History & Heritage

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Exeter Cathedral School
The Chantry, Palace Gate
Exeter, EX1 1HX

[email protected]
+44 (01392) 255 298

Exeter Cathedral School is Exeter’s oldest school, with the earliest written reference dating back to 1179.



The earliest written reference to the School is 1179, when we were founded as ‘The Chorister School, Exeter’; a school which housed and educated the 26 or so boys who would sing the daily sung services at the Cathedral. Christian worship, the gentle majesty of the Cathedral, and the centuries-old pattern of Sung Eucharist and Choral Evensong is therefore at the very heart of the School’s foundations, and to this day our pupils experience a culturally-rich and historically-significant musical education, and are blessed with the deeply-entrenched spiritual, pastoral and practical relationship that exists between Cathedral, School and the wider community.


In the 1960s, the Dean and Chapter began offering non-Chorister places at the School.  Over the course of the next 30 years the School grew in numbers and in reputation and, in 1994, co-inciding with the establishing of a fully-fledged Girls’ Choir in the Cathedral (we were the second Cathedral in the country to welcome Girl Choristers), the School became fully co-educational.


Now a thriving Prep School of some 220 girls and boys (and, since 2014, legally and financially separate from our friends and neighbours at Exeter Cathedral), Exeter Cathedral School offers a broad and balanced education which has its roots in Christian values; an appreciation of the spiritual; a tolerance and acceptance of others; an unwavering sense of gentleness, kindness and compassion; and the firm commitment to nurturing the development of each child as an individual within a supportive, loving, considerate and gently-Christian community.


Notable Alumni

Exeter Cathedral School is unrivalled for its history and heritage, and we are proud that the legacy of our school continues to make waves on the world stage through the influence of some of our most notable recent alumni:

  • Chris Martin, Coldplay;
  • David Webb, English National Opera;
  • Andrew Nethsingha, St John’s College, Cambridge;
  • Giles White, Hampshire County Cricket Club Manager. 

We take pride in continuing that legacy today, and in helping our current pupils become the notable alumni of the future.

Interested in enrolling at Exeter Cathedral School?

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the admissions process, or simply about life at Exeter Cathedral School in general.

To find out more, please contact our friendly admissions team using the button below:
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