HJCM51 Great Britain, South West England, Devon, Exeter, Exeter Guildhall, one of the oldest municipal buildings in England still in use

Manfred Gottschalk/Alamy



The earliest parts of Exeter's Guildhall date from 1330, making it the oldest municipal building still in use in the country. An ornate barrel roof arches above wooden benches and crests of dignitaries. The mayor still sits in the huge throne-like chair at the end. It's often open on weekdays, depending on civic functions; call or check the website.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Exeter attractions

1. Exeter Cathedral

0.07 MILES

Magnificent in warm, honey-coloured stone, Exeter's cathedral is one of Devon’s most impressive ecclesiastical sights. Dating largely from the 12th and…


0.12 MILES

A fixture on the city's cultural scene since Victorian times, this hulking red-brick museum recently received a £24 million revamp. It's a treasure trove…

3. St Nicholas Priory


Originally part of a medieval Benedictine monastery, and later a lavish Elizabethan manor house, this 900-year-old building is currently closed for…

4. Castle Ruins

0.22 MILES

Little remains of Exeter's 11th-century castle except a russet stone gatehouse, attached to a fragment of the city's defensive wall.

5. Underground Passages

0.24 MILES

Prepare to crouch down, don a hard hat and possibly get spooked in what is the only publicly accessible system of its kind in England. These medieval…

6. Wharfinger's House

0.32 MILES

Newly arrived ships in Dartmouth would once have paid their wharfing fees at this picturesque house, which was built in the 1700s. Not open to the public.

7. Customs House

0.33 MILES

This stately 17th-century building was once the address where ships arriving in Dartmouth were required to pay customs duties. Look out for the antique…

8. Exeter Quay

0.35 MILES

On fine sunny days the people of Exeter head to the quay. Cobbled paths lead between former warehouses that have been converted into antique shops, quirky…