Exeter is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. Exeter was the county seat until 1997, when county offices were moved to neighboring Brentwood. Home to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private university-preparatory school, Exeter is situated where the Exeter River feeds the tidal Squamscott River. The urban portion of the town, where 9,242 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U. S. Census Bureau as the Exeter census-designated place.
The area was once the domain of the Squamscott Native Americans, a sub-tribe of the Pennacook nation, which fished at the falls where the Exeter River becomes the tidal Squamscott, the site around which the future town of Exeter would grow. One of the four original townships in the province, Exeter originally included Newmarket, Newfields, Brentwood, Epping and Fremont. The Gilman Garrison House, a National Historic Landmark, and the American Independence Museum were both former homes of the Gilman family.
Exeter has a considerable inventory of structures by prominent architects. Other features of the town include the Swasey Parkway, which replaced wharves and warehouses along the Squamscott River, and the Ioka Theatre of 1915 on Water Street.