Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016 (Morning)

Today was cold and drizzly. Our first visit for the day was Exeter Cathedral.

Exeter Cathedral

As it was raining, I only took two exterior photos of the Cathedral. This is the West End.



Detail showing some of the many statues. They are considered to be the finest medieval statues in England.


As we had not had breakfast and the Cathedral has a café, we decided to become patrons. We both had bacon and eggs. Then it was into the Cathedral.



The Nave



Exeter Cathedral has the longest uninterrupted vaulting in England.



A boss showing a scene towards the end of Thomas Becket's life.



The medieval Minstrel's Gallery above the northern side of the Nave.



One of the angels above



Sir George Gilbert Scott designed this pulpit.



A panel of the pulpit depicting the martyrdom of St.Alban. I can't say why one of the soldiers has brought his wife and daughter along!


organ and screen

The screen and the organ



The astronomical clock, made in the 15th century, shows the time and phases of the moon.



This door includes possibly the oldest cat door anywhere! It was installed sometime in the 15th century. A cat was paid a penny a week to help reduce the number of rats from 1305-1467. The money was used to supplement the cat's diet of rodents.


St Christopher




St.Nicholas holding three purses and surrounded by children (of whom he is the Patron Saint). He is holding three gold balls which represent the dowry he gave to an impoverished maiden (he threw it in through the kitchen window!). You may have noticed this symbol at pawnbrokers' shops - St.Nicholas is also the patron saint of pawnbrokers!



The Organ



This elephant misericord is believed to have been carved in the 13th century. It is thought that the carving was inspired by a real-ife sighting of the elephant given to Henry III by Louis IX of France which was kept at the Tower of London. Elephants were not well-known in England - note the interesting legs in the carving!





Sometimes, the memorials record very sad occurrences. This is one of them. The text is:

"Sacred to the memory of Rachel Charlotte O'Brien. Wife of Capt "E.J. O'Brien, of his Majesty's 24th Reg" and Daughter of Jos. Frobisher Esq of Montreal, Canada. Her death was occasioned by her clothes catching fire; seeing the flames communicating to her infant, all regard to her own safety was lost in the more powerful consideration of saving her child, and rushing out of the room, she preserved its life at the sacrifice of her own. She expired on the 13 of Dec A.D. 1800 in the 19th year of her age."

The poem on the stone "drapery" beneath reads:

If good sense, good humour, and a taste refined,
With all that ever grac'd a female mind;
If the fond mother and the faithful wife
(The purest happiest characters in life);
If these, when summon'd to an early tomb,
Cloth'd in the pride of youth, and beauty's bloom,
May claim one tender, sympathising sigh,
Or draw a tear from melting pity's eye,
Here pause – and be the grateful tribute paid,
In sad remembrance to O'Brien's shade.


chantry chapel

The chantry chapel of the Speke family. Sir John Speke died in 1517. His arms, the double-headed eagle, and his crest, a hedgehog, can be found several times within and without the chapel.




Anne & Mary

St Anne teaching her daughter (the Virgin Mary) how to read. There are traces of the medieval paint on the statue.


lady chapel

The Lady Chapel



The effigy of Lady Dorothy Doddridge in the Lady Chapel. She died in 1614. I wondered whether she was depicted wearing a corset or if she had naturally big hips!



A choirboy pokes his tongue out towards a rather stern looking bishop (luckily the bishop is not looking!)




The tomb of Hugh Oldham, Bishop of Exeter from 1504-1519. He founded Manchester Grammar School and co-founded Corpus Christi College in Oxford.



It is because of his interest in education that some children were included in his effigy (!)




The bishop's device was an owl and there are 59 of them depicted within and without his chantry chapel.



The Sanctuary


The Quire

The Quire in which are many carvings







Mary and Jesus

I loved the gentle human touch included in this sculpture of Mary and Jesus.



The Lectern



One of the three lions at the base of the lectern. All have their tongues out!



I liked this carving of an angel. The details are so wonderfully carved.



Detail of angel's foot (from above)


angel's face

The face of the angel above.



Satoshi demonstrating the size of these organ pipes. Later, we were there when the organ was being played and felt the air coming out from the pipes!






The four windows above depict (in order) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.





When Jesus was asleep at the back of a boat, a storm blew up. Fearing they would sink, the disciples woke Jesus. He "rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, "Peace, be still".



The centurion who was present at the crucifixion and made the remark, "Truly, this man was the Son of God."



Miles Coverdale who was an early translator of the Bible into English. His version of the Psalms is included in the Book of Common Prayer and is still used at Evensong to this day.




Walter de Stapledon (1261 – 1326) was Bishop of Exeter 1308–1326 and twice Lord High Treasurer of England, in 1320 and 1322. He founded Exeter College, Oxford and contributed liberally to the rebuilding of Exeter Cathedral.

Click here to go to the afternoon's events.

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