One of England’s oldest and most captivating cathedrals, Gothic St Peter’s Cathedral in Exeter is renowned for its unbroken extension of Gothic stone, the longest in the country. Religious worship has taken place on this site for nearly a thousand years. The two great Norman towers were built by the nephew of William the Conqueror in 1133. The Gothic medieval parts of the building including the magnificent West Front and Nave date from 1270 to 1340. See some of the most beautiful medieval figure sculptures are here at Exeter Cathedral. Of particular interest is the upper row of figures depicting Christ and his apostles, which were added around 1460-80. The vaulted ceiling is the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling of any cathedral in the world and highlights on a tour include the astronomical clock and Minstrels’ Gallery.
Tours & Facilities
Exeter Cathedral is open daily, with a small charge for entry. Audio tours are available to hire from the Welcome Desk. Check opening times on the Cathedral’s website prior to your visit as occasionally the Cathedral does close for special services. Tower and Roof tours to the top of the North Tower are available for an additional fee (prior booking essential). On this tour visitors can get up close to the magnificent Cathedral clock and climb the narrow steps up the North Tower to emerge at the top for spectacular views of the city centre. Discounts are available for groups, with free entry for group leaders.
The Cathedral’s cafe serves breakfast, light lunches and afternoon teas featuring a tempting variety of handmade cakes, all at great value prices. There is also a Cathedral shop inside selling gifts and souvenirs. St Peter’s sits within a grassy forecourt and around it are a selection of historic buildings. One of the most famous is the four storey Mol’s Coffee House dating from 1596 with oak panelling on the first floor and a selection of Devonshire family shields, including those of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh.