Exeter Cathedral, properly known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Exeter, is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon, in Southwest England. The present building was complete by about 1400 and has several notable features, including an early set of misericords, an astronomical clock, and the longest uninterrupted medieval stone vaulted ceiling in the world.
Ground Floor Tours
Discover the characters that have influenced the Cathedral through its long history, hear about the building of this ancient masterpiece and uncover the secrets from its past.
Exeter Cathedral Roof Tour
This fascinating behind-the-scenes tour takes you into the roof void high above the Nave, into the South Tower, the Lead Room, and the Ringing Chamber, and then through the spaces in the North Tower.
Stones and Bones: The Cathedral Precinct Tour
Delving into the history of the Green, we explore the fascinating surrounds of the Cathedral as you have never imagined them, tracing its history from Roman times to the present day. Discover Exeter’s cemetery (you may be surprised!) and find out about the buildings of the Close as well as the construction of both the Norman and the Gothic Cathedrals.
Secret Space Tour
Explore a secret space within the Cathedral’s walls that’s rarely open to the public. Learn about the people who lived and worked there, and catch a glimpse of their daily lives. Find out more about the mysterious ‘witch marks’ and discover some of Exeter’s Wiccan history.
Romanesque to Gothic: A Tale of Two Cathedrals
Take a closer look at Exeter Cathedral’s exterior and learn about its successive phases of building work, starting with a Norman Cathedral and culminating in the decorated Gothic Cathedral we can see today. Learn how its appearance has evolved over 900 years and discover the unique features of this architectural masterpiece.
Notable Architectural features
Notable features of the interior include the misericords, the minstrels' gallery, the astronomical clock, and the organ. Other features of the interior include the multi-ribbed ceiling and the compound piers in the nave arcade.
The West Front Image Screen of Exeter Cathedral is one of the great architectural features of Medieval England. The addition of the image screen around 1340 marked the completion of the re‑building of the cathedral in the Gothic style.
The screen is covered in a wealth of carving, dominated by three rows of statues in niches. At the bottom are angels appearing to support all the figures above. Most of the figures of the middle row represent Kings of Judah.
The 14th century stone vault which forms the nave and quire ceiling is one of the glories of Exeter Cathedral. It is the longest continuous medieval stone vault in the world. As there is no central tower, the vault can run all the way from the west wall of the nave to the Great East Window at the far end of the quire, a distance of approximately 96m (315ft).
The radiating ribs look like an avenue of arching palm branches. This style of vaulting is known as ‘tierceron’.
Amongst other things, they depict the earliest known wooden representation of an elephant in the UK.
Above the pair of arches behind the high altar soars a splendid display of stained glass, the Great East Window. Much of this glass, including the nineteen figures, is medieval. The medieval glass from this window was among the precious items removed from the Cathedral and stored safely during World War II.
Its front is decorated with 12 carved and painted angels playing medieval musical instruments, including the cittern, bagpipe, hautboy, crwth, harp, trumpet, organ, guitar, tambourine, and cymbals, with two others which are uncertain.
The Exeter Cathedral Astronomical Clock is one of the groups of famous 14th- to 16th-century astronomical clocks to be found in the West of England.
The magnificent Bishop’s Throne is one of the greatest treasures of medieval woodwork in Europe. It was made in the early 14th century using local Devon oak and is 18m (59ft) tall. The cathedral records contain details about the felling of the trees and the preparation of the timber. Small traces of original white and gold paint were found when the later layers of paint were removed in the 19th century.
Learning Tours and Activities
At Exeter Cathedral, their dedicated team offers a range of engaging and entertaining tours, workshops, trails, and booklets for educational visits, as well as hosting debates and special services. We also have online digital resources for you to access.
Apart from this, there are lots of events being organised from time to time. One of the events that takes place every year is Exeter Cathedral, Christmas Market.
At Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, they are welcoming applications from the Westcountry’s finest makers, traders, artists, and gourmet street food chefs. Set on the iconic gathering place of Cathedral Green, with twinkling lanes of festive chalets nestled around a majestic medieval cathedral, Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market attracts an estimated 600,000 visitors a year.
Ten Fifty Cafe
Ten Fifty is an all-electric outdoor café, offering ethically sourced, locally produced hot and cold drinks and light snacks.
Tucked away inside the glorious Exeter Cathedral, The Cathedral Shop is Exeter’s best-kept secret for a unique collection of gifts, prints, jewellery, books, and much more.
Step inside Exeter Cathedral and discover one thousand years of wonder. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of one of Europe’s most magnificent cathedrals and find endless opportunities to explore its amazing architecture, secret corners, and hidden histories.https://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/