Exeter grew in size and prosperity during the 10th Century and by AD 1000 it was the sixth richest city in the country. Much of this wealth would have come from trade in tin which was mined in the South West. Agriculture and wool were also becoming important to the livelihood of the inhabitants; tin was also being mined in south Devon and Cornwall.
It was a time of migrants, of battles and conquests, and of mixing of ethnic groups. Exeter and St Sidwell’s were at the forefront of this churning of peoples. After the Norman invasion, King William the Conquerer camped here in Sidwell Street, just outside the East Gate, when he arrived to besiege the city in 1068.