The Grounds and Gardens
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter has one of the most beautiful
settings of any university in England. Its estate, of some 300 acres,
sweeping across hills which face south and west, contains a great range of
plants and trees. Some of the property was laid out and planted by the
firm of Veitch in the second half of the nineteenth century; and the
arboretum includes trees from all the temperate regions of the world.
The need for an illustrated guide to the flora of the estate, long
evident, has now been satisfied by this account, the work of Professor
John Caldwell and others. It includes detailed descriptions of plants and
trees, with supporting notes on the history of the acquisition of the
parts of the estate and the University buildings, and on climate and soil.
The whole is illustrated by eight colour plates and 65 black and white
photographs, with eight plans.
In publishing this book on the estate, the University hopes to increase
the enjoyment and satisfy the curiosity of all those who frequent and
The purpose of this book is to give some account of
the more interesting features of the University Estate, and especially of
the trees and plants growing in the grounds.
The text has been prepared by Professor John Caldwell and Dr. M. C. F.
Proctor, with the assistance of Mr. A.G. Crouch. Dr. Proctor was
responsible for the coloured and black-and-white photographs, other than
the frontispiece and Fig. 4. Mr. Crouch marked the sitings of the trees
and shrubs on the sectional plans of the Estate, and produced the
pen-and-ink sketch of Duryard Lodge which appears in Chapter 3. Mr. R. Fry
prepared the general map of the Estate.
Professor G.K.T. Conn, acting on behalf of the Publications Committee
of the Senate, gave valuable help in the preparation of the typescript for
Special thanks are due to William Holford & Partners for their
kindness in preparing the scale plans of the Estate and to Mr. D. Morgan
of James Townsend & Sons Ltd, for the advice and help he has given in
regard to the production of the original book.
The nomenclature follows the fourth edition of Dallimore &
Jackson's Handbook of the Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae (revised by
S.G. Harrison) for the conifers, and the second edition of the Royal
Horticultural Society's Dictionary of Gardening for other plants.
A note from the Superintendent of Grounds - June 2000
During the subsequent 30 years, the university has continued its rapid
expansion of both new buildings and landscaping.
Thousands of additional trees, rhododendrons, azaleas and other shrubs,
with hundreds of camellias, magnolias and herbaceous plants have been
This has significantly expanded the size and scope of the plant
and added scent and colour both in the early summer and autumn.
The NCPG National Collection of Azara is sited at the university, as is
wild origin conifer collection, which is being developed with Edinburgh
The development of the plant collection and landscaping is designed to
provide a botanically interesting and beautiful landscaped setting for the
university, which will continue in to the 21st century.