Exeter Cathedral

xeter Cathedral is different in design to the other cathedrals in England. One of the most striking features of the cathedral is that the two towers act as the transepts. This means that there is no central tower commonly found in designs elsewhere. Also unusual is the fact that the nave and the choir at Exeter are of equal length. There is no crossing and no need for the extra large piers at the centre of the cathedral that are usually required to take the weight of the central tower. This allows the ceiling vaulting to continue unbroken to the High Alter. In 1050 Edward the Confessor had the location of the See of Devon and Cornwall moved from Crediton in Cornwall to Exeter some seven miles away. There was an existing Benedictine monastery at Exeter and it was into this building that Leofric moved. In 1107 William Warelwast became the second bishop at Exeter. Six or seven years after his arrival he decided to rebuild the cathedral in the Romanesque style. All that remains of the cathedral from Warelwast's time are the two transept towers. Bishop Marshall occupied the See from 1174 to 1208 and built a Lady Chapel. The Chapter-house was build by Bishop Breuer in the first half of the thirteenth century. Major rebuilding work began from 1258 under the control of Bishop Bronescombe who had been impressed by a visit to the new cathedral at Salisbury. Bronescombe was followed by Bishop Quivil whose overall reconstruction plan was followed by successive bishops. Between 1292 and 1307 Bishop Bitton rebuilt the choir. The smaller choir transepts, rood screen and sedilia were all constructed between 1308 and 1326 under Bishop Stapledon. The nave was completed under Bishop Gransisson between 1327 and 1369. The east window, west front and cloister were built between 1370 and 1394. During the fourteenth century the Chapter-house was heightened and the nave reglazed. The cathedral was consecrated in December of 1380.

Dimensions: General

FeetInches
Total Length3830
West wall to east window3200
Length of nave1650
Height of nave680
Width of nave720
Transept1360
Length of choir1300
Height of towers1300
Area29000 sq.feet
Source: Medieval Monasteries and Minsters:Roberts;
YearMonthEvent
1050   See of Devon and Cornwall moved to Exeter
 The See of Devon and Cornwall had been located at Crediton in Devon but in 1050 Edward the Confessor moved the See to Exeter. This moved the cathedral from an obscure location to a more important one. Edward gave the new Bishopric to Leofric. 
1112   Construction of new cathedral at Exeter
 The second Norman bishop at Exeter, Warelwast started the construction of a new cathedral because he was not happy with the current building. 
1258   Exeter rebuilding work
 Major rebuilding work began from 1258 under the control of Bishop Bronescombe who had been impressed by a visit to the new cathedral at Salisbury. 
1292 - 1307 Rebuilding work at Exeter Cathedral
 Bishop Bitton rebuilt the choir at Exeter Cathedral between 1292 and 1307.[1] 
1308 - 1326 Rebuilding work at Exeter Cathedral
 The smaller choir transepts, rood screen and sedilia were all constructed between 1308 and 1326 under Bishop Stapledon.[1] 

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