Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A walk around Gloucester . . . this had better be Part 1!

Before going to Badminton Horse Trials - I am going back in time as you see! - about 10 days ago now, my friend Judy and I went to Gloucester, visiting the Cathedral first of all. I have only driven through Gloucester in the past, and Judy had told me many times about the beautiful calming atmosphere of the Lady Chapel, so I wanted to experience it for myself. I knew they had filmed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and also Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets there, and some of you may recognize the Cloister below (with its stunning ceilings) which Harry Potter and chums ran along in the films. There is apparently a Harry Potter trail and you will walk along these cloisters if you take it. The following link will tell you all about it and also gives a link to see 360 degree views of the interior of the cathedral (which will put my photos in the shade!) - http://www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire/focus/2003/08/potter_more_info.shtml

Prior to the Reformation of Henry VIII, Gloucester was a former Benedictine monastery dedicated to St Peter - from 1089 until 1540 when Henry VIII decided it would become a Cathedral . . . The remains of the earliest Anglo-Saxon monastery still stand and we passed them on our way from Tesco's car park to the Cathedral. The proximity of the Cathedral can be seen in the photograph below.

Once the Normans arrived, William the Conqueror installed Serlo, a monk from Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy as the Abbot. This was in 1072, and Serlo's appointment was good news for the Abbey, increasing the number of monks and indeed, the income from the considerable estates. The foundation stone of Serlo's new abbey was laid in 1089 and the abbey consecrated in July 1100.

This triptych of modern stained glass by Tom Denny portrays the New Testament story of Thomas in the presence of the risen Christ. It was made as part of the 900th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the Cathedral in 1089.

If you double click on these you will get more detail, including trees, sheep and cows in the above photograph.

Above is Thomas with Christ and below are portrayed the elements - earth, wind, water and fire.

This Elizabethan lady died in childbed, aged only 18. That's all I can recall about her as the photograph I took of her details got the wobbles and was illegible when I downloaded it.

The hook-nosed Robert's effigy is made of bog oak and dates from the thirteenth century, but the tomb chest dates from the fifteenth century.

The fan vaulting of the Great Cloister is world-famous. Here the monks would have lived, worked and meditated. Work began here in the 2nd half of the fourteenth century and was finished by Abbot Froucester in 1412. That's just rung a bell with me as outside Gloucester on the edge of the Cotswolds is Frocester Hill and if I remember correctly, there is a vast monastic tythe barn at the bottom of it and a gatehouse which I have a photo of somewhere . . .

I think this is on the Harry Potter trail!

Due to the vagaries of my useless broadband, this has taken all day to write/load photos on, so I shall post it now whilst I am connected . . .


Greentwinsmummy said...

That arched ceiling is incredible BB,what on earth are those things in the last photo? birds in costumes? lol shed some light for me lol!

The tomb of the young girl is ghastly :o( very poignant with the babe laid there by her for all eternity,her parents/husband must have been very wealthy to afford such a memorial,I always wonder what such folks would have thought of us seeing their memorials now,centuries ahead into the future,yet still able to feel the pain & sadness of them
GTM x x x

Kate said...

Glad you are connected (at least for now), and thank you for sharing your travels and photos with us - I did Medieval History at university and very much enjoyed your post.

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

I loved your pictures. Thank you for those. I was once married to a man from Gloucester (sounds like the beginning of a childs rhyme, haha!) and stayed there several times and almost lived there. I remember the catherdral, it was beautiful! It's nice to see it again after all of these years :)

Goosey said...

Those wondows are amazing, I love the blue colours in them. I had a job to see the trees and sheep in the first one though. The young girls tomb is sad, and only 18 too.

Wild Somerset Child said...

It's lovely to read other people' comments on somewhere you have visited, and see what parts they love of a place. I so admire the fan vaulting. When we visited last year, there was a class of art students drawing everything in sight. It was good to see their 'take' on something so historic.

Tea with Willow said...

Gosh, the stained glass is just breathtaking - as is the vaulted ceiling! This country really does have some treasures, doesn't it (pity so many folks never bother to go and see them, prefering Costa del Wherever instead!)

Willow x

nancy said...

What a fantastic trip. There are two photos here which I might use. I'll let you know if I do.