The Form and Growth of the City Saxon Town

The revival of town life in the Saxon period was marked by settlement largely within the walled area. It is probably King Alfred the Great (AD 871-899) who should be credited with Exeter's re-foundation. A new street grid was laid out within the walls and the defences were refurbished. The city grew rapidly, so by the year 1000 it was about the sixth richest in Britain. The minster became a cathedral in 1050, when Bishop Leofric moved his seat here from Crediton. Soon afterwards a new Norman cathedral was built and the Saxon minster became the parish church of St Mary Major.