School Visits

Exeter Cathedral is one of the oldest and most beautiful Cathedrals in England. Located in the centre of the city, there has been a Cathedral on the present site for nearly one thousand years.

The imposing towers of today’s Cathedral date from the early 12th century. They form the majority of what remains of the Norman Cathedral which was replaced from 1270 -1340 by the beautiful Gothic building we see today with its famous West Front and elegant Nave. It is a rich resource of art, craft, symbolism and architectural detail. The Cathedral is, as it always has been, the jewel in the heritage crown of the county of Devon, as well as the seat of the Bishop and the Mother Church of the Diocese.

We can offer you a range of tours, workshops, trails or quiz booklets for your visit. We also plan debates and special services too. The Education Department is keen to make the day fit your curriculum requirements, so ask us about making the sessions bespoke to your needs. Examples of our themed tours include; art in the cathedral, pilgrimage, roof or tower tours.

Keep reading (below) to find out about our new tours (introduced in September 2021) or, to learn more about our other tours, why not download our brochure:

Scroll to the bottom of the page for a booking link. 


Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing Tour

Let our guides walk your class through a stimulating but tranquil journey around this amazing building and its spaces with plenty of historical facts thrown in for good measure.

In this visit we are looking at simple guidance on how to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing. Having good mental health helps us to work productively and fruitfully, it promotes good relationships and supports us to make a good contribution to our community / school / friendship group etc.

The tour focus will demonstrate that using this building, experiencing its stories, chapels and its decorations, has the potential to uplift and promote good mood and a sense of comfort. We will offer a few exercises to help in practice, noting the feelings of contentment that benefit us and how we can bring them forward with a few exercises.

We aim to centre on the senses: the power of sound and singing, focussing the mind on movement and touch with the use of finger labyrinths, enjoying the smell of incense and trying hypnotic candle watching. We will also introduce positive affirmation fortune tellers to support the session.

Links: History, RE, Relationships, Health and Sex and Relationships Education, or RSHE.

Suitable for: KS2, KS3

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student


Local History Tour

Let our guides take you on a historical journey spanning years of history, helping your students to understand how the Cathedral played its part for people, the community and the wider world in years gone by. We’ll bring this story of local history back to the relevance in our lives today, be that historically, religiously, economically, culturally or artistically.

This includes a study of an aspect or site in local history dating from a period before 1066, including Romans, the Anglo Saxons or the Vikings, Renaissance and Reformation and more modern day alterations.

Links: History, RE, Geography – we are happy to make sure your relevant theme requirements are covered, just let us know what they are.

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student


The Exeter Book and the Anglo Saxons

The Exeter Book is a unique anthology of Anglo Saxon poetry written around 970AD. The oldest of only four books of Anglo Saxon poetry which survive anywhere in the world, it gives a fascinating insight into the literary culture of Anglo Saxon England.

It contains over 100 poems of different types from long sombre elegies to short humorous riddles. It explores diverse themes including the life of Christ, feelings about the soul, migration, loss, the sea and the natural world, it even has hidden drawings doodled in the margins!

For a broader look at Anglo Saxon life and culture, there are also Anglo Saxon coins and charters to be discovered in the Archives. Through facsimiles and creative workshops to link with the sessions themes, come and explore Anglo Saxon culture!

Links: History, RE, Geography, PSHE, Phycology, Sociology, Science – we are happy to make sure your relevant theme requirements are covered, just let us know what they are.

Suitable for: KS KS3, KS4

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student.


Domesday and the Normans

The Exon Domesday is the oldest surviving draft of the famous Domesday Survey commissioned by William I (William the Conqueror) in 1085.

It is a survey of the taxable values of the land in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire in 1066 and 1086 and it provides invaluable information not just about the people and land use at the time, but also about social structures in England in the years after the Norman Conquest.

Who was Baldwin the Sheriff? How much land did Queen Matilda own? How many people did it take to complete the Domesday Survey? How many wild mares were there on Dartmoor, or pigs in Glastonbury?
All these questions and more can be explored.

On your visit to the Cathedral you will also see what remains of the Norman Cathedral, find out about how Exeter’s first bishop survived the Norman Conquest and have a chance to explore parts of the Exon Domesday, with an activity to compliment the session.

Links: History, RE, Geography, PSHE, Phycology, Sociology, Science – we are happy to make sure your relevant theme requirements are covered, just let us know what they are.

Suitable for: KS2 KS3, KS4

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student


Historical Science and Medicine (Pic-Heister System of Surgery)

Exeter Cathedral Library contains nearly 3,000 historical medical and scientific books from medieval medical miscellanies containing charms and recipes, through to Victorian anatomical atlases, via herbals, chemistry, natural philosophy and astronomy.

Explore with us some of the key figures in the history of science and medicine with the Library’s copies of books by Galen, Andreas Vesalius, Thomas Sydenham, William Harvey, Edward Jenner, Robert Boyle, Elizabeth Blackwell and more…

Links: History, RE, Geography, PSHE, Phycology, Sociology, Science. We are happy to make sure your relevant theme requirements are covered, just let us know what they are.

Suitable for: KS KS3, KS4

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student


The Exeter Book and the Anglo Saxons

Have you ever wondered what it took to build a medieval cathedral? Exeter Cathedral’s unique set of fabric account rolls contain detailed information about building, repairing and maintaining the Cathedral between the 13th and 16th centuries. They tell us where the wood, stone, metals and other materials came from, how much they cost, how long it took, and even the names of some of the craftspeople who carried out the work and their wages.

On your visit to the Cathedral you will find out about some of the characters who shaped the Cathedral, see how the written accounts document the construction of the Cathedral and learn more about medieval construction techniques. We have mini-models to demonstrate building methods too.

Links: History, RE, Geography, PSHE, Phycology, Sociology, Science – we are happy to make sure your relevant theme requirements are covered, just let us know what they are.

Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4

Duration: Flexible but typically 60 minutes

Cost: £2.50 per student


To make a booking please download and complete the form below and then email it to: [email protected]

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