In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as the base of Legio II Augusta under the personal command of Vespasian. Exeter became a religious centre in the Middle Ages. Exeter Cathedral, founded in the mid 11th century, became Anglican in the 16th-century English Reformation. Exeter became an affluent centre for the wool trade, although by the First World War the city was in decline. After the Second World War, much of the city centre was rebuilt and is now a centre for education, business and tourism in Devon and Cornwall. It is home to two of the constituent campuses of the University of Exeter: Streatham and St Luke's.
The administrative area of Exeter has the status of a non-metropolitan district under the administration of the County Council. It is the county town of Devon and home to the headquarters of Devon County Council. A plan to grant the city unitary authority status was scrapped by the 2010 coalition government.