St Nicholas Priory, Exeter

Drawing with watercolour titled ‘St Nicholas Priory, Exeter’ by artist and architect Octavius Ralling (1858-1929) c. 1915.

Octavius Ralling, as an architect, was commissioned to oversee the restoration of St Nicholas Priory in Exeter. Dating back to its dedication as a Benedictine Priory in 1087 it was later dissolved during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1536. Over the centuries the buildings fell into disrepair after being used as tenements. The commission was given to Ralling and his associate partner Lewis Tonar, who restored the building, which then became a museum. In 1910, the Exeter Pictorial Record Society endeavoured to collect pictures and artistic representations of Exeter. Ralling contributed much to this project.

This drawing, completed in 1915, is of St Nicholas Priory, and is captured in three-dimensional form, with floorplans in the foreground. The drawing is accompanied by a note on the verso of an old mount: ‘This would appear to be proposals for restoration of western range in 1915-plus certainly some of the features existed i.e. archway but south end arrangements are interesting to compare’.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Fine Art
Collection Class
print on paper
Common Name
St Nicholas Priory, Exeter
Simple Name
Inscription Transcription
Drawn by Octavius Ralling 1915
Period Classification
World War I (1914-1918)
Production Town

Production Country
United Kingdom: England
Production Date
Production Person Initials
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low

Production Year High

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St Nicholas Priory, Exeter