523 pixels

13th October 2005 - At last, some real building work by Sir Robert McAlpine. The old AA Fanum House site is progressing and the steelwork is rising like a gigantic Meccano set. Sturdy cherry-pickers support the steelworkers while they bolt the whole thing together. There are lots of boring machines on the main site. The archeological area in front of the observation area is now gone and the area dug out.

Fixing steel, Bedford St 13 Oct 2005 - photo David CornforthWorking as a pair, the cherry-pickers are maneuvered to allow the workers bolt a section to the top side of a girder.
13 October 2005

Bedford St Meccano set 13 Oct 2005 - photo David CornforthA steelworker erecting the giant Meccano set he was given for last Christmas.
10 November 2005

20th October 2005 - A bright, sunny autumn day and work is progressing all over the sites. The Fanum House site steelwork on the first building looks complete and the concrete platforms for the next building are progressing with hundreds of vertical steel reinforcing bars waiting for the shuttering and concrete to be poured. The view of the main site from Debenhams shows a lot of machinery busy clearing the last rubble, mixing concrete and boring holes for the concrete piles.

princesshay from Debenhams, 20 Oct 2005 - photo David CornforthThe heavy machinery has moved into the site to start sinking the holes for the concrete piles. The steelwork for the Fanum House replacement can be seen in the centre, back of the photo.
20 October 2005

Fanum House site 20 Oct 2005 - photo David CornforthPopeye shows his muscles!
The steelwork for the replacement for Fanum House is in place. The reinforcing rods for the next concrete platform is well advanced.
20 October 2005

10th November 2005 - They have started erecting the steelwork for the corner of the new Debenhams. Three days ago nothing - now a giant lattice of girders. All of today's photos show the new construction.

Steelwork from observation point 10 Nov 2005 - photo David CornforthShoppers taking a break to view the progress of the development.
10 November 2005

Steelworker 1o Nov 2005 - photo David Cornforth A steelworker erecting the giant Meccano set he was given for last Christmas.
10 November 2005

12th November 2005 - An archeology special - Many of you have expressed a desire for information on the archeology, so I have posted two photos of the site and two of artifacts that have been unearthed. The foundation ditches of a Romano-British townhouse have been discovered, in which at least two rooms had a hypocaust, or underfloor heating. There are many Saxon and medieval rubbish pits, 13th to 15th century tiles and pottery, and Tudor pottery through to Victorian cod bottles. There is also a nice collection of animal bones, indicating the type of diet in Medieval times.

Medieval ring 12 Nov 2005 - photo David Cornforth A stunning gold ring found in a medieval female grave on the edge of the Friary. Probably a high status, merchant family burial who could pay for such a site. 13th/15th century.
12 November 2005

Medieval tiles 12 Nov 2005 - photo David Cornforth Floor tiles dating from the 13th/15th century. Probably part of the Blackfriars Priory.

12 November 2005

17th November 2005 - it's a cold clear night but they are working through, bolting together the new Debenhams.

The new Debenhams 17 Nov 2005 - photo David CornforthThe new Debenhams rises above the flood lights to allow some late, night work.
17 November 2005

The new Debenhams 17 Nov 2005 - photo David CornforthThe end section of the new Debenhams against the night sky. 17 November 2005

│ Top of Page  │