Page updated 15th May 2018
Construction of Danes Road commenced in 1905. It was in two phases - the first was no's 1 to 26 and 27 to 51. This phase was listed in the 1909 Besley's Directory. Like Hoopern Street, many of the inhabitants worked for the railways, although many worked at clerical or white collar jobs, such as railway inspector. There were also four police employees including a superintendent. As the requirements of the local community has changed, so has employment, and in the 1970's to 1990's there were several firefighters living in the road, reflecting the proximity of the Howell Road fire station, and it has also housed many prison wardens.
There were complaints about the state of the road and pavements through 1905 with this piece in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, summing up the problems, in the October.
The dangerous condition of Danes Road, Exeter, is the subject of a communication from a correspondent. He states that even if the road were well lighted the building materials scattered haphazard would make it sufficiently dangerous for pedestrians or other traffic. The fact that no lamp has yet been erected—although many of the houses are occupied—renders it absolutely unsafe as soon as darkness sets in. Some time ago residents of the neighbourhood sent a petition to the Council, but as yet no action has been taken by that body. My correspondent—who had occasion to visit Danes-road one evening recently—says that the greatest care was necessary and even when walking at almost a snail's pace he narrowly escaped a series accident owing to a number of granite setts being allowed to remain in the middle of the road.
The Council promised three electric lights, which were eventually installed.
The second phase of Danes Road, which is marked by the two blocks of houses beyond the two side alleys was commenced in 1907, although it wasn't until 1913 that Besley's listed the extra houses. The second phase had slight differences, such as only one side window in the bay.
Quartermaster Serjeant, John Henry Burcell,
Devonshire Regiment. 9 May 1921. Age 50. Danes Rd
Lance Corporal, George Charles Curtis, Devonshire Regiment. 7 October 1918. Age 28. Danes Rd, Assistant Secretary of the Exeter Y.M.C.A.
In 1919 there was a city magistrate, cattle dealer and a Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows Lodge in the road.
There were two bomb hits on the reservoir during the raid of 4th May 1942 - one damaged a Water Works building while the second fell on the covered reservoir and damaged houses 50 yds away - the back of the houses in Danes Road. Some blamed the thorough shaking from exploding bombs for the remedial work on the front of a few houses in the 1990's.
Now the road has changed yet again and it is very popular for student houses as it is a short walk to the university, although parking is a nightmare for residents and visitors alike.
Sources: Personal recollections and Exeter Burning by Peter Thomas. British Newspaper Archive.
The top end of Danes Road in the early 1990s - student housing, and new developments in the gardens of the two end houses have since congested the road.
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