Great East Window

Above the pair of arches behind the high altar soars a splendid display of stained glass, the Great East Window. Much of this glass, including the nineteen figures, is medieval.

Nine of the figures date from 1304. Three of them are located at the top of the window. They still have their original faces and, from the lettering on their scrolls, are identified as Abraham, Moses and Isaiah. The six outer figures of the bottom row are also from 1304, but the faces of these saints are not original.

By 1390, the stonework of the original window had become unsafe. A new window was constructed in the perpendicular style and the tracery of this window remains today. Original glass was included with new glass when the new window was glazed in 1391.

The window also contains many coats of arms of bishops, royalty and prominent families, some of which date from 1391.

The medieval glass from this window was among the precious items removed from the Cathedral and stored safely during World War II. Almost all of the glass which remained in the Cathedral was damaged beyond repair during the bombing of Exeter in 1942.

Gallery Images: Diane and Malcolm Walker

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