Page updated 31st October 2009
The uprights of the open sided Transit Shed on the quay were cast by Bodley & Co at the Old Quay Foundry in Commercial Road in 1820. With a timber and slate roof, it was constructed to protect the cargo that was offloaded from the ships docked at the Quay. In 1838, Bodley's were again employed, this time, to cast the King's Beam, an elevated beam that was used to weigh goods for assessing duty, and which was placed inside the shed.
At the northern end of the open shed is a brick building that has been the home of the Exeter Antiques Centre and café since 1986. It was built in 1878, after pressure from the wine merchant and city councillor, Samuel Jones, who had constructed his warehouse in Commercial Road, as an enclosed transit shed. The City Council constructed a second building by the store, to enlarge the facility and for many years, until the late 1970s, it was the Exeter City Council Fish Market, and Public Weighbridge, when the extension was demolished. The building was also a store for William Hibberd & Co, wholesale grocers of Queen Street, early in the last century, and their faded name can still be seen painted on the bricks.
The Transit Shed was the home of the Bedford lifeboat that was given to the Maritime Museum by the Tyne Lifeboat Society – when it was in use it needed twelve men to row it. The lifeboat has gone, along with the museum, but the Transit Shed is still used during summer weekends for jazz and pop groups, while the audience enjoy a drink in the Prospect Inn, close by.
The Transit Shed on the Quay.
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