20 December: Exeter Cathedral

Every day throughout Advent, we'll be introducing a different cathedral from around the UK and occasionally beyond

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20 December: Exeter Cathedral
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Denomination: Anglican

Building began: 1114

 

About the cathedral:

Unlike most cathedrals, Exeter has no centrally located tower or spire but, instead, two towers that sit above the north and south transepts. As a result, the cathedral boasts a vaulted ceiling that runs uninterrupted from one end of the building to the other – the longest of its type in England, in fact. Exeter was one of a number of British cathedrals to suffer in World War II when, in May 1942, a German bomb destroyed the chapel of St James plus much of the surrounding architecture. There has been considerable rebuilding and updating of the building since then, including, most recently, a stone carving in the eastern end that celebrates the Exeter Chiefs rugby union team.

 

Did you know?

In 2013, the removal of Exeter Cathedral’s organ for restoration revealed an unexpected piece of carving – scratched into the stonework was ‘Matthew Lock 1638’, the handiwork (or so it is presumed) of the British composer, who was a chorister here. Having written his name indelibly into the cathedral’s history, Locke (sic) went onto serve in the court of Charles II.

 

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