Friday, 22 May 2009

A Walk around Gloucester - Part 2

If you double-click on this, you will hopefully be able to read about John Hooper, who died nearby. That's his memorial above.

This is the blue plaque you can see on the wall below (WANT that house!)

T'other side of same beautiful house.

How glorious this must have looked when the statues were painted, as in Medieval times. The money from the film company who filmed the Harry Potter films here has paid for the cathedral walls to be blast-cleaned and some external restoration work carried out on well-weathered buttresses (see photo below).

Above, wonderful memorial to Sarah Morley and her husband James, though if you enlarge it sadly, it tells of her giving birth on board ship and both her and the baby dieing on transit to foreign parts . . . Hence her holding a baby to her breast.

Above is the ornate and skillfully crafted monument (of marble and alabaster) which commemorates Thomas Machen (d.1614) and his wife Christian, who survived him by just a year. They had seven sons and six daughters, some of whom are depicted beneath their kneeling figures. There appear to be two boys short, so perhaps they died in infancy - there are two little girls at the back of the four larger ones, but the handrail partly hides them from view).

Above and below, part of the display of superb early English silver plate from Cotswold churches.

Considering the bad press that attended Edward II during his lifetime, it surprised me greatly to read of his being depicted on his tomb as a "saintly figure with angels at his head". In my first year at University, I took a course about Paleography and deciphering old documents, and one of the facsimile documents we were given to decipher referred to Edward II and the gift of land to his favourite, Hugh Despenser) I believe it is widely thought that Edward II was at the very lease, bisexual and was, as my ex-husband would have crudely put it - "as queer as a lemonade sandwich"! His sexual preferences apart, he was a weak and deeply unpopular king, and following the conclusive defeat of the English at the hands of the Scots at Bannockburn, wandered into a downward spiral which culminated in his imprisonment in Berkeley Castle (near Slimbridge in Gloucestershire), and his murder by means of a red hot poker (which is what they tell you at the castle), although according to the official booklet about the Cathedral, he was suffocated. However, no money was spared on his tomb, below.

Below, two beautiful pieces of stained glass which were, I believe, in the Lady Chapel, which has a very peaceful atmostphere and strangely, made my ears ring (Judy's too).


Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful; thankyou - I shall visit this post again and again.

nancy said...

A wonderful trip, Jennie. I wonder why your ears rang???