Saturday 30 January 2016

The wonder of Worcester

The wonder that is Worcester 
Worcester Cathedral, The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin, loiters by the River Severn. It is only minutes from where we were staying with super-chums Chris and Liz.
We paid our customary visit.

George Gilbert Scott has been here too: Worcester was extensively restored from 1857 to 1874. The Victorians loved a clear view throughout a church; consequently 17th century screens and panelling were removed from Worcester’s Choir and organ casing in 1864 - moved up the road to Sutton Coalfield

The Norman work started earlier in 1089, what survives today as the largest Norman crypt in England. So tour guide Russell told me. The Norman work was completed by 1170.

King John was buried here 1216 and soon after rebuilding in the Early English style began, starting at the East end and moving west (Decorated).

The Black Death 1348 - 1350 put a break on things.

Work resumed (Perpendicular) in parts of the Nave.

And after Henry VIII had done his rampage, 250 or so years later the Victorians moved in.  Bless 'em 

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Christ Church Oxford: A cathedral in your pocket.

There was a lull in the weather, sunshine, so off to Oxford Christchurch, one of the cathedrals yet to visit. Christ Church Oxford: A cathedral in your pocket.

Oxford, the spiritual home of Le Carre and Charles Ryder, boasts one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals.

Romanesque aplenty thanks to the Augustinian monks who started work in 1150, to build a monastery church. Henry VIII founded Christ Church College and the church became a cathedral.

The Becket Window, c.1332, is the oldest in the cathedral with a rare panel showing the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. Much later Edward Burne-Jones contributed the St Frideswide window colourful glass telling the story of this local saint. Bringing us bang up to date is the Bell Alter by Jim Partridge (2000) dedicated to Bishop George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, who opposed the bombing of German cities in WWII.

Christ Church is unique as it serves as a cathedral and a college chapel.
Choir Stall end carving

Friday 22 January 2016

St Pauls Church Wooburn beefed up by Butterfield

St Pauls Wooburn in the late afternoon
Out walking with Rosie the puppy we see, against the pale afternoon light, the church of Saint Paul in familiar silhouette.

Though expansively transformed by Gothic Revivalist William Butterfield* in 1869, it is very old with a flint nave and a tall tower. Currently most of the church is shrouded in polythene as chaps are replacing the present roof and treating the infestation of Death Watch Beetle.The work started last October and should be completed in time for Eastertide services! Yay!

*Butterfield also designed All Saints, Margaret Street in London and built between 1850 and 1859. A ‘must-see’ church only minutes from John Lewis and the Apple Store in Regent Street.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

The Glory that is Guildford

Here, high on Stag Hill, is cathedral for the modern age. 

From the outside the building’s brick wrapping gives a noticeably industrial feel, perhaps a power station? Or a Lancashire mill? 
It looks over the Surrey landscape and the sweep of the A3.

Inside? Inside we have tall, pale and Ikea-like, paired down Gothic.
The nave stretches like a row of Poplar trees. Pale stone, height and balance and eye-watering simplicity makes this a very special cathedral. A foundation stone was laid in 1936. But work stopped with the outbreak of the WWII. 

And because of one thing and another not resumed until 1952. The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit was consecrated in 1961. Less than an hour from our house one is tempted to return for Holy Communion (BCP said) very soon.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Lobster Pots in Lochinver

Although not very busy on new year’s day Lochinver on the far north west coast is the second largest fishing port in Scotland and attracts a good many French and Spanish boats.

Few people about, every thing closed up.

We parked up for a while. The light was starting to fade for the day and a wind was blowing off the hills behind the village. 

An oystercatcher pipped a new year’s greeting.  

Lobster pots, faded blue clean and ready for deployment nestled together for warmth on the edge of the quayside.

Friday 15 January 2016

Richards Reels and other Treasures

A random collection of reels, nets, lines, rods (of course)  - stuff that was lying in cupboards has been transformed. 

Hotelier Richard Campbell taken all this lovely paraphernalia to create an exciting display of fly-fishing wonders.

Guests can enjoy this when the Scourie Hotel re-opens at the end of March-early April.

I managed to persuade Richard to open up one display case so I could make a drawing or two.

(By the way, one of the two reels in my drawing is by the way a fancy new salmon reel to which Richard treated himself to before Christmas!)