Perhaps one of the most outstanding sights in Exeter (and there are many) is the Roman wall. Started in 200 AD by the Romans it stands firm, having undergone strengthening and repair work throughout history. The work carried out was initially to maintain its defensive structure and thwart attackers but in more modern times, simply to preserve its glorious history. What city wouldn’t want a Roman wall running through it?
If the wall could talk it would be interesting to hear about some of the sights it has beheld through the ages. But even in its silence it tells a story and is a magnificent example of the longevity of something that has been well-constructed and maintained by the different people living within it. Around 70% of the almost 2000-year-old circuit survives and is a testament to the architectural innovation that existed back in the 2nd century.
And where once the wall protected its occupants from external enemies, perhaps today, it serves to inspire creative thinking, prompting new and fresh ideas from the community. From arts and culture to science, engineering, technology and beyond, Exeter has been at the forefront of many innovative ideas.
Most recently, Exeter was awarded the prestigious UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) City of Literature status. It is the only place in the UK to have been granted the status and joins 65 cities across the world.
Located strategically at the intersection of some of the South West’s major routes, Exeter Science Park facilitates extraordinary growth for STEMM businesses. The site has grown quickly, since opening, and in 2017, the Met Office’s high-performance computer complex opened to house a supercomputer – one of the most powerful computers in the world!
Talking of the Met Office, it’s no secret that in 2003, the Met Office moved its headquarters to Exeter Business Park. As the national meteorological service for the UK, it provides critical weather services and climate science to the nation. The Met Office is a key part of the weather and climate community and unites scientific leaders on a global scale.
With global warming a key topic today, it is evident that now, more than ever, the world needs to take care of the environment. One business which is doing just that is Exeter City Living. By building Exeter’s first city centre Passivhaus homes, they are creating exceptional homes which are modern, healthy to live in, have exceptionally clean air and are environmentally friendly. Passivhaus buildings use very little energy for heating and cooling, providing a comfortable space to call home.
Exeter is richly filled with culture and interesting stories from the past and it would seem that as a city, we are still intent on making history for the generations to come. Plenty for the Roman Walls to bear witness to…no wonder they are still standing.