The Cathedral of St Peter, mostly known by its shorter name 'Exeter Cathedral', originally dates back to the year 1050, when the Bishop of Crediton (a town in Devon) and the Bishop of St Germans (Cornwall) moved to Exeter, due to fear of sea-raids. The Gothic style of the cathedral that we see today is thanks to Bishop Bronscon, who started rebuilding the cathedral in 1290. However, work was completed until five bishops later in 1327, when Nishop Grandisson took over.
In 1283, just before the rebuilding work started, the cathedral was the centre of a grisly incident - the murder of Precentor Lechlade. The Precentors murder was the result of a feud between the Bishop and the Dean of the time (Peter Quinil and John Pycot respectively), over Pycots suitability as Dean. Lechlade had been walking down Palace Gate in the early hours of the morning, when he was set upon by a group of attackers out of the shadows. Bishop Quinil described the brutal attack, saying the assailants dragged Lechlade 'here and thither in the mire until at dawn their horrible outrage was seen by many - his canonical robe soiled with blood and his brains issuing from two ghastly wounds.'
The Cathedral was severely damaged during the Exeter air raids on May 4th 1942, when the chapel of St James was directly hit by a high-explosive bomb, completely destroying it. A medieval wooden screen, three aisle bays and two flying buttresses were also destroyed. Thankfully, the cathedrals most prized treasures had previously been removed in anticipation and preparation of the attack. These included the cathedrals ancient glass, the bishop's throne, the ancient charters of King Athelstan and King Edward, an antique clock circa 1376 and the Exeter Book (a tenth century book of Anglo-Saxon poetry), among others.
Repair carried out after these bombings revealed much earlier structures, including a Roman town! Exeter Cathedral boasts the longest, unbroken stretch of Gothic stone vaulting in the world, and is open to visitors for and entrance fee of £6 for adults £4 for students/seniors.