Exeter Cathedral


Exeter Cathedral

Infobox UK cathedral
building_name =Exeter Cathedral
infobox_width =


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full_name =Cathedral Church of Saint Peter
geo =
latitude =
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county =Devon
country =England
ecclesiastical =yes
denomination =Church of England
tradition =Broad Church
province =Canterbury
diocese =Exeter
bishop =Rt Revd Michael Langrish
dean =Very Revd Jonathan Meyrick
precentor =Revd Canon Carl Turner
canons =Revd Canon Tom Honey "(Treasurer)"
Revd Canon Andrew Godsall "(Chancellor)"
Revd Canon Mark Rylands "(Missioner)"
Revd Canon Dr Paul Avis "(Theologian)"
archdeacon =
other = Revd Alison Turner
director_music = Andrew Millington
organist = Paul Morgan
Stephen Tanner (Assistant Organist and Director of the Girl Choristers)
website = [http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk]
building =yes
architect =
architecture_style =Gothic (Decorated)
became_cathedral =1050
number_of_cathedrals =2
year_built =1112-1400
year_consecrated =
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Exeter Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in the city of Exeter, Devon, in the southwest of England and the seat of the bishop of Exeter. The present building was complete by about 1400, and has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England, and other notable features.

History

The founding of the cathedral at Exeter, dedicated to Saint Peter, dates from 1050, when the seat of the bishop of Devon and Cornwall was transferred from Crediton because of a fear of sea-raids. A Saxon minster already existing within the town (and dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Peter) was used by Bishop Leofric as his seat, but services were often held out of doors, close to the site of the present cathedral building. In 1107, William Warelwast, a nephew of William the Conqueror, was appointed to the see, and this was the catalyst for the building of a new cathedral in the Norman style. Its official foundation was in 1133, after Warelwast's time, but it took many more years to complete. Following the appointment of Walter Bronescombe as bishop in 1258, the building was already recognized as outmoded, and it was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic style, following the example of nearby Salisbury. However, much of the Norman building was kept, including the two massive square towers and part of the walls. It was constructed entirely of local stone, including Purbeck Marble. The new cathedral was complete by about 1400, apart from the addition of the chapter house and chantry chapels.

Like most English cathedrals, Exeter suffered during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, but not as much as it would have done had it been a monastic foundation. Further damage was done during the English Civil War, when the cloisters were destroyed. Following the restoration of Charles II, a magnificent new pipe organ was built in the cathedral by John Loosemore. During the Victorian era, some refurbishment was carried out by George Gilbert Scott. The bombing of the city in World War II caused considerable damage to the cathedral, including the loss of most of the stained glass. Subsequent repairs and the clearance of the area around the western end of the building uncovered portions of earlier structures, including remains of the Roman city and of the original Norman cathedral. Notable features of the interior include the great clock, the minstrels' gallery, and the ceiling bosses, one of which depicts the murder of Thomas Becket. Because there is no centre tower, Exeter Cathedral has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.

Clock

The clock is one of the group of famous 14th to 16th century astronomical clocks to be found in the West of England. (See also
Salisbury, Wells, Ottery St Mary, and Wimborne Minster.) The main, lower, dial is the oldest part of the clock, probably dating from the 1480s. The fleur-de-lys 'hand' indicates the time (and the position of the sun in the sky) on a 24-hour analogue dial. The numbering consists of two sets of I-XII Roman numerals. The silver ball and inner dial shows both the age of the moon and its phase (using a rotating black shield to indicate the moon's phase). The upper dial, added in the 1760s, shows the minutes.

The Latin phrase Pereunt et Imputantur, a favourite motto for clocks and sundials first penned by the Latin poet Martial in the poem "Character of a happy life", is usually translated as "they perish and are reckoned to our account", referring to the hours that we spend, wisely or not. The original clockwork mechanism, much modified, repaired, and neglected until it was replaced in the early 20th century, can be seen on the floor below .

Organ and Organists

Organ

The Cathedral organ stands proud and imposing on the ornate medieval screen, preserving the old classical distinction between quire and nave with marked grandeur. The largest pipes, the lower octave of the 32ft Contra Violone, stand just inside the south transept. The organ also boasts one of the very few trompette militaire stops in the country (the only other examples to be found in Britain are in Liverpool's Anglican and London's St Paul's Cathedrals), housed in the minstrels' gallery, along with a chorus of diapason pipes. [ [http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch.cgi?Fn=Rsearch&rec_index=R00458 Details of the organ from the National Pipe Organ Register] ]

Organists

* 1584 Matthew Godwin
* 1591 Arthur Cocke
* 1609 John Lugge
* 1665 Theodore Coleby
* 1674 Henry Hall
* 1686 Peter Passmore and John White
* 1693 Richard Henman
* 1741 John Silvester
* 1753 Richard Langdon
* 1777 William Jackson
* 1804 James Paddon
* 1835 Samuel Sebastian Wesley
* 1842 Alfred Angel
* 1876 Daniel Joseph Wood
* 1919 Ernest Bullock
* 1928 Thomas Armstrong
* 1933 Alfred Wilcock
* 1953 Reginald Moore
* 1957 Lionel Dakers
* 1973 Lucian Nethsingha
* 1999 Andrew Millington

Holy Relics

It is recorded in the missal of the 11th-century that King Athelstan had brought together a great collection of holy relics at Exeter Cathedral; sending out emissaries at great expense to the continent to acquire them. Amongst these items were a little of "the bush in which the Lord spoke to Moses," and a "bit of the candle which the angel of the Lord lit in Christ's tomb." Jusserland, J.J (1891) "English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages." Pub. T. Fisher Unwin. London. P. 327.


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See also

* Dean of Exeter
* List of cathedrals in the United Kingdom
* Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England
* English Gothic architecture
* Romanesque architecture
* Church of England
* Henry de Bracton

References

External links

* [http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/ Official website]
* [http://www.ofchoristers.net/Chapters/Exeter.htm A history of the choristers of Exeter Cathedral]
*gutenberg|no=19424|name=The Cathedral Church of Exeter
* [http://www.gotik-romanik.de/ExeterThumbnails/Thumbnails.html Photos and drawings]
* [http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=Exeter+Cathedral&m=text Flickr images tagged Exeter Cathedral]


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