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Visiting Exeter’s Underground Passages: A Hidden World of Medieval Engineering

Beneath the streets of Exeter are what remains of a network of medieval tunnels built to supply the city with fresh water. Just a few hundred years later, they had fallen in to disrepair and became all but forgotten – until opening again as a tourist attraction in the 20th century. I recently had the opportunity to attend a guided tour of Exeter’s Underground Passages, and was surprised to learn that no other city in the United Kingdom has a tunnel system of this kind. Find out more about the fascinating story behind this rare historical attraction – and my personal experience, by reading on below.

History: a Medieval Water Network

Statue of Queen Elizabeth I

The Guided Tour and Archaeology

Water in the City: The Aqueducts and Underground Passages of Exeter by Mark Stoyle

Visiting the Underground Passages in Exeter

Opening Hours

June to September
Monday to Saturday: 9h30 – 17h30
Sunday: 10h30 – 16h00
October to May
Tuesday to Friday: 10h30 – 16h30
Saturday: 09h30 – 17h30
Sunday: 11h30 – 16h00

Ticket Prices

Adult: €7.50
Child: €5
Access to the underground passages is only possible with a guided tour. The last tour starts one hour before closing. Booking is essential during school holidays. Check the website for more information about accessibility and safety.

Archaeology Travel Writer

Jason Summers

My interest in humanity’s past has been obvious for as long as I can remember. So it was not a surprise to anyone I would study archaeology at University. In my spare time I greatly enjoy exploring the outdoors, and of course visiting historic and archaeological sites. I have a Batchelor of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Exeter.

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