Exeter is rich in historic architecture, Mol’s Coffee House, Tuckers Hall and The Custom House are all notable for still standing and being used in some way. Also historically significant is the 16th century Tudor building in Exeter known as ‘The House That Moved’, originally thought to be 14th century, the building is known as such due to its 70 metre move to save it from demolition in 1961 when a new road was built through the land it occupied at the time.
Over the years, the local dark red sandstone has been used for building and has given the castle and its surrounding park its name – Rougemont meaning red hill.
The oldest public open space in England is also in Exeter, Northernhay Gardens was originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for the residents of the city and now represents Victorian design well with a beautiful display of trees, shrubs, bushes and plenty of flower beds. The war memorial by John Angel, the Deerstalker by E.B. Stephens and the Volunteer Memorial from 1895 are all within the Northenhay Gardens along with statues of Thomas Dyke Acland, John Dinham and Stafford Northcote.
Other areas with delightful parkland include both campuses of the University of Exeter, one of which is home to the Nothcott Theatre which is one of a few provincial English theatres to sustain its own honourable company. Its annual Shakespeare performance at Rougemont castle is valued throughout the country.
In 1972 The Barnfield Theatre was changed from the Barnfield Hall which was built towards the end of the 19th century by the Exeter Literary Society. The theatre is a charity and is used as a venue for both amateur and professional theatrical companies. The New Theatre is the home of the Cygnet Training Theatre, a member of the Conference of Drama Schools. In addition, more innovative and contemporary performances, theatrical productions and dance pieces are programmed by Exeter Phoenix off Gandy Street in Exeter city centre.
The Exeter Book, an original manuscript and one of the most important documents in Anglo-Saxon literature, is kept in the vaults of the cathedral. The Exeter Book dates back to the 10th century and contains just about all of the remaining Old English poetry and is one of four manuscripts. Some of the riddles are inscribed on an exceptionally finished steel obelisk in the High Street, placed there on 30 March 2005.
There are two festivals each year in Exeter, consisting of all the arts but with a particular concentration of musical events: the yearly "Vibraphonic" festival held in March provides a fortnight of soul, jazz, reggae, blues and electronic music.
The largest orchestra based in Exeter is the EMG Symphony Orchestra which presents regular concerts at the University of Exeter and Exeter Cathedral.
Exeter Phoenix and the neighbouring Digital Media Centre occupy the previous university ground in Gandy Street and programmes international, national and outstanding regional artists. A well established contemporary art gallery in Exeter is known as Spacex.