Exeter’s quire opens in time for Holy Week and Easter

21st March 2024

Exeter Cathedral has just announced its medieval Quire is to reopen in time for Holy Week and Easter following major conservation and improvement works.

Exeter Cathedral’s medieval centrepiece to reopen in time for Easter

The Quire houses some of the cathedral’s most significant and historic architectural features, including 13th-century misericords and an 18-metre-tall wooden bishop’s throne dating from the early 14th century.

It is expected to fully open on Monday (25 March).

Funded by The Exeter Cathedral 2020’s Development Appeal, work in the Quire began last year and include preparations for a more efficient underfloor heating system, while also helping to reduce the cathedral’s carbon footprint.

 A new floor tile design, named the ‘Jubilee Pavement’, has also been installed and is based on the work of 19th century architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, the designer of four elaborate tiled floors in the high altar section of the Quire.

Exeter's quire opens in time for Holy Week and Easter

Photo credit – Exeter Cathedral

The works are supported by Valencia Communities Fund via the Landfill Communities Fund, a voluntary scheme operated by environmental bodies to provide funding for community, heritage and biodiversity projects.

Alison Salvador, General Manager at Valencia Communities Fund said:

“We are pleased to support the cathedral’s impressive works and we all take a great deal of pride in the part we can play in the restoration of this truly iconic building. 

“We look forward to seeing the finished works and the Quire being used, in comfort, by the community and visitors alike. It is indeed a true legacy project.”

The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, said:

“The new floor in the Quire is looking fabulous – well worth the wait! I am so pleased we were able to track down these beautiful Devon marbles to lead us from the Golden Gates to the High Altar. They will, we hope, be here for generations to come. 

“I am also delighted to know there is new heating installed under the floor, even if more work is needed before we can benefit from this. 

“Huge thanks to all those who have helped fund this project, and to the outstanding craftspeople who have worked upon it.”

Further improvements to the cathedral currently underway include improved accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities, a more sustainable heating zoning system, and new visitor interpretation designed to engage a wider audience in the story of the cathedral.

Work is also continuing on the construction of a new Cloister Gallery, which is being built on the foundations of the cathedral’s original medieval cloisters. Once completed later this year, the Cloister Gallery will recreate a covered walkway to connect the cathedral with its 13th century Chapter House and Pearson Building.

The Exeter Cathedral 2020s Development Appeal aims to raise £10 million, and has already received £6.2 million, including a grant of nearly £300,000 from Valencia Communities Fund and a £4.3 million grant received last year from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

As well as improvements and conservation work, the funds will be used to support a calendar of community activities and events, designed to engage a wider range of people with their local heritage.

Photo credit – Ella Foster / Exeter Cathedral