The Exeter Cathedral was built in 1400 over another church, which had stood since 1107. The prior church was in the Norman style and bits of it still stand, but the majority of the cathedral is now in the Gothic style, which I love. It is constructed of local stone including Purbeck Marble.
Some of the most notable features are the vaulted ceiling, the astronomical clock and the misercords. It is a magnificent piece of architecture and worth a visit. It stands in the middle of a large park like area, which is tranquil and lovely even though it is in the center of Exeter surrounded by a shopping district. The stained glass windows are lovely as are the medallions that run down the center of the ceiling. Look for the rolling mirror that assists you in looking up at the different medallions there.
In the door to the clock, you can see a small hole in the right lower corner. It seems that the pulleys to the clock were made of hemp, which the mice liked to chew. The hole was created for the Bishop’s cat to enter and the problem was eliminated!
The Cornish Pasty obtained “Protected Geographical Indication” (IPG) from the European Commission in 2011. This pastry shell filled with meat and vegetables has been around for ages and it’s exact origin is unknown. It’s mentioned in cookbooks as early as the 1300’s in France, as well as a 13th century charter of Henry III to the town of Great Yarmouth.
The Cornish Pasty is the National Dish of Cornwall and the name has been in effect since 1860. Today, when you walk along the streets, you will find windows full of pasties filled with all types of fillings. They are popular with the working class and have been successfully introduced into some parts of Devonshire. I ate one filled with onions and potatoes. The pasties remind me of calzones, but the one that I had which fit easily into my hand seemed to weigh 3 lbs! They are definitely a hearty meal.
When you visit this area, you must try one. There is every combination of filling that you can imagine!
The Jurassic Coast on the English Channel southern coast is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It starts at Orcombe Point and stretches 96 miles down the coast of Devon. It is the second world heritage site designated in England.
On this strange and mysterious coast, you can find prehistoric fossils. The fossils come from the cliffs along the coastline of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods representing all of the Mesozoic era with 180 million years of geological history. Wow!
I first heard of this coastline while reading a historical fiction novel called Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. If you haven’t read it, you should! It really sparked an interest in this coastline and recently when I was in the area, I got a chance to visit. We stopped at one of the beaches where folks were busy with hammers scouring the beaches for fossils. It is clear that they can be found there, or you can buy them, as I did in the souvenir shops. This one is a Promicroceras from 195 million years ago on the Charmouth Beach.
The photos here are from Charmouth Beach, which had a lovely little museum shop with information about the cliffs and the area. There was also a bar, and you could rent a hammer and pick for an hour or two or for the day. It is a lovely coastline and so mysterious!