Canterbury Cathedral. And a surprise visit.

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Thank goodness Deana and Dave have a dog. Meet Gracie. She’s an 8-month-old Golden and she allowed me to cuddle a warm doggie body and stop missing Poppy and Jeff. They also have one of the friendliest cats I’ve ever met but I didn’t get to take a picture of Smudge.

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So my last full day at Deana’s was spent on the road again, as we zipped off to Canterbury to see the cathedral where Thomas A’Beckett was murdered. Canterbury is a very pretty little town. We parked a little way away from the Cathedral and so we were able to see all sorts of lovely little buildings as we walked along.

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This was behind a big wooden door.

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Can you see how old this pub is? (The History!!!)

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For some reason Canterbury only stops you taking photos in a couple of areas, so most of it is fair game. This is the view when you first enter. This isn’t the main part, just the bit at the side. Impressive, though.

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Here I am about to go through the door into the cloisters.

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Say what you like, these old Brits really knew how to decorate a ceiling. Everywhere you go in these old churches, cathedrals and houses, they’re making you want to look up.

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This is a little blurry, I’m sorry, but this is the tomb of the Black Prince, with the replicas of his burial dress above the tomb. The originals were taken down after hanging there for centuries and were placed in a glass case.

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So many things in the churches were destroyed by either the reformation or the puritans, but no-one disturbed the Black Prince’s grave, as he was such a hero and a fighter.

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Here’s his face.

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And here’s his feet. I’m loving his shoes.

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This little dog was at the foot of somebody else. I didn’t care about the guy, just his dog.

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Grafitti, back in the day.

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Outside there was a section that had a lot of these sad little markers.

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I honestly only took these photos because I couldn’t take photos of the tombs of Elizabeth I, Mary I, Mary Queen of Scots etc. Even though it;s annoying that Westminster Abbey is done on photos, I still love it the best. The History!!! So many more famous people are buried there.

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Anyway, there’s one famous person buried in Canterbury somewhere…. after Henry VIII ordered his shrine be dismantled his bones were placed in an unmarked grave. But they knew where he was killed… this stone marks the spot.

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Just above the stone is this sculpture, marking the swords that killed him, including the one that sliced off the top of his hed and got broken by hitting the stones of the floor with such force. It would have been a horrific scene to witness.

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So this is how the cathedral gets around the awkward situation of not having their saint’s grave to look at. It’s very poignant and effective.

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Did you see the date????? Here’s one of the columns:

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How can anything be this old and still be hanging around? Amazing.

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After we left we had a coffee at the pub just around the corner and then I went slightly mad in this shop:

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Apparently there’s a couple of Canterbury Quilts coming up in my life.

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On the way back to the car we saw this disturbing thing in the window. Be careful after dark in Canterbury!!IMG_1190

On the way home Deana asked if I’d like to pop into a reception place just around the corner from her which used to be a baronial hall placed at a strategic distance from London, where the kings, including Henry VIII, used to stop over when they were on their way out of London heading into Kent. Of course I said yes!

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All original features from 1509/1512… can’t remember which one now. We were just expecting to sit in the lounge and have a drink, admiring the Tudor oak panelling and the original fireplace, but when the manager heard my accent when I asked if there was anything over 200 years old in the house, she gave us a guided tour. It was fantastic.  This was once the Great Hall.

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The back of the house. We went up some stairs here to view one of the original Tudor bedrooms that you can stay in.

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Here’s how low that beam is:

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I’m only 5’2″, so it didn’t allow much wriggle room for anyone taller. I’m wearing the summer jumper (what a strange concept for an Assie) that Deana lent me. The weather was a little grey and nippy, so it was much appreciated.

(I realised that I accidentally packed it, so I’ll send it back to you when I’m back home. Sorry, Deana.)

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They gave me a book about the place, so here I am in the arbour, thoughtfully reading it.

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The fireplace where kings and courtiers would’ve warmed their bums from. This is just in a little street in a little town. The riches that the English have is just amazing.

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Cheers!

 

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5 Responses to Canterbury Cathedral. And a surprise visit.

  1. Snoskred says:

    Since we have now found 3x funnelwebs – two in the shed sink and one actually *in* the mancave which is right next to the garden, I am thinking that an outfit like the Black Prince is wearing might be my future choice for gardening. 🙂

    With those pointy toed shoes, I think I could dead them quite easily, and they won’t be able to climb on me, just like they couldn’t climb out of the sink. 🙂 On the negative side, it might be a little heavy and difficult to kneel in.

    Looks like another fabulous day! 😉

  2. Sandi says:

    This is such a fascinating post, but for kind of creepy reasons. See, I’m a descendant of William de Tracy, one of the four knights who assassinated Becket. On a more positive note, I’m also a descendant of Ethelred the Unready, the second name on the plaque in your next post.

  3. I imagine we’re all descendants of someone famousish if you go back far enough. They tended to have lots of children, not all legitimate. If my elder daughter were also descended from E the Unready, this would explain a lot…

  4. Lucinda Sans says:

    The amount of history is kind blowing, isn’t it? And as the American said in the V&A just there! Out for you to touch, sit on, sleep in.

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