The Form and Growth of the City Golden Age

The years following the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 saw a spectacular rise in the Exeter's fortunes - it peaked between about 1680 and 1730. There was rapid population growth from around about 9,000 in 1640 to around 13,000 by the 1680s. New houses were built, especially in the suburbs. In 1700 the city was the fourth or fifth largest in Britain. This expansion was the result of a flourishing Devon cloth industry, and the development of a major new market for it in the Netherlands, especially at Rotterdam.