An Exeter Cathedral Roof Tour
Hello Heart of Devon – here is Max.
The time has passed pretty fast and I’ve already reached the last two weeks of my stay here in England. It has been an amazing experience for me that I would not want to have missed in my life.
I’ve seen a lot of lovely places and sights in Exeter and Devon, I have had some amazing opportunities through my work for the Exeter City Council and I have enjoyed working with a team that is so lovely and so kind.
One of the latest opportunities I got was to join one of the Tower Tours at Exeter Cathedral.
From now until the end of September Exeter Cathedral offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour which takes you through the Cathedral towers and on the roof.
Strangely, for me it felt with the narrow passages and the lack of elbow room like the Underground Passages. In this case though we were travelling upwards not downwards. Our guide Bob Payne opened a door in the south west corner of the cathedral and let us climb the seemingly endless spiral staircase up to the west window.
He told us about the window itself, about its glass, the special power of solid English oak, gothic arches and vaults. But the most interesting and daunting fact was that the roof has moved over the years and is leaning outwards.
We were wandering above the nave up to one of the towers where we passed the lead-smelting room. After another stair and an old window to go through we reached the Bell Room in the south tower. Bob told us everything about Exeter’s 12 bells and the histories of their names.
The bells which weigh between 600 pounds and 3000 kilograms, have interesting names - for example “The Thomas 1” bell, “The Thomas 2” bell, “The Earl” bell or “The Dome” bell.
And there is one bell which links to a murder in 1283 in the cathedral.
From the bell room we went straight to the North Tower, to finally go up to the roof. The view there was amazing and is totally worth all the stairs to climb. You can enjoy the best views of Exeter and beyond if the weather is good.
We had the chance to go around the tower to see Exeter through the different points of the compass. I took a lot of pictures because the setting was so matchless.
In my opinion the Cathedral itself is worth a visit. I advise you to connect your visit of Exeter Cathedral with a tower and roof tour to get the most of your Cathedral experience. There are various dates throughout July and August.
Max is a German student living and working in Exeter for 6 months. Read his recent blogs by following the links below