Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral in Devon is an awe-inspiring example of Gothic architecture in the ‘English decorated’ style. The solid-looking towers on either side are from the original building, which was Norman, but the main part was built in the 13th-14th centuries. Its Gothic style is seen in its tall windows, pointed arches, elaborate tracery, flying buttresses and vaulted stone ceiling, which, at 315ft., is the longest in the world. In olden days the enormous nave would host parishioners and their animals!

The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Peter and there is an 80cwt. bell called Peter in one of the towers. This gives a very low tone when it is chimed on the hour. The other tower houses 14 bells, also very heavy. Among the other interesting features of the Cathedral is an astronomical, geocentric clock dating from 1484. The Sun moves around the Earth in 24 segments on the outer circle, while the inner circle denotes the Moon’s movements. It is said that in the days when animal fat was used to grease the clock mechanism, a cat was permitted to enter through a small hole nearby to chase away rats and mice.

(Top image: bazzadarambler at Flickr.com / CC BY 2.0)

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