Church Architecture: Exeter Cathedral Exterior


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The External Architectural Features of Exeter Cathedral in Devon
By David Nash Ford

E X E T E R
C A T H E D R A L

Home of the Largest Bell in England

By Kind Permission of Pitkin Unichrome

The noble outline of Exeter Cathedral strikes the eye from most of the approaches to the City. The best nearer view is obtained from the now demolished Broadgate, the principal entrance to the Close. From this point the visitor gains a fine impression of the magnificent West Front and, rising through the trees, in the beautiful "Green" is the massive square north tower, with the north-western side of the Cathedral.

But nowhere can the strong individual exterior be seen to greater advantage than from the garden of the Bishop's Palace, which lies to the south and south-east. Here there is a picturesque view of the Lady Chapel, the tracery of the windows, the flying buttresses supporting the quire and the south tower. The peal of twelve bells, now in the latter, is unrivalled both as regards weight and richness of tone. On a calm summer evening their melodious sounds can be heard for many miles echoing over the placid waters of the Exe and the broad estuary far away to the south. "Great Peter," brought by Bishop Courtenay from Llandaff towards the end of the 15th century (and recast in 1676), is said to be the largest bell in England.

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