Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Saturday Morning, 2016

We spent Friday night in Exeter so we could tour it's lovely 13th century cathedral the next morning before driving to Weymouth via The Tank Museum in Bovington. The weather went to hell Friday night, ushering in rain that often fell on the diagonal thanks to winds gusting up to 40 mph. Thankfully, I got some pics of the the cathedral's exterior late Friday afternoon before the weather turned nasty. There were impressive towers located on either side of the cathedral's centre structure. I loved the way the stone seemed to glow with a golden light in the late day sun.

Below is a close-up of one of the angels carved into the facade. This was the best of the bunch. The bulk of the cathedral was built from 1270-1342 and was actually hit by a bomb during World War II, so it's a wonder the exterior is in such good repair at this time.

There were many interesting old buildings around the cathedral. This was one of my favourites, with a sign reading Mol's, coat-of-arms and the date of 1596 above the floor of windows. 

We returned Saturday morning bright and early to tour the cathedral. The handheld audio players gave us a lot of interesting background. This cathedral is undoubtedly well known because it's the longest unbroken and unsupported Gothic arch in the world. That big brown structure in the middle is the organ, sitting about halfway up the centre of the cathedral.

I loved all of the details found in the nooks and crannies, as seen below.

There was the obligatory stained glass, no doubt removed and hidden away during World War II since Exeter was bombed extensively by the Luftwaffe in 1942. 


Above is a pic of the husband checking out the large central wooden doors into the cathedral. Below is a pic of the early 14th century hand-carved bishop's throne located in the quire area. It stands 59 feet tall and is a very stately sight.

Like all older English churches, there were the inevitable beneath-the-floor burials and crypts with sarcophagi lying in repose. The floor slab inscription below really tugged at my heart. It says Elizabeth died in childbed at age 28 and is most deservedly lamented, the last line of the inscription.

I would have loved to learn more about the lady below, but alas her epitaph was written in Latin.

No doubt a victim of the Reformation, the figure standing next to the knight's head was decapitated. Man's best friend at the feet of the night below has also been defaced. I could wring King Henry VIII's neck for allowing religious buildings that had been in operation for decades and even centuries to be looted, pillaged and destroyed during his reign. Such a loss of amazing architecture and history that future generations will never be able to enjoy or appreciate. 

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