Cathedral

If you want to visit a magnificent, historic building, Exeter Cathedral is the place to go.  Founded in 1050

(although you can’t see those  bits anymore) work on its present site started in 1114 and the first 

service was held in 1133.  Now, that’s a LONG TIME AGO!  One of our imaginary ghost Choristers in the Midnight Choir was there that day… Jacob.  Cool name.

When you walk into the Cathedral for the first time, expect to gasp, it's so awesome!  Most of what you’ll see was built between 1290 and 1350 when the cathedral was modernised.  (1350… modern?… umm… that’s questionable!)  The pillars and carvings stretch so high, your neck will ache if you stare at the ceiling for too long… and it stretches on… and on… in fact, Exeter Cathedral has the longest, continuous, Medieval vaulted stone roof built, EVER!  WOA!

Firstly, you’ll walk through the Nave, but watch where you’re walking… right under your feet are loads of inscribed stones, marking the graves of people who were important at the Cathedral.  Look out for Tobias Langdon’s stone, which lies in the south transept.  Tobias is in our book - he'd been a Chorister in the 1600s.
Along the wall by Tobias’s gravestone are the most ENORMOUS organ pipes we’ve ever seen.  If you stand nearby when the organ is playing, you may feel the rumble of the low notes! C-c-c-cool.  😊
Now, turn back to the Nave again and go through the gorgeous golden gates underneath the organ.  Now, you're in the Quire where the Choir normally sings (when not being socially
distanced by COVID-19!) and, in the Quire, you’ll see the Cathedra or 'Bishop’s Throne'.  In the book, James has to climb this – but please don’t try it yourself or the ushers will be having kittens.  It's 16m tall, that’s 53ft (W0W), it’s made of English Oak and has NO NAILS… or screws… it’s joined together with wooden pegs like a MASSIVE, 3D wooden jigsaw (try getting that back in the box!)  In the old days, Bishops were like royalty – well, they were politicians and landowners and it was their money that partly paid for the building of the Cathedral.
Now, when you’ve resisted climbing the Bishop’s Throne but before you leave the Quire, look upwards – above the High Altar you’ll see the most GORGEOUS east window.  It’s made of stained glass and is where Tiggs sits, to watch his first sunrise.

Right, next, leave the Quire through one of the carved wooden side doors and walk up the aisle to the Lady Chapel.  That’s where the effigy of Bishop Stafford lies, on the left-hand side.  In our book, James’s ghostly friends dare him to scratch his name into the Bishop!  'That’s GRAFFITI!’ James gasps.  ‘Nay… ‘tis calligraphy!’ Hector laughs.  He and his friends, whose lives span hundreds of years, have etched their names into the poor, old Bishop who would have turned in his grave since he died 600 years ago, if he’d known how many people were drawing all over him!  See if you can spot the

initials AT1601, RB1643 and AH1814.  We’ve used them to make up names for James’s friends in the book, but they once belonged to real people, possibly even Choristers of the past.

Exeter Cathedral really is a place where imagination and reality can meet.  We’d love you to read our book… but also to visit the Cathedral and see it all for yourself.  There’s so much more to find than we could possibly include – real tales of murder, mystery and suspense.  If you’d like to know more, please do visit the Cathedral website at https://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk