Interactive History Timeline

St Michael’s Church and the buildings of Mount Dinham only date back to the 1860s. However, the history of this prominent site just outside the ancient settlement of Exeter Isca Dumnoniorum can be traced back in its archaeology to Roman times.

Likewise, the long and varied history of Christianity in the Near East and in these British Isles also goes back to provinces of the Roman Empire.

While Archbishop Usher’s date of 4004BC for Creation must give way to our knowledge of cosmology, palaeontology and evolution, it is clear that homo sapiens has always had religion and music at the heart of its communal life, as we do here today.

The story of the development of sacred and community music is certainly ancient, and its threads woven from many and varied origins create the beautiful tapestry we hear today at St Michael’s. In the next phase of development of this timeline, significant dates in the history of music will be added to augment the picture of the story of St Michael’s. Please contact us to suggest your favourite key moments in music history.

This timeline is a selective view of history through the lens of St Michael’s, with significant contributions from Professor Oliver Nicholson, Historian of the Late Classical Period and Tenor in the choir of St Michael’s.

“The lot has fallen unto me in a fair ground:
yea I have a goodly heritage”
Psalm. 16

  • 2015
  • Choir Tour to Wolfenbüttel

    The last weekend in July some members of St Michael’s Choir are visiting Wolfenbüttel and Braunschweig in Lower Saxony, Germany,…

    Choir Tour to Wolfenbüttel
  • Reinterment of King Richard III

    St Michael’s has a tangible musical connection with the events surrounding the finding of the mortal remains of King Richard…

    Reinterment of King Richard III

Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

One of the earliest Christian traditions, documented by Tertullian (200AD), gives 25th March 29AD as the date of Jesus' Crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. This was to satisfy an ancient belief that the holiest people were conceived (the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in perhaps 4BC) and died on the same calendar date; the date of Christmas, then derives from this.

A variety of recent research suggests that a date early in April in either 30AD or 33AD is historically more likely for our Lord's Passion. The date on which we now celebrate Easter is variable and linked, like the Jewish Passover, to the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox.

At this time Jesus also shared the Last Supper, the basis of the Mass or Holy Communion with his Apostles. This event was first recorded in the 50s AD in St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, around the time the Romans first came to Exeter.