Saturday, 5 July 2014

Exeter Cathedral.


Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.



The Quire (Choir) of Exeter Cathedral,
looking East toward the Lady Chapel.
Photo: 30 April 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Attribution: "Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0".
(Wikimedia Commons)


Exeter Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is an Anglican Cathedral, and the Seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the City of Exeter, Devon, South West England.

The present building was complete by about 1400, and has several notable features, including an early set of Misericords, an Astronomical Clock and the longest uninterrupted Vaulted Ceiling in the world.



The Choir of Exeter Cathedral,
under the direction of Lucian Nethsingha, sing Psalm 84
to Anglican Chant for Choir and Organ. Paul Morgan (Organist).
Available on YouTube at



The Organ,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


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, Devon, because of a fear of sea-raids. A Saxon Minster, already existing within the town of Exeter (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.



Exeter Cathedral.
Date: 2011.
Source: http://www.wyrdlight.com
Author: Antony McCallum.
Attribution: WyrdLight.com
(Wikimedia Commons)


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, during 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 recognised as outmoded, and it was rebuilt in the Decorated Gothic Style, following the example of nearby Salisbury Cathedral. 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.



Altar Panels,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


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 new Pipe Organ was built in the Cathedral by John Loosemore. Charles II's sister, Henrietta Anne of England, was Baptised here in 1644. During the Victorian era, some refurbishment was carried out by George Gilbert Scott.



A North-West view of Exeter Cathedral, in England, in 1830.
Engraving by W Deeble. based on a drawing by R Browne.
(Wikipedia)


As a boy, the composer Matthew Locke was trained in the Choir of Exeter Cathedral, under Edward Gibbons, the brother of Orlando Gibbons. His name can be found scribed into the stone Organ 'Screen'.

On 4 May 1942, an early-morning air raid took place over Exeter. The Cathedral sustained a direct hit by a large high-explosive bomb on the Chapel of Saint James, completely demolishing it. The Muniment Room, above, three Bays of the Aisle and two Flying Buttresses were also destroyed in the blast. The Mediaeval Wooden Screen, opposite the Chapel, was smashed into many pieces by the blast, but it has been reconstructed and restored.



Stained-Glass Window,
depicting Moses with the Tablets of Stone.
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Many of the Cathedral's most important artifacts, such as the ancient glass (including the Great East Window), the Misericords, the Bishop's Throne, the Exeter Book, the ancient Charters (of King Athelstan and King Edward the Confessor) and other precious documents from the Library, had been removed in anticipation of such an attack. The precious effigy of Bishop Bronscombe had been protected by sand bags. 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.



Exeter Cathedral.
Interior view of the Nave,
looking East.
Photo: 30 April 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Attribution: "Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0".
(Wikimedia Commons)


Notable features of the Interior include the Misericords, the Minstrels' Gallery, the Astronomical Clock and the Organ. Notable architectural features of the Interior include the Multi-Ribbed Ceiling and the Compound Piers in the Nave Arcade.

The 18 m (59 ft) high Bishop's Throne, in the Quire (Choir), was made from Devon Oak, between 1312 and 1316; the nearby Choir Stalls were made by George Gilbert Scott in the 1870s. The East Window contains much 14th-Century Glass, and there are over 400 Ceiling Bosses, one of which depicts the murder of Thomas Becket. The Bosses can be seen at the peak of the Vaulted Ceiling, joining the Ribs together. Because there is no Centre Tower, Exeter Cathedral has the longest uninterrupted Mediaeval Vaulted Ceiling in the world, at about 96 m (315 ft).



Statue in front of Flying Buttresses,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The fifty Misericords are the earliest complete set in the United Kingdom. They date from two periods, 1220–1230 and 1250–1260. Amongst other things, they depict the earliest-known wooden representation of an elephant in the UK. Also, unusually for Misericords of this period, they have Supporters.



The Lady Chapel,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 30 April 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diliff.
Attribution: "Photo by DAVID ILIFF.
License: CC-BY-SA 3.0".
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Minstrels' Gallery in the Nave dates to around 1360 and is unique in English Cathedrals. Its front is decorated with twelve carved and painted Angels playing Mediaeval musical instruments, including the cittern, bagpipe, hautboy, crwth, harp, trumpet, organ, guitar, tambourine and cymbals, with two others which are uncertain.

The Exeter Cathedral Astronomical Clock is one of the group of famous 14th- to 16th-Century Astronomical Clocks to be found in the West of England. Others are at Wells Cathedral, Ottery St Mary Church, and Wimborne Minster.

The main, lower, dial is the oldest part of the clock, dating from 1484. 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 1760, shows the minutes.



The Astronomical Clock,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: July 2005.
Source: taken by user in English Wikipedia.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Latin phrase Pereunt et Imputantur, a favourite motto for clocks and sundials, was written by the Latin poet, Martial. It 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. The door below the clock has a round hole near its base. This was cut in the Early-17th-Century, to allow entry for the Bishop's cat, to deter vermin that were attracted to the animal fat used to lubricate the clock mechanism.

The Library began during the Episcopate of Bishop Leofric (1050 – 1072), who presented the Cathedral with sixty-six books, only one of which remains in the Library: This is the Exeter Book (Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501) of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Sixteen others have survived and are in the British Library, the Bodleian Library or Cambridge University Library. A 10th-Century Manuscript of Hrabanus Maurus's De Computo and Isidore of Seville's De Natura Rerum may have belonged to Leofric, also, but the earliest record of it is in an inventory of 1327.

Si quis illum inde abstulerit eterne subiaceat maledictioni.
Fiat.
Fiat.

If any one removes this he shall be eternally cursed.
So be it !
So be it !

Curse written by Bishop Leofric (1050 - 1072)
on some of the books in his Library.


The inventory was compiled by the Sub-Dean, William de Braileghe, and 230 titles were listed. Service Books were not included and a note at the end mentions many other books in French, English and Latin, which were then considered worthless. In 1412-1413, a new Lectrinum was fitted out for the books by two carpenters, working for forty weeks. Those books in need of repair were repaired and some were fitted with chains. The catalogue, compiled in 1506, shows that the Library, furnished some ninety years earlier, had eleven desks for books. The most beautiful Manuscript in the Library is a Psalter (MS. 3508), probably written for the Church of Saint Helen, at Worcester, in the Early-13th-Century).

The earliest printed book in the Library is represented by only a Single Leaf:; this is Cicero's De officiis (Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer, 1465 – 1466). There is a good collection of early medical books, part of which came in 1948 from the Exeter Medical Library (founded 1814), and part on permanent loan from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (1300 volumes, 1965). A catalogue of the Cathedral's books, made in 1506, records over 530 titles, of which more than a third are Service Books.



Deutsch: Kathedrale von Exeter.
English: Exeter Cathedral.
Español: Catedral de Exeter.
Suomi: Exeterin tuomiokirkko.
Photo: 8 July 2008.
Author: Derivative work from Cathedral_of_exeter.jpg
by Markus Koljonen (Dilaudid)
Original photograph by Torsten Schneider on 13. Nov 2005.
(Wikimedia Commons)


In 1566, the Dean and Chapter presented to Archbishop Matthew Parker a Manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Gospels, which had been given by Bishop Leofric; in 1602, eighty-one Manuscripts from the Library were presented to Sir Thomas Bodley, for the Bodleian Library at Oxford. In 1657, under the Commonwealth, the Cathedral was deprived of several of its ancillary buildings, including the Reading Room of 1412-1413.

Some books were lost, but a large part of them were saved due to the efforts of Dr Robert Vilvaine, who had them transferred to Saint John's Hospital. At a later date, he provided funds to convert the Lady Chapel into a Library, and the books were brought back. By 1752, it is thought the collection had grown considerably to some 5,000 volumes, to a large extent by benefactions. In 1761, the Dean, Charles Lyttelton, describes it as having over 6,000 books and some good Manuscripts. He describes the work which has been done to repair and list the contents of the Manuscripts. At the same time, the Muniments and Records had been cleaned and moved to a suitable Muniment Room.



Deutsch: Im Inneren der Kathedrale von Exeter.
English: Interior of Exeter cathedral, showing
the 17th-Century Organ Case (enlarged in 1891).
Photo: May 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: K@rl Karl Gruber.
(Wikimedia Commons)


In 1820, the Library was moved from the Lady Chapel to the Chapter House. In the Later-19th-Century, two large collections were received by the Cathedral, and it was necessary to construct a new building to accommodate the whole Library. The collections of Chancellor Edward Harington and Canon Frederic Charles Cook were, together, more than twice the size of the existing Library, and John Loughborough Pearson was the architect of the new building on the site of the old Cloister. During the 20th-Century, the greater part of the Library was transferred to rooms in the Bishop's Palace, while the remainder was kept in Pearson's Cloister Library.

The Cathedral Organ stands on the ornate Mediaeval Screen, preserving the old classical distinction between Quire (Choir) and Nave. The first Organ was built by John Loosemore in 1665. There was a radical rebuild by Henry Willis in 1891, and, again, by Harrison & Harrison in 1931. The largest pipes, the lower octave of the 32 ft Contra Violone, stand just inside the South Transept. The Organ has one of only three trompette militaire Stops in the Country (the others are in Liverpool Cathedral and London's St Paul's Cathedral), housed in the Minstrels' Gallery, along with a chorus of diapason pipes.



Ceiling Bosses,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)



The Great West Door,
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The tube web spider, Segestria florentina, notable for its metallic green fangs, can be found within the outer walls. The walls are made of calcareous stone, which decays from acidic pollution, to form cracks and crevices which the spider and other invertebrates inhabit.

The Choir consists of Trebles, either boys or girls from the Exeter Cathedral School, and a "back row" of adult male singers. There are 6 Lay Vicars and 6 Choral Scholars on each side, Decani and Cantoris. There are three voice parts on the back row, Alto, Tenor and Bass and, consequently, there are, at any given time, two singers per voice part on each side of the Choir - one Lay Vicar and one Choral Scholar.



Traceried Window (Exterior),
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)



Traceried Window (Interior),
Exeter Cathedral.
Photo: 10 February 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mattana.
(Wikimedia Commons)


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