The Higher Barracks, Exeter, Devon

Region: South West

Local Authority: Exeter

Summary: The Higher Barracks, Exeter, Devon remained in military ownership until 1997, when it was sold to a volume house builder.

Description: These cavalry barracks were originally constructed in 1794. Several late-18th and 19th century buildings survive, of which six are Grade II listed and the remainder lie within a conservation area.
Issue: The planning authority advised the new owners to commission an archaeological and historic buildings appraisal. This considered the significance of the buildings and their surviving historic fabric and fittings. It placed them within the overall sequence of the site and looked at the potential of below-ground archaeological remains.
Strategy: Although the initial applications for planning permission and listed building consent were refused owing to their unacceptable impact on the significance of the site, a revised scheme, based on the findings of the appraisal, was approved.  A condition was used to ensure further detailed recording was undertaken.
Outcome: The brief for the recording was prepared by the local authority archaeology officer, in agreement with the historic buildings conservation officer. The recording included an analytical description, drawn plans and elevations (based on the existing architect’s survey) and photography. A two-volume report has been produced and offered to the local studies library as well as being deposited in the City’s Historic Environment Record. It has also been published on the web via the Archaeological Data Service website and the site archive deposited in the local museum.  Two site interpretation panels have also been erected to satisfy the requirements of further conditions.


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