Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Refilling the well (part 2)

Current work: Capri medical romance
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: Anita Brookner, Strangers

Refilling the well, for me, involves... um... history. And particularly churches. So apologies in advance, because this is going to be one of my nerdy posts. (I needed a dose of nerdiness. I'm at THAT stage of the book.)

I admit that I’m horribly biased towards my home city's cathedral. I’ve visited other cathedrals (including York and Canterbury) and this one is still my favourite. And here are some of the reasons why:

The vaulting (you can’t see it properly in this pic, but there’s also some rather nice medieval painting here).
The bosses (this one’s from the cloisters, the Green Man).

The bosses (again - there are about 1,000 of them, telling the Biblical stories right from the creation – if you want to see more of them, there’s an excellent book called ‘Stories in Stone’ which has fabulous close-up pics. One of my faves is Noah's Ark).

The Norman architecture (this huge Norman pillar – son is about 5 ft 9, to give you some idea of scale – and its companion mark the position of the original altar).

The East Window (speaks for itself - and yes, it's Victorian).

The font (there can’t be many places that have a copper vat, formerly used by the city’s chocolate factory, as a font).

The memento mori (this one is Thomas Gooding, and the inscription says “All you that do this place pass bye/Remember death for you must dye/As you are now then so was I/And as I am so that you be/Thomas Gooding here do staye/Waiting for God’s judgement daye.” Allegedly, he was buried standing up. Could be true as the top of the skeleton's head is pretty near my height).

James Goldwell’s chantry chapel.

James Goldwell was the Bishop of Norwich in 1472 – having formerly been Henry VI’s secretary – and gave the cathedral its spire (the wooden one burned down in 1463 after being struck by lightning). He was also one of the first Englishmen known to have owned a printed book; and his chantry chapel is the only monument of its kind that survived the Reformation. According to Bishop Hall, the Puritan soldiers practised shooting muskets in the cathedral in 1643 – and one of the balls is still lodged in Goldwell’s tomb (look at the central gold decoration, slightly to the left, just below the horizonal gold line).

I’m also rather fond of the little dog at Goldwell’s feet. (OK, will shut up about medieval wooden effigies. Have dragged the family off to see enough of them. But this dog has character.)


Diane said...

I'm loving the pictures - thanks for sharing.

There will be a blog award waiting for you over on mine tomorrow (Wednesday). As if you need any distraction at the moment ... :o)

Caroline said...

Lovely photo's - they've refilled my well as well! Caroline x

Nell Dixon said...

Love Cathedral architecture

Kate Hardy said...

Diane - glad you're enjoying them. Thanks for the award - will do it next week - and you're so right about no distractions, as this is screaming deadline week! (hence screamer...)

Caroline - glad you liked them.

Nell - knew you'd like this :o)

Lacey Devlin said...

The east window is incredible! I can only imagine how incredible it must be in real life. Gorgeous photos!