Exeter Cathedral is one of England's most beautiful churches. Set between the lovely streets of Cathedral Close and Cathedral Place and fronted by a grassy square, the Cathedral Church of St. Peter was begun in 1114 by the Normans and the sturdy, rather squat cathedral towers date from Norman times.
The cathedral was remodelled in a decorative Gothic style over a century beginning in 1270 by Bishop Walter Bronescombe. Influenced by the architecture of nearby Salisbury Cathedral, the church was built using local stone, including Purbeck Marble.
Entrance is through the magnificent Great West Front and the carved figures above the door represent the largest collection of 14th century stone carving in the UK. The weathered figures include those of Alfred the Great, Athelstand, Canute, William the Conqueror and Richard II and were originally painted in bright colours.
The beautiful 90m-long ceiling vaulting is another first - the longest, continuous Gothic ceiling in the world.
The 15th century Exeter Clock in the north transept is a fine example of a medieval astronomical clock. The clock is in full working order and chimes every hour.
The cathedral was damaged during the English Civil War (1642–1646) and again in World War II (1939-1945) being repaired each time.
1 The Cloisters
Tel: 01392 285 983 (Visitors' officer)
A donation of 4 GBP is recommended for visitors. There are free guided tours from March to October at the following times:
Monday to Friday, 11.00am, 12.30pm* and 2.30pm
Saturday, 11am and 12.30pm*
* only during July, August and September
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