Click here to view future events

13 March 2019A Guided Tour of Exeter’s Gothic Cathedral & its Library
14 November 2018The Sword & the Staff – the Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostela
14 March 2018St Ives and its Painters
15 November 2017Catherine the Great, Empress of All the Russias
15 March 2017The Story of Endsleigh House 1809-14 (morning). Followed by a visit to the house and grounds (afternoon).
09 November 2016The Glory That Was Greece. The Grandeur That Was Rome.
02 March 2016Looking after Antique Furniture
11 November 2015The Genius that is Michelangelo: a celebration of his life and works
11 March 2015The Pre-Raphaelites

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the event

A Guided Tour of Exeter’s Gothic Cathedral & its Library Mark Cottle Wednesday 13 March 2019

At Exeter Cathedral; meet there at 10.30 for 11am (we'll help you arrange car sharing if you like). The visit is planned to end at around 4pm.

Described as England’s most beautiful Decorated Gothic Cathedral by English Heritage, Exeter Cathedral is a striking example of this style. Imposing Norman towers flank a massive 14th century nave with the longest unbroken rib-vaulted ceiling of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.  In terms of aesthetics, acoustics and engineering it marks a high point in medieval cathedral building.

Decorated Gothic sees an abundance of naturalistic carving, and is rich in gilt, paint, marble, alabaster, brass and Purbeck stone. Larger windows with elaborate tracery let light flood into the building. The Aim of the Discovery Day is twofold: firstly, to illustrate the defining features of Decorated Gothic at Exeter; secondly, to look more closely at the cathedral as a product of its own time, revealing insights into the spirit of the age of the great cathedrals.

After his talk in the cathedral lecture room, then a break for lunch, Mark proposes splitting us into three groups, which will each in turn have a guided tour of the cathedral, a tour of the library (only rarely available), and time on our own to appreciate the wonders of this truly remarkable building. 

Booking is required, and the cost for the day is £25 per person plus £7 for the guided tours of the cathedral and the library. (This is remarkably good value, as the normal entry fees for cathedral and library are £7 each.) Our booking form gives all the relevant details; pick up a printed copy at our  February meeting,* or for a pdf version send an email to, or use the Contact Us form on this website. 

(* There's a priority booking period for our existing members and their guests; general booking opens on 1 February.)