Sacred Heart Church, Exeter

Sacred Heart Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Exeter, Devon, England. It was built from 1883 to 1884 and designed by Leonard Stokes. It is situated on the corner of South Street and Bear Street, close to Exeter Cathedral in the centre of the city. It is a Gothic Revival church and a Grade II listed building.[1]

Sacred Heart Church
Exeter, Sacred Heart RC church (37191625012).jpg
Sacred Heart Church is located in Exeter Central
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church
Location in Exeter
Sacred Heart Church is located in Devon
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church (Devon)
Coordinates: 50°43′17″N 3°31′51″W / 50.7215°N 3.5308°W / 50.7215; -3.5308
OS grid referenceSX9203492439
LocationExeter, Devon
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusParish church
DedicationSacred Heart
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationGrade II listed
Designated18 June 1974[1]
Architect(s)Leonard Stokes
StyleGothic Revival
Completed18 November 1884



Before the church was built, Roman Catholics congregated for Mass in rooms of houses. The site of the church was previously the Bear Tavern, which before the Dissolution of the Monasteries was the town house of the abbots of Tavistock Abbey.[2] After its completion, the Catholic followers in the city moved from St Nicholas' Priory which was where they previously worshipped.[3]


Building work on the church started in 1883. The foundation stone was laid by William Vaughan, Bishop of Plymouth. It is the earliest surviving architectural work of Leonard Stokes.[2] At the time, he was in a business partnership with C. E. Ware. On 18 November 1884, the church was opened.[2][4] Inside, the church was made using materials such as Bath Corsham, Pocombe and Portland stone; the total construction cost approximately £10,000. In 1926, the church tower was completed. Originally designed as a pointed spire, the 140 feet (43 m) flat-top tower contains a bell of 51 kilograms (112 lb).[5]


The church has three Sunday Masses: 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. There is also a Polish Mass at 2:30 p.m. every Sunday of the month and a Syro-Malabar Mass at 6:00 p.m. every third Sunday of the month. During weekdays there is a 10:00 a.m. Mass from Monday to Saturday.[6]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Church of the Sacred Heart, Exeter from British Listed Buildings, retrieved 1 January 2016
  2. ^ a b c Exeter – Sacred Heart from English Heritage, retrieved 1 January 2015
  3. ^ South Western Catholic History. 1983.
  4. ^ Church of the Sacred Heart from, retrieved 1 January 2015
  5. ^ "Sacred Heart Church – South Street". Exeter Memories. Kelly's 1897, ECC Timetrail. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  6. ^ Churches from Diocese of Plymouth, retrieved 1 January 2016

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