Vaulting

The 14th century stone vault which forms the nave and quire ceiling is one of the glories of Exeter Cathedral. It is the longest continuous medieval stone vault in the world. As there is no central tower, the vault can run all the way from the west wall of the nave to the Great East Window at the far end of the quire, a distance of approximately 96m (315ft).

The radiating ribs look like an avenue of arching palm branches. This style of vaulting is known as ‘tierceron’.

Round bosses which act as keystones lock the ribs of the vault in place. Great corbels support the lower ends of the graceful arches. The bosses and corbels of Exeter Cathedral form one of the most important collections of medieval stone carvings in the country.

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