The Custom House was constructed in 1680-1 by the Exeter Chamber, extended in 1791 and again in the early 19thcentury. It is a Grade I listed building of both local and national importance. It is one of the earliest examples of a purpose built brick customs house in the country and has some fine plasterwork ceilings. Its situation, just outside the city wall at the head of the navigable section of the River Exe, gives it a commanding view and it is probably only second to Exeter Cathedral in popularity with visitors and photographers to the city.
About ten years ago, substantial renovation and repair works were carried out by Exeter City Council with grant funding from English Heritage. ECQT is now responsible for the Custom House which was occupied by the Quay House Visitor Centre from April 2015 promoting businesses located on the Quayside and Canal Basin as well as year round cultural events and festivals. It also provides historical information about Exeter and the Historic Quayside including an audio-visual presentation about the history of Exeter.