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Explore the Majestic Beauty of Cathedral Exeter

Discover the grandeur and historical significance of Cathedral Exeter, a renowned architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Exeter. A visit to this iconic landmark is a journey through time, its captivating history and awe-inspiring architecture leaving visitors spellbound. The cathedral, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful in England, boasts an array of intricate details and breathtaking features that make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cathedral Exeter is a historical and architectural masterpiece that is a must-see attraction for visitors to Exeter.
  • The cathedral is renowned for its intricate and awe-inspiring features, including stunning stained glass windows and soaring vaulted ceilings.
  • A visit to Cathedral Exeter is an unforgettable experience that takes visitors on a journey through time and history.
  • The cathedral plays a significant role in the local community, hosting events, services, and educational programs.
  • Supporting the preservation of Exeter Cathedral’s heritage is essential to ensure that future generations can appreciate its timeless beauty.

A Brief History of Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral, one of the most impressive landmarks of Exeter, has a rich history that stretches back almost nine hundred years. Founded in 1133 as a monastery dedicated to St. Peter, the cathedral has been transformed over the centuries into the magnificent Gothic structure that stands today.

During the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral saw significant expansion, with the construction of the North and South Choir Aisles, the Chapter House, and the Bishop’s Palace. The iconic West Front, with its celebrated sculptural program depicting scenes from the Bible, was added in the 14th century.

Through the years, the cathedral has witnessed many significant events, including the signing of the Treaty of Exeter in 1646, which marked the end of the first English Civil War. The cathedral also played a crucial role during World War II, providing shelter to the people of Exeter during the German bombing raids.

Today, Exeter Cathedral remains an enduring symbol of faith, resilience, and cultural heritage. It continues to inspire and attract visitors from all over the world.

The Magnificence of Exeter Cathedral’s Architecture

Exeter Cathedral’s architecture is a stunning example of the timeless beauty of Gothic design. The building’s grandeur is apparent from the moment you approach its main entrance, with its imposing twin towers and intricate carvings.

Once inside, you’ll be greeted by soaring vaulted ceilings, pointed Gothic arches, and an abundance of delicate tracery work. The cathedral’s numerous chapels and alcoves boast a wealth of ornate details, from intricately carved stone screens to exquisite stained-glass windows.

The cathedral exhibits a range of architectural styles, with its core structure being predominantly from the decorated Gothic period – a style that remained popular throughout the 14th century. This is exemplified by the cathedral’s nave, which boasts stunning pillars adorned with delicate capitals.

Architectural FeaturesDescription
West FrontThe cathedral’s main entrance is located on the west front, which boasts elaborate carvings and intricate stonework. The entrance is flanked by tall towers, which are a hallmark of Gothic architecture.
Liernes and VaultsThe cathedral boasts a range of impressive vaults and liernes, which reinforce the structure while also adding to its visual appeal. The lierne vaults in the nave, for example, feature ornate tracery work and intricate detailing.
Choir ScreenThe choir screen is a prime example of the cathedral’s intricate stonework. Featuring ornate carvings and delicate tracery, this screen separates the choir from the nave and adds to the overall grandeur of the interior.

The Chapter House

The Chapter House is another example of the stunning architectural design of Exeter Cathedral. Built in the decorated Gothic style, the Chapter House boasts a range of impressive features, from its vaulted ceiling to its elaborate stone floor. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about this remarkable space and its history.

The intricacies of Exeter Cathedral’s architecture are a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the builders and architects who designed and constructed this impressive structure. A visit to the cathedral is not only a chance to admire its beauty but also an opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the skill and dedication that went into creating such a masterpiece.

  • Gothic architecture abounds throughout the cathedral, with its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses adding to its grandeur and structural integrity.
  • The cathedral features a variety of intricate stonework, from the delicate tracery work that adorns its windows to the ornate carvings of its many chapels and alcoves.
  • The Chapter House is a particular highlight, featuring exceptional vaulting and stonework that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

“The intricacies of Exeter Cathedral’s architecture are a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the builders and architects who designed and constructed this impressive structure.”

Exploring Exeter Cathedral’s Interior

Stepping inside Exeter Cathedral is like entering a different world. The grandeur of the interior is awe-inspiring and transports visitors to a different era. The cathedral’s stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and ornate chapels are just a few of the features that make this sacred space so special.

One of the most striking features of the interior is the ceiling. The cathedral boasts one of the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceilings in the world, spanning an impressive 96 meters. The intricate details of the vaulted ceiling are a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the time.

The Lady Chapel is another must-visit area within the cathedral. This chapel is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows and houses a stunning sculpture of the Madonna and Child. The chapels located on either side of the Lady Chapel are also worth exploring, as they contain beautiful altarpieces and intricate carvings.

Symbolism and Stories

The interior of Exeter Cathedral is also rich with symbolism and stories. The beautiful stained glass windows depict various scenes from the Bible and the life of Christ. The carvings on the choir stalls and the misericords, which are small, hinged seats used by the clergy during long services, also contain intricate stories and images.

One particularly interesting feature is the astronomical clock located in the north transept. This clock, which dates back to 1484, displays the time, date, and moon phases. It also contains a series of wooden figures that move during certain times of the day, including a skeleton who strikes the time on a bell.

No visit to Exeter Cathedral would be complete without taking a moment to reflect in the quiet beauty of the cathedral’s nave. The nave is the central area of the cathedral and features stunning columns and arches that are characteristic of Gothic architecture. This peaceful space is the perfect spot to take in the grandeur of the cathedral and contemplate the significance of this historic landmark.

If you’re planning a visit to Exeter Cathedral, be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the interior and soak up the rich history and beauty of this remarkable place of worship.

Discovering Exeter Cathedral’s Treasures

While the stunning architecture and awe-inspiring interior of Exeter Cathedral are themselves reasons enough to visit, the treasures that can be found within its walls are equally worth exploring. From priceless relics to historic artifacts, the cathedral’s collection is a testament to the rich history and cultural significance of the region.

One of the best ways to fully appreciate these invaluable treasures is by joining one of the guided tours that are on offer at the cathedral. Led by knowledgeable guides, you will be taken on a journey through the centuries, learning about the significance of each of the items and the stories behind them.

The cathedral’s collection includes many ancient manuscripts, some of which date back to the 10th century, as well as breathtakingly beautiful artwork, such as the stained glass windows, which are among the finest examples of medieval glasswork in the country.

Another highlight of the collection is the Exeter Book, one of the oldest surviving English literary manuscripts in the world. This remarkable book is a collection of poems and riddles, and is one of the most important sources for the study of Anglo-Saxon literature.

Join a Tour of the Cathedral’s Treasures

If you’re interested in exploring the treasures hidden within the walls of Exeter Cathedral, then a tour is an absolute must. The cathedral offers a range of guided tours that cater to every interest and level of knowledge.

The Highlights Tour gives a broad overview of the cathedral, including its history and architecture, as well as the most important items in the collection. The Tower Tour takes you up to the top of the magnificent west tower, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Exeter and the surrounding countryside.

For those with a particular interest in the cathedral’s history, the Medieval Exeter Tour is a must-see. This tour takes you on a journey through the medieval streets of Exeter, exploring the city’s rich history and the stories of the people who lived and worked there.

Whatever your interests, a tour of the treasures of Exeter Cathedral is a unique and unforgettable experience, and a chance to delve deeper into the history and culture of this wonderful place.

Exeter Cathedral’s Opening Times and Visitor Information

If you’re planning a visit to Exeter Cathedral, make sure to check the opening times beforehand to ensure you don’t miss out on this awe-inspiring experience. The cathedral is open daily, except on Christmas and Easter Sunday.

The opening hours are as follows:

DayOpening Times
Monday – Friday9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday9:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday12:30pm – 2:30pm and 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Admission to Exeter Cathedral is free, although donations are welcome to help with the upkeep and preservation of this magnificent landmark.

If you’re driving, there are two car parks nearby: the Cathedral and Quay car park, and the Mary Arches car park. The cathedral also provides wheelchair access and hearing loops for those with disabilities.

Visiting Exeter Cathedral is an unforgettable experience, and we hope this information will help you plan a smooth and enjoyable visit to this iconic landmark.

Experiencing Exeter Cathedral’s Events and Services

Exeter Cathedral is not only a place of worship; it’s also an essential cultural hub that hosts a wide range of events and services throughout the year. From musical performances to religious ceremonies, there’s always something happening that celebrates the cathedral’s rich heritage and the diverse community it serves.

Special Events

Exeter Cathedral is renowned for its diverse range of special events throughout the year. From the annual Christmas Carol Concert to the summer music festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These events are not to be missed and often sell out quickly, so book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

One of the highlights of the calendar is the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink, which attracts foodies from all over the country. This celebration of regional produce features cookery demonstrations, tastings, and talks from some of the UK’s top chefs.

Regular Services

The cathedral’s daily services are an essential part of the community and attract visitors from all walks of life. From the awe-inspiring choral evensong to the more intimate midweek service, there’s something for everyone to connect with their faith and spirituality.

The cathedral also offers a range of educational programs and workshops that explore the role of faith in contemporary society. These sessions are led by experienced educators and are open to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Get Involved

If you’re looking to get involved with the cathedral community, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer your time. From assisting with events to supporting educational programs, there are endless ways to give back to this cultural treasure.

Exeter Cathedral’s events and services are an essential part of its role as a cultural and spiritual hub. Whether you’re a local resident or a first-time visitor, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate at this historic landmark.

Cathedral Exeter City Guide

If you’re planning a visit to Exeter Cathedral, take some time to explore the charming city that surrounds it. Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of your time in this historic city:

City Centre

Start your tour in the heart of Exeter’s city centre, where you’ll find a bustling high street, independent boutiques, and a variety of restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes. Wander through the picturesque Cathedral Green, where you can admire the cathedral’s stunning architecture and take in the beauty of the surrounding gardens.

The Quayside

For a taste of Exeter’s maritime history, head to the bustling Quayside, where you can explore the historic warehouses and enjoy a stroll along the River Exe. Take a relaxing boat trip up the river or sample some of the delicious seafood on offer at one of the many local restaurants.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery

Just a short walk from the cathedral, you’ll find the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery. This award-winning museum is home to a fascinating collection of art, natural history, and cultural artefacts from around the world. Plan to spend some time here to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.

Cathedral Tours Exeter

Of course, no visit to Exeter would be complete without exploring the cathedral itself. Join one of the many guided tours on offer to gain a deeper understanding of its rich history and architectural significance. Don’t miss the chance to climb the tower for panoramic views of the city and beyond.

With so much to see and do, plan to spend at least a few days in Exeter to fully appreciate all that this magnificent city has to offer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Cathedral Exeter Visit

Visiting Cathedral Exeter is an unforgettable experience that requires some advanced planning to ensure you make the most out of your trip. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Timing is everything: Consider visiting the cathedral during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and get the best photo opportunities. Early mornings or late afternoons are excellent times to visit.
  • Take a guided tour: To fully appreciate the rich history and architectural splendour of Cathedral Exeter, it’s wise to take a guided tour. Experienced guides can provide you with in-depth knowledge, stories, and insights that will enhance your overall experience.
  • Explore the city: Exeter is a beautiful and historic city with a rich cultural heritage. Take some time to explore the area around the cathedral and visit nearby landmarks like the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery or Exeter Castle.
  • Bring a camera: With its stunning Gothic architecture, intricate details, and ornate interior, Cathedral Exeter is a photographer’s dream. Bring your camera along to capture the beauty of this magnificent structure.
  • Respect the sanctity of the space: Remember that Cathedral Exeter is a place of worship and reflection. While exploring the interior, be mindful of the spiritual significance of the space and refrain from disturbing others who may be there to pray or meditate.

By following these tips, you can be sure to have a fulfilling and memorable experience at Cathedral Exeter.

Exeter Cathedral’s Role in the Community

Exeter Cathedral is not only a stunning architectural masterpiece and a significant religious site, but it also plays a vital role in the local community. As a place of inspiration and reflection, the cathedral hosts a range of educational programs, cultural events, and charitable initiatives that benefit the people of Exeter and its surrounding areas.

The cathedral’s outreach programs are designed to engage with people from all walks of life, regardless of their religious beliefs. School groups, community organizations, and individuals can participate in guided tours, workshops, and lectures that explore the cathedral’s history, architecture, and cultural significance.

Through its support of charitable initiatives, the cathedral plays an important role in promoting social justice and environmental sustainability. It partners with local and national organizations to raise awareness and funds for causes such as homelessness, poverty, and climate change.

The cathedral also serves as a hub for cultural events, showcasing a diverse range of performances from music, theater, and dance. From choral concerts to contemporary plays, the cathedral provides a unique and atmospheric setting for these artistic endeavors.

Overall, Exeter Cathedral’s role in the community is one of inspiration, education, and outreach. Its cultural and historical significance makes it an invaluable asset to the city of Exeter, and it will undoubtedly continue to play a leading role in the region’s spiritual and cultural landscape for generations to come.

Supporting and Preserving Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral has stood the test of time, but it requires ongoing care and preservation to ensure its legacy continues for generations to come. There are many ways that you can support this cultural landmark, whether through donations or volunteering.

One way to contribute to the cathedral’s preservation is by becoming a Friend of Exeter Cathedral. As a member, you will receive exclusive benefits such as free access to the cathedral, invitations to special events, and discounts at the gift shop and café. Your membership fee will also go towards supporting the cathedral’s ongoing restoration and education programs.

If you are unable to become a Friend, you can still make a donation to support the cathedral’s maintenance and restoration. Every contribution helps to ensure that the beauty and historical significance of Exeter Cathedral can be enjoyed by visitors from around the world.

Volunteering at the cathedral is another way to show your support and help preserve its legacy. Whether you have a passion for history, architecture, or community outreach, there are numerous ways to get involved as a volunteer. From leading guided tours to assisting with events and educational programs, your time and expertise can make a meaningful impact.

Exeter Cathedral is more than just a landmark; it is a symbol of cultural heritage and a testament to human creativity and resilience. By supporting its preservation and maintenance, you can help ensure that this magnificent structure continues to inspire and captivate visitors for years to come.

The Timeless Beauty of Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral has stood the test of time, surviving natural disasters, wars, and the passage of centuries. Its beauty and historical significance continue to draw visitors from all over the world, who marvel at its awe-inspiring architecture and captivating stories.

The cathedral’s construction began in 1114 and stretches over five centuries, resulting in a combination of architectural styles that delight and inspire. From the Norman towers to the Gothic nave and the stunning vaulted ceiling, the cathedral’s features reflect the dedication and skill of the craftsmen and women who built it.

Exeter Cathedral has witnessed many significant events in England’s history, including the coronation of King Henry III in 1216. It also played a role in the English Civil War when it was used as a military base and garrison. Despite the damage inflicted during the war, the cathedral underwent restoration throughout the centuries to restore its beauty and significance.

Today, Exeter Cathedral remains an essential cultural and spiritual hub in the community. It hosts religious services, cultural events, and educational programs that enrich the lives of locals and visitors alike. Its choir is world-renowned, and its library holds priceless manuscripts that reveal the intellectual and artistic contributions of medieval England.

Exeter Cathedral’s preservation depends on the support and contributions of its visitors and admirers. By donating to its preservation, volunteering for programs, or attending its events, visitors can play a vital role in ensuring its legacy continues for generations to come.

The Beauty that Endures

Exeter Cathedral remains an extraordinary testament to the human spirit’s creativity and resilience. Visitors can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder when standing before its magnificence. Its history, architecture, and cultural significance make it a destination that should be on every traveler’s list. Exeter Cathedral is a timeless treasure that inspires those who encounter it and stands as a shining symbol of human achievement.


Q: What is the historical significance of Exeter Cathedral?

A: Exeter Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and holds rich historical importance. It has witnessed centuries of faith, resilience, and cultural transformations, making it a significant landmark in Exeter’s history.

Q: What architectural features make Exeter Cathedral remarkable?

A: Exeter Cathedral is renowned for its stunning Gothic architecture, including intricate details and soaring vaulted ceilings. Its various architectural styles showcase exceptional craftsmanship and contribute to its overall magnificence.

Q: What can I expect to see inside Exeter Cathedral?

A: Inside Exeter Cathedral, you will be captivated by beautiful stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and ornate chapels. Each feature has symbolism and stories behind it, adding to the cathedral’s allure.

Q: Are there guided tours available to explore Exeter Cathedral?

A: Yes, guided tours are available to fully appreciate the treasures and history within Exeter Cathedral. These tours provide deeper insights into the cathedral’s collection, ancient manuscripts, artwork, relics, and historic artifacts.

Q: What are the opening times and visitor information for Exeter Cathedral?

A: Exeter Cathedral’s opening times and visitor information can be found on their official website. It includes admission fees, parking facilities, and accessibility details to help you plan your visit smoothly.

Q: What events and services are held at Exeter Cathedral?

A: Exeter Cathedral hosts a range of events and services, from awe-inspiring performances to traditional religious ceremonies. The vibrant atmosphere reflects the cathedral’s role as a spiritual and cultural hub.

Q: Is there a city guide available to explore Exeter while visiting the cathedral?

A: Yes, a city guide is available to help you explore Exeter and its surrounding attractions. You can delve into the local history, visit nearby landmarks, and indulge in the city’s culinary delights alongside your visit to Exeter Cathedral.

Q: How can I make the most out of my visit to Exeter Cathedral?

A: To make the most of your visit to Exeter Cathedral, we recommend checking out insider tips and suggestions. This includes the best times to visit for photography enthusiasts and recommended areas within the cathedral to explore in detail.

Q: What role does Exeter Cathedral play in the community?

A: Exeter Cathedral plays a significant role in the local community, hosting educational programs and supporting charitable initiatives. It serves as a place of inspiration, reflection, and outreach for the people of Exeter.

Q: How can I contribute to the preservation of Exeter Cathedral’s heritage?

A: You can contribute to the preservation of Exeter Cathedral’s heritage through donation opportunities and volunteering programs. By supporting this cultural treasure, you help ensure its legacy for generations to come.

Q: What makes Exeter Cathedral a timeless beauty?

A: Exeter Cathedral’s historical significance, stunning architecture, and cultural contributions make it an enduring beacon of human creativity and spirituality. Its beauty stands as a testament to the past and continues to inspire awe and appreciation.

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