« 上一頁繼續 »
the name applied to it by the Saxons, and from this we can trace the present word Exeter.
On the completion of the conversion of the inhabitants of Britain to Christianity by S. Wilfrid, A. D. 681, Exeter was placed under the Bishop of Wessex, whose diocese comprised the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Wilts, Berks, and Hants. The see was placed at Winchester. The year 704 witnessed another division, and the Bishop of Sherborne presided over Devonshire. It was not until 910, that Devonshire was formed into one independent diocese, the see being placed at Crediton. Adulphus, Ethelgar, Elfwod, Sideman, Alfricus, Alfwod, Edwynus, Livingus, and Leofricus, were the bishops of Crediton; the last of whom removed the see to Exeter.
Leofricus or Leofric, selected for his cathedral church the monastery of S. Peter, originally founded A.D. 633, but which, being destroyed during the fierce siege Sweyne directed against the city in 1003, was afterwards rebuilt and newly-endowed by Canute. It was in the Monastery of S. Peter, according to Dr. Oliver, under Abbat Wolphard, that Boniface, afterwards Archbishop of Mayence, studied about the year 693.
The account of the ceremony of Leofric's installation is most curious: “I, Kynge Edward, taking Leofricus by my right haunde, and Editha, my Queen, by the left, do enstalle hym the fyrste and most famos Byshoppe of Excester, with a great abundance of blessynges to all such as shall furder and encrease the same; but with a fearfull and execrable curse to all such as shall dimi. nish or take anything from it."
The whole of the monks were removed by Edward the Confessor to his abbey at Westminster, and were succeeded by twenty-four prebendaries, with a vicar or deputy assigned to each. Living together under the rule of Chrodegang, the saintly Bishop of Metz, eating in the same refectory, sleeping in the same dormitory, they were bound to lead a life of celibacy, and to be in choir at the seven canonical hours. William Warlewast, consecrated Bishop of Exeter in 1107, commenced in 1112 another, larger and more spacious building on the site
of the old monastery or cathedral of S. Peter. Warlewast, who was also chaplain to the Conqueror, died, according to Matthew Paris, in 1136, being at the time of his death, a canon in Plympton Monastery.
In 1136, during the siege of Exeter by King Stephen, the Cathedral and city suffered great injury by fire; but the church was finally finished during the episcopacy of Bishop Marshall, 1194—1206, who, we are informed, finished it, “ according to the plan and foundation which his predecessors had laid."
This Cathedral has been destroyed, with the exception of the two massive Norman towers, which, dedicated respectively to S. Paul and S. John, were skilfully formed into transepts for the new church by Bishop Peter Quivil, who, taking down the inner side of each (the south side of S. Paul's, and the north side of S. John's tower,) to about half their height from the ground, supported the upper halves by two vast pointed arches.
Passing down the ancient High Street, containing some interesting churches and remains of ancient timbered houses, we turn to the left on reaching Broadgate, and walking down a slight descent, stand before the western front of the Cathedral of S. Peter.
Bishop Walter Bronescombe, 1257—1280, commenced the work of reconstruction, erecting the chantries of S. Mary Magdalene and S. Gabriel, together with the basement portion of the Lady Chapel, and parts of the chantries of S. Andrew and S. James, and of the choir aisles. Peter Quivil succeeding Walter Bronescombe, Novem. ber 10th, 1280, completed the upper portion of the Lady Chapel, and formed the north and south transepts as above stated; but, according to Godwin, taking "a certain sirope to drink, and in too hasty swallowing thereof, his breath was stopped, and he forthwith_died;" being succeeded in his bishopric by Thomas Bytton, consecrated November, 1292
During this prelate's episcopacy, the Ladye Chapel was roofed, and various other portions of the Cathedral advanced in erection. To Thomas Bytton succeeded the generous and princely Stapleton, 1308—1326, who erected the four eastward bays of the choir, and the
elegant sedilia to the right of the altar. He also erected a magnificent altar-screen, and provided a silver-altar, both of which have long since disappeared.
John Grandisson succeeding Bishop Berkeley, October 18th, 1327, proceeded in the work with great vigour, dedicating the high-altar December 18th, 1328, and completing the nave about 1350. Leland says, Grandisson "enlargid the west part of the church, making vii arch is wher afore the plot was made but of five,” and “ voltid the body of the church,” completing also the chantries of S. Paul and S. John the Baptist. He also erected the magnificent western front of the Cathedral, which I will now proceed to describe. The screen forming the lowest portion of the design, projects some distance from the west wall of the nave, and forms a porch over the three elegant doorways, which give entrance to the church. It is decorated with statues enshrined in niches, and resting on pedestals.
Of these figures, Justice, Fortitude, and Discipline, are placed over the north door, and Edward III. and the Black Prince over the south. The latter is very beautiful indeed, being elegantly cusped and decorated : the roof is groined in stone, and its walls are adorned with two sculptures, one the Manifestation of CHRIST to the Wise Men, the other the Appearance of the Angel to S. Joseph. The statues in the lower division of the screen are generally seated, and rest on pedestals consisting of clustered columns with capitals of foliage; the pedestals being supported by angels. The effigies in the upper row consist of Saints and Apostles in standing positions. The canopies above them are very beautifully sculptured and feathered.
The centre of this elegant screen is occupied by the west doorway, giving admittance to the nave; the span. drils are adorned with sculpture. A rich battlemented parapet, filled with tracery and sculptured figures of angels, terminates this portion of the front; behind rises the western wall of the nave, pierced by a vast and magnificent traceried window, of which more anon.
To the right and left are two flying buttresses, the outer faces of both of which are hidden by a turret terminating in a pin
nacle. The figure enshrined within the niche on the western face of the northern one, represents King Athelstan; that on the southern Edward the Confessor. The sloping termination on either side of this wall is adorned on its surface with a series of arcading. Above is seen the gable of the nave, pierced by a small window filled with excellent cery: the canopied niche above is filled with a figure of S. Peter, the patron saint of the church. Speaking of this elegant front, Britton, one of the most persevering of English antiquaries, says that, “the enthusiastic architect having contemplated the recentlyexecuted works as carried on from the east to the west, having extended the nave of his church, and observed it grand in magnitude, and rich in its tracery, brackets, and clustered columns,—having carried up the western wall, and inserted the spacious and elegant central window,and having, lastly, determined to make this finishing part of the church a monument to his own renown, and to enshrine his mortal remains, he determined to render it a work of unprecedented splendour, and of gorgeous execution.” Standing a little distance back, we can view the whole of this exquisite specimen of architecture at our leisure, and feel that it is indeed a beautiful work both in design and execution: it liés spread before us, grown sombre with its age; glimpses of the grand old towers of Warlewast are obtainable, of S. Edmund's chapel, and the Chapter House, with its Perpendicular window ; while on our right stands on the site of the oldest church in Exeter, a sanctuary worthy to be erected in such close proximity to the Cathedral of S. Peter.
To enable us to obtain a view of the north front, we must pass through the iron gates enclosing the Cathedral Close, when we have the whole of its, picturesque beauties spread before us; and certainly no lover of beauty can fail to admire the stately grandeur of the composition. Here
“ Buttresses and buttresses alternately,
Seem carved of ebon and of ivory. The north porch is elegant; the surface of the wall is enriched with three acutely-pointed canopies, enriched
with carved crockets, ending in finials, consisting of bunches of foliage beautifully sculptured. The door is placed under the centre canopy, and consists of a pointed arch, enriched with mouldings. The upper portion of the centre canopy, and the whole of the surface of the wall contained within the others, are decorated with tracery, and contain small pedestals. The two small windows between, give light to the chamber originally designed for the custos of the Cathedral, but now occupied by the archives of the archdeaconry of Exeter. Above this porch, but receding a considerable distance, is the chamber erected for the purpose of accommodating musicians on the various solemn festivals. Some distance from the ground Paul's tower is perfectly plain, when the northern wall is pierced with a large pointed window, placed within a deeply-recessed arch, and filled with elaborate tracery. Above this the wall surface is decorated with different stages of arcading, which are continued round the remaining sides of the tower, while the whole rising to a height of about 140 feet, is ended with a plain, battlemented parapet. Projecting from the eastern wall of the tower, is S. Paul's chapel, while next in order is seen the larger chapel or chantry of S. Andrew.
The remaining chantries are those of Speke, S. Mary Magdalene, and our Lady. Speke's chantry was many years ago converted into a thoroughfare for admission to the choir; for this purpose it is still used, a few privileged people making it à convenient entrance.
The Lady Chapel, with its richly-traceried windows, forms the easternmost termination of the Cathedral.
One of the principal features of this church, are the exquisite windows of aisles and clerestory filled with tracery of a most elaborate and perfect character. No two on one side are alike in design; all are different, each window having its counterpart in the opposite front, offering to the student and churchman a glorious field for study and contemplation, for as Paley somewhere beautifully writes, " There is a moral in every sculpture, a lesson in every form.” The buttresses which separate the windows are plain and massive. They stand some distance from the aisle walls, and a little above its parapet