The River Exe is Devon’s main river and it runs directly through Tiverton. Its name is derived from the Celtic word for “water”. The Exe was extremely important in the development of Tiverton as a town as water power was vital for the towns booming wool industry.
Early 15th century timbers from the Exe Bridge, Tiverton. These timbers were excavated from the river bed during the building of the new bridge in 1970. They probably date to the time when St. Mary's Chapel stood on the bridge and are now situated to the exterior of the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life.
However, the Exe has also wreaked havoc over the centuries in Tiverton and surrounding areas by regularly bursting its banks and flooding. Massive flood prevention work in the latter 60’s and early 70s took place to prevent this constant flooding of the west Exe area of Tiverton and can be viewed today along the River Walk which includes the Exe Bridge, the Weir and the confluence of the River Lowman with the Exe.
With its source at Simonsbath on Exmoor, winding its way through the Devon countryside and towns, among them the capital Exeter and Tiverton and ending up at Exmouth, the river Exe takes in and lends to some breathtaking scenery.