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of Exeter by that king. The Cathedral was not com- grand and lofty central feature the more apparent: and
The objection may be a mistaken one; but we believe Nothing, scarcely, can exceed the beauty of many it is pretty generally felt that Exeter Cathedral is far parts of Exeter Cathedral; but as a whole, perhaps it less impressive than would be expected from an examiis not so satisfactory. Though erected in the golden nation of its multitudinous beautiful details. The age of E:
ecclesiastical architecture, and, with the stranger especially feels this ; for the parts are so fine, exception of the massive Norman towers, tolerably that those who are in the frequent habit of seeing them uniform in style, the exterior is heavy, and compara- become insensible to any failure in the general effect, tively unimposing in its general effect. The unusual Until within these few years the Cathedral was a good position of the towers only renders the want of some deal hidden by mean buildings : these have been in a
great measure remov
hoved, and the exterior can now be then be unbroken, and the large and beautiful east tolerably well seen.
window would appear at the end of it: the majestic The Cathedral is built in the form of a cross, but the interior, in short, would be seen as its designers inarms are very short, the transepts being formed out of tended it to be seen. The place which the organ occuthe towers. The entire length of the building, includ- pies in so many of our cathedrals is alike unaccordant ing the Lady Chapel, is 408 feet : the towers are 145 with good taste and religious feeling. When these feet high. The towers are Norman, square, and similar cathedrals were erected, the screen which separates the in size, and also in general appearance; their surfaces nave from the choir bore upon it a lofty rood : it was being covered with blank arcades and other Norman placed there with a religious purpose, as a part of the ornaments, but they differ in the details. The remain- system of the ecclesiastics, to address the imagination der of the Cathedral is of what is known as the Deco- and the feelings through the eye as well as the ear. rated style of English architecture; and the numerous The worshipper, on passing through the portals of the windows, with their flowing tracery, are among the noble western end of the Cathedral, saw stretching finest examples of that rich style. Between the
before him a long array of glorious architecture, the windows are bold flying buttresses, with crocketted walls and the roof resplendent with skilfully-arranged pinnacles. The roof, which is of very high pitch, is colour and gilding, and the “ dim religious light” crowned by a fleur-de-lis ridge ornament-the only one streaming through numerous storied windows: while of our cathedrals that retains that decoration.
raised far aloft, in the midst of all, and occupying the But the most striking portion of the exterior is un- most prominent position, was the emblem of his faithquestionably the west front. Gothic architecture was so placed as not to interfere with the grand architectural intended to appeal to the imagination and the feelings. effect, but to unite with it, and assist in deepening its The chief entrance to the Cathedral was by the western solemnity of character. At the Reformation the cross door, and consequently, upon the western front the was removed : but a century elapsed before its place architect ordinarily employed all the resources of his came to be commonly occupied by the organ. The art. In most of our cathedrals the western end is more rood screen was selected for the purpose, probably, elaborately decorated than any other part : but no merely because it was the situation that most readily other is so much enriched as the west front of Exeter offered itself for so bulky an instrument. There was Cathedral, though two or three are more generally no religious feeling in the matter ; and there was no admired. The form and general appearance of this architectural taste then in existence to be offended by front will be best understood by the engraving (Cut, such an anomalous introduction. Its tolerance during No. 2). It consists of three stories : the basement is the last century is not to be wondered at,-one could a screen, with a central doorway, and one of smaller hardly have wondered had the statues of Jupiter and size on each side. The entire surface of this screen Venus been placed on either side of it; but now that is occupied by canopied niches, in each of which is a there is a purer and better feeling abroad as to propriety statue. The second story, which recedes somewhat, is of character in church appliances, it is surely time that formed by the west wall of the nave, and contains the the organ should be relegated to a more obscure posilarge and noble west window, the arch of which is tion. Regarding alone the religious character of the entirely filled with the richest flowing tracery. On edifice, it cannot be desirable that, upon entering it, each side are decorated arcades. The wall is supported the organ should be the first object upon which the by two very bold flying buttresses. The upper story, attention rests : and, as a matter of taste and artistic which recedes somewhat behind the second story, is effect, its position is even more reprehensible. From formed by the gable of the nave, and has a window either nave or choir it destroys the grand vista, and smaller than the other, but similar in character. The entirely obscures the noble terminal window ; while arrangement, as has been often remarked, is unusual from every part it forces the eye to rest on in English cathedrals, but common in those of France: object inconsistent with the venerable Gothic structure, indeed, the whole building has a good deal of a Con- and ungraceful and incongruous in itself. The organ tinental character. The statues and ornamental work of Exeter Cathedral may be, as is asserted, one of the of the west front had become considerably dilapidated, largest and finest instruments in the country; but that but the authorities have carefully restored them; and is no reason why it should not be removed to a less this magnificent façade-one of the very finest in Eng- important and conspicuous position, as has already land—is now in a nearly perfect condition.
been done with excellent results in some other of our The interior of the Cathedral is far more imposing cathedrals. than the exterior. As you enter, the long range of Both nave and choir will command and repay attenclustered columns with the open arches above them; tive examination. In general character they are alike, the noble series of windows in the clerestories ; and with, of course, those differences which their different the splendid vaulted stone roof which spans the whole purposes require. The clustered columns, the windows, extent of nave and choir, combine to produce a most and the roof, are remarkably fine examples of their powerful and impressive effect. But the effect would several kinds: the roof is one of the largest and handbe amazingly improved were the organ to be removed somest vaulted stone roofs of the Decorated period in from its present position. The magnificent vista would existence. Very little of the original stained glass
remains in the windows. Like all other "idolatrous painter is represented seated in a thoughtful attitude, pictures and images," it suffered grievously from puri- with his palette hanging carelessly on his thumb: he tanic wrath. While Exeter was occupied by the soldiers appears to be sitting in reflective mood before his easel, of the Commonwealth, the Cathedral called into exer- and has much of that tranquil contemplative character cise no small share of their zeal. Many of the things Chantrey could sometimes so felicitously unite with which they spared speak as loudly as those they de- marked individuality. stroyed of their fervour and diligence. But they spared The stranger should not fail to ascend the north some things which they could hardly be expected to tower of the cathedral, for the sake of the very fine view spare; among others, the glass in the great east win- of the city he will obtain from its summit. Perhaps a dow was left uninjured, and it yet remains in good better notion of its topography can be obtained from preservation. We cannot stay to point out the many this tower than elsewhere : and the suburbs are also points of interest in the nave: a peculiarity will be seen to advantage : the view is of exceeding beauty, noticed on its north side in the curious 'Minstrel's southwards down the valley of the Exe, where Gallery,' which projects from the clerestory, and is
“ Amidst luxuriant scenes, with conscious pride, ornamented with well-executed figures of angels playing
Voluptuous Isca winds her silver tide," on musical instruments.
The choir is in itself the most complete and most to her confluence with the ocean, striking part of the interior. Its most singular feature In this north tower is the great bell, whose voice is the Bishop's Throne, a richly-carved oak structure, warns the citizens of the flight of time, It is one of a pyramid of open tracery, rising to an elevation of the largest bells in the kingdom, being some four or 52 feet. Bishop Bothe placed it here, about 1470: it five hundred pounds heavier than the famous Great escaped the puritanic axe through having been taken Tom of Lincoln, and only inferior in weight and tongue to pieces and concealed before the surrender of the to Oxford Tom, The biographer of 'The Doctor,' says, city. The pulpit and the stalls are also of superior “There are, I believe, only two bells in England character. The screen which divides the nave and which are known by their Christian names, and they choir, itself of graceful design and workmanship, is are both called Tom. ... , Were I called upon to act as especially noteworthy for a series of very early and sponsor upon such an occasion, I would name my bell rude paintings on the panels. They represent a com
- Peter Bell, in honour of Mr. Wordsworth.” Southey plete cycle of scriptural subjects, from the Creation to was mistaken as to there being only two such bells ; the Descent of the Holy Spirit. As pictures they are our bell has a christian name, and, curious enough, it of no value ; but they are curious as specimens of the is Peter Bell. Of course it was not so named in state of the art in England at the time they were
honour of Mr. Wordsworth: it received its appellation painted.
in honour of a certain bishop who died centuries before The chapels are numerous, and some of them very the waggoner was dreamed of. In the south tower is beautiful: the open screens which separate them from the heaviest peal of bells in the kingdom. the body of the cathedral are in several instances of The Chapter House of a cathedral is generally worth exquisite beauty and delicacy. These chapels mostly seeing. As the ordinary place of meeting for the contain monuments, which are in themselves of con- transaction of the business of the society, and also the siderable interest. Indeed the monuments in Exeter apartment in which the members of the monastery Cathedral are much above the ordinary rank; and they daily assembled to hear a chapter of the order read are of all times, from the thirteenth century down to (whence its name), it was usually made an important the present. We can only mention two or three. One feature in the general design. The Chapter House of of noticeable character represents Bishop Stapledon, Exeter Cathedral is not so fine as some others, and it who erected the choir in which his tomb is placed : is oblong instead of being polygonal as is usually the opposite to it is another, of a knight in armour, believed case; but it is a very handsome structure. It is of to be Sir Richard Stapledon, the brother of the bishop; later date than the cathedral, having been erected about they were both executed in Cheapside, by the populace, the middle of the fifteenth century: the windows are in 1356. In the chapel of St. Mary Magdalene-the good of their kind; the roof is of oak in richly ornavery beautiful screen of which deserves especial notice mented panels. It is now fitted up as a library. The is a splendid monument of Bishop Stafford, who died Bishop's Palace, close by, is not a very remarkable in 1419. In the beautiful Gabriel Chapel, which was building, but from the very pleasant gardens parts of built by Bishop Brownscombe, who died in 1280, may the cathedral are seen in picturesque combinations and be seen the very elegant tomb of its founder; and also to considerable advantage. During the Commonwealth two monuments by the greatest of recent English the Bishop's Palace was let to a sugar-refiner; vestiges sculptors. One, a mural monument with several of whose pans and troughs were remaining when the figures, in memory of General Simcoe (who died in palace was repaired in 1821. The cathedral cloisters 1806), is by Flaxman, but it is not a favourable speci. were entirely destroyed during the Commonwealth. men of his ability: there is little of poetic character in There are nineteen churches in Exeter: before the the design, and no refinement of form or execution. Commonwealth there were, it is said, thirty-two. The other is Chantrey's statue of Northcote. The old Fuller, writing immediately after the Restoration, says,
"As for parish churches in this city, at my return a portion of their communion plate. This canal, which thither this year, I found them fewer than I left them at first extended only to Countess' Weir, two miles at my departure thence fifteen years ago. But the from Exeter, was afterwards deepened and considerably demolishers of them can give the clearest account how improved; but it only permitted the ascent of small the plucking down of churches conduceth to the setting vessels till 1827, when it was entirely reformed and up of religion. Besides, I understand that thirteen carried some miles lower ; an extensive wet-dock was churches were exposed to sale by the public crier, and at the same time constructed at its termination near bought by well-affected persons, who preserved them the city. By means of these improvements, which cost from destruction." None of the existing churches will about £125,000, vessels of 400 tons burden can reach stay the feet of the stranger. The older churches are the city dock. The city does not appear to have suffered for the most part small, mean, and uninteresting ; the permanently from the loss of its woollen trade, New modern ones are of almost invariable mediocrity, St. houses have been built on every side, and plenty are Sidwells (of unenviable fame), and Allhallows are the now building. In some of the pleasanter spots in the most noticeable of the recent churches. Of the old suburbs, villages, of the class of residences that builders ones, that of St. Mary Major, in the cathedral yard, has now-a-days call 'villas,' have sprung up, much as some details that will interest the archæologist; and such villa' villages have risen round London. that of St. Mary Arches contains some ancient monu- Mount Radford has a showy and we hope flourishing ments.
crop of this kind : and it is as pleasant a place for Nor is Exeter more fortunate in its other public such a purpose as any we know in the vicinity of any buildings than in its churches. The Guildhall (whose great town. The streets of the city, too, display a hoary-looking portico is so prominent a feature in the goodly number of handsomely fitted, and well stored High Street) is the only one that is not modern. The shops; and a busy crowd daily throngs the thoroughhall itself is rather a fine room; it is tolerably spacious; fares. The facilities afforded by the matchless railway the walls are covered with carved oak, and it has a have no doubt contributed greatly to stimulate the very good open timber roof. On the walls are several
On the walls are several activity of the citizens. portraits, chiefly of corporate dignitaries; but there are We must not quit Exeter without referring to its also portraits of the Princess Henrietta, and of General walks, on which the inhabitants very justly pride them. Monk, by Sir Peter Lely; of George II., and Lord selves. The chief of these is the Northernhay, "the Camden. The modern buildings are numerous, as may admiration of every stranger, and the pride, the orna. be supposed, in a cathedral city which, with it suburbs, ment, and the boast of Exeter." It lies along the at the last census contained upwards of 36,000 inhabi- summit of an elevated spot of ground on the north tants, and is the centre of a populous and flourishing of the city, close by the castle wall. The grounds are district; but none of these buildings are of any neatly laid out and planted with shrubs, and the walks, general interest, and none of them can be said to add which are well disposed, are shaded by noble old elms, much to the beauty of the city. A list of them will and afford some pleasant prospects. From Friar's be found in the guide-books which will serve to direct Walk and the parade in front of Collumpton Terrace, the visitor who is curious in such matters to those that on the south side of the city, some capital views may be are in their several ways of most interest: here a mere had of the city and country beyond. On the outside of enumeration of them would be useless and tiresome, the city very charming strolls may be taken in almost
Exeter formerly carried on a very large manufacture any direction. Pennsylvania Hill affords extensive of woollens : at one time, according to Defoe, it was and noble prospects; perhaps the city and surrounding "' so exceeding great, all the women inhabitants may country are seen to most advantage from it. The footbe supposed to be thoroughly employed in spinning paths along the meadows by the Exe also yield a most yarn for it." The manufacture was very great even pleasant ramble. The Exe is here a broad stream, and when Fuller wrate, for he observes, " Clothing is plied the scenery along it, though not very striking, is very in this city with great industry and judgment. It is pleasing: while the weirs that here and there are met hardly to be believed what credible persons attest for with add occasional vivacity to its quiet beauty. Old truth, that the return for serges alone in this city Abbey, on the east bank of the Exe, about a mile amounteth weekly (even now, when trading, though below the city, is the site of a priory of Cluniac not dead, is sick) to three thousand pounds, not to monks. Hardly a vestige of the building remains : ascend to a higher proportion." In 1765 the annual but the stranger will not regret the stroll down to value of the exports of woollens from Exeter was it, as it stands on a very pretty part of the river. A estimated at above a million. Towards the close of good footpath alongside the canal forms a favourite the century the manufacture began to decay; and it is walk of the citizens in the summer season,--especially now quite insignificant. There is, however, a consider- of such as “ go a-junketing" to the neighbouring villages. able commerce; the import and export trade being There are some very agreeable walks, too, by Cowick both actively pursued. The ship canal, by means of and Idle, and along the heights in that direction : it which this trade is carried on, was one of the earliest was from one of these spots that the sketch for our constructed in this kingdom. It was first formed in steel engraving was made. 1544; the several parishes contributing towards its cost Had we time, it might be worth while to lead the
reader to some of the villages around Exeter: several | dwelling indulge their taste in erecting. These two of them are worth wandering to. The pretty village of hills, Salcombe and Peak, continue their range of proHeavitree, about a mile east of Exeter, was the birth- tection to the town, one on the east and the other on place of “Judicious Hooker.” Alphington, on the the west, till Harpford and Beacon hills, on the one south, has a fine church in a picturesque situation, and side, and Penhill on the other, take up its defence on is moreover a noticeable place in itself. But e must the north-west and north. Sidmouth by these hills is proceed on our main journey. We have named a few sheltered from every quarter, except the south, which things, the remainder must go unnamed :
is open to the sea, and may be considered as completely
protected from all cold winds; for those from the south “ These are the chief; to number o'er the rest, And stand, like Adam, naming every beast,
are seldom or never cold or piercing in Devonshire. Were weary work;"
Snow,' says Dr. Mogridge, in his descriptive sketch
of this place is seldom witnessed ; and in very severe as sweetly singeth Master John Dryden in his 'Hind
seasons, when the surrounding hills are deeply covered, and Panther. We will on.
not a vestige-not a flake will remain in this warm and
The little town lying thus snugly embayed, with the
lofty hills rising behind and on either side of it, looks, Secure the box-seat of the Sidmouth stage, and you from the beach, as pretty and pleasant a dwelling-place will have a right pleasant afternoon trot over the bills as the visitor can desire for a short month or two. We to Sidmouth. There is a delightful alternation of
can very well imagine that it had a more picturesque, scenery along the road, and you travel at a pace that though a ruder appearance, when none of the smart allows
at some such magnificent houses that front the sea and are scattered about the views as you will not wish to hurry away from. You hill sides, had been erected ; and instead of the regular will also pass through three or four pretty and very line of the long sea-wall, there was a rugged bank of countrified little villages. And “though last not least" sand and shingle, and the place itself was only known in our esteem, the delightful sea breezes that you will
as “one of the specialest fisher towns of the shire." meet in riding over the hills will so refresh and invi- When the fashion began to prevail of resorting annually gorate the inner man, that you will arrive at the to the sea-side, Sidmouth was one of the earliest places journey's end in primest order to do most excellent to perceive the advantage of preparing a comfortable justice to the good fare of mine host of the ‘York,' the resting-place for these birds of passage. The little * Marine,' or the ‘ London'-or wherever else you may town has, with transient fluctuations, gone on in a choose to stay at. This is a main charm of stage-coach steady course of prosperity, and is now a very complete travelling : it is a grand thing (as they would say in place for its size. It hås good houses of different the north) to be able to do the 194 miles between grades; good inns, baths, libraries ; subscription, bilLondon and Exeter in four hours and a half; and no liard, and assembly-rooms ; very respectable shops ; one who has travelled by that best of all express-trains and the streets are well-paved, and lighted with gas. was ever heard to complain of the journey. But for the sea-wall, erected at a heavy cost a few years back, real enjoyment, this two hours' ride over the fifteen forms an excellent and very pleasant promenade. Inmiles of hilly road, by the good old stage, is worth a deed, all the recent alterations and improvements in dozen of it--that is, of course, supposing there be fair the town have been made with a view to increase the weather to enjoy it in.
comfort and enjoyment of the visitors : and it would The situation of Sidmouth is very well described in seem with success. Sidmouth has a late summer • The Route-book of Devon,' in a passage we quote season ; and perhaps this is its best season, as it is for the sake of recommending the book to all who undeniably its pleasantest. But it is also a good deal travel in that county : the notices generally are brief, resorted to in the winter; and it is one of the most clear, and accurate, -qualities most valuable in such a agreeable little winter watering-places along this coast. work:
The town is well-sheltered, the site cheerful, the air “The beach of Sidmouth is situated nearly in the balmy and genial, and there are most enjoyable walks, centre of one of those hollows or curves, of which there both for the robust and the invalid; while, as we have are many formed within the vast bay of Devon and seen, provision has been made for home and in-door Dorset, extending from the Isle of Portland, on the delectation : a very necessary provision, certainly, in east, to Start Point, on the west. At each end of the this moist climate, curve, east and west, rise two immense hills, about The buildings in Sidmouth are not of any architec500 feet high, running north and south, forming a deep tural importance or interest. The old church is but valley between. Along the bottom of this valley lies of very ordinary description; and for the new one the town, with a considerable part of its front presented there is not much more to be said. Several of the towards the sea. On the slopes, or sides of the valley, private houses are rather pretty; and one of them, a extending a mile or two inland, are the suburbs, studded large thatched cottage-ornée, “a cottage of gentility," with villas, cottages ornées, and every description of is one of the chief lions of Sidmouth. Attached to it marine residence, with which builders of this kind of are extensive and well-filled conservatories, an aviary,