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In 1136, early in the Anarchy, Rougemont Castle was held against King Stephen by Baldwin de Redvers.
Redvers submitted only after a three-month siege, not when the three wells in the castle ran dry, but only after the exhaustion of the large supplies of wine that the garrison was using for drinking, baking, cooking, and putting out fires set by the besiegers.
The city held a weekly market for the benefit of its citizens from at least 1213, and by 1281 Exeter was the only town in the south west to have three market days per week.
There are also records of seven annual fairs, the earliest of which dates from 1130, and all of which continued until at least the early 16th century.
The insurgents occupied the suburbs of Exeter, burnt down two of the city gates and attempted to undermine the city walls, but were eventually forced to abandon the siege after they had been worsted in a series of bloody battles with the king’s army.