Northernhay Gardens

Park in Exeter

Exeter City War Memorial, Northernhay Gardens In Springtime
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Smalljim

Northernhay Gardens are located just behind always bustling Exeter High Street, Devon, England, on the northern side of Rougemont Castle. They are the oldest public open space in England, being originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents. The gardens are Grade II listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and are maintained by Exeter City Council.

The site was originally quarried in Roman times for stone for the city walls. The gardens incorporate a stretch of Roman wall and the only length of Saxon town wall to be seen in England.[citation needed] They form a crescent shape bounded to the north by the West of England Main Line and Exeter Central railway station, and to the south by the castle and Rougemont Gardens. Their eastern entrance is at the head of Northernhay Place and the gardens open on the west to Northernhay Gate.

Located lovely Northernhay Gardens has the distinction of being England’s oldest public open space. Established in 1612 for city citizens, the site was known to have been used by the Romans as a quarry. In addition to a section of Roman wall, the park is also where you’ll find a section of England’s only surviving Saxon town wall, too.

The Northernhay Gardens appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Exeter!

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Visiting Northernhay Gardens


Open 7.30am till dusk.



Address: Northernhay Gate, Exeter EX4 3SA
Duration: 20 minutes

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