Worcester Cathedral OMG.

IMG_1380

 

I ws looking forward to coming here, as ever since I read Sharon Penman’s ‘Here Be Dragons’ series and ‘Falls the Shadow’, I’ve been fascinated with the de Montfort family and the last of the Welsh royal family. King John (of ‘Robin Hood’ fame when he was the prince) was Llewellyn the Great’s wife’s dad and I was eager to see his tomb.

We were driving near Evesham and I was racking my brains as to why this name was so familiar. Was it the last battle that Simon de Montfort had with the king? Was it where the family lived? Was it anything to do with them at all? Then we passed over a bridge: The Simon de Montfort bridge. I squeaked with excitement. My memory wasn’t so faulty after all.

IMG_1407

They had some poppy petals that you could place on an altar in memory of anyone who’d died in a war. I put one on for my great-grandfather, Sidney Glanville, who died in France in 1916.

IMG_1440

The cathedral has had churches built on it since 690 or something. Here is one of the Saxon walls.

IMG_1428

Here’s one of the seats that the monks built to sustain them during their long prayers. See that little seat?

IMG_1430

I asked our tour guide to demonstrate how they used them. It’s so they can sit down and take the weight off, while technically still standing.

IMG_1388

Down in the crypt they had a case with the leather boots, shell (from a previous pilgrimage to somewhere or other) and his staff belonging to a man they were actually able to identify.

IMG_1387

Here’s his boots.

IMG_1395

We were zipping along and I was impatiently waiting to see Joanna’s dad (King John) when we paused at Prince Arthur’s chantry.

WHAT?!? Nobody mentioned Prince Arthur…. could it possibly be Henry VIII’s brother? The older brother who was supposed to be king but died of the sweating sickness??? No way!!

Then the guide started talking about Henry VII’s grief at his son dying 5 minutes after he married Katharine of Aragon, (well… ok… it might’ve been 6 months or so) and how he built this for his soul. I was cautiously very excited. This is all very well, but is Prince Arthur actually here?

IMG_1420

Here he is. Well… he’s not actually in his tomby thing. They did an x-ray and discovered it was empty. The crypt is directly below it so they couldn’t bury him here. He’s a little to the side, under the floor.

IMG_1422

Sorry for the blurry photo. Barry from Melbourne is standing on his grave.

The guide said that some of the decorations were damaged by the soldiers coming from Henry VIII, and they would’ve been more damaged except someone pointed out to them that they were actually desecrating the King’s brother’s tomb, so they stopped. The interesting thing was that the tomb wasn’t even properly finished. There are decorations lacking, as well as statues that weren’t placed in niches that were meant to contain them. The theory is that once Henry married Katharine of Aragon, they didn’t really want to call attention to the fact that she’d married his brother, so work gradually petered off.

IMG_1403

Then we went to another part of the cathedral, where this statue really caught my fancy. I think it’s beautiful and a little bit sad.

IMG_1404

Look at the lovely detail of her hair covering at the back.

IMG_1412

FINALLY we get to Joanna’s dad.

IMG_1417

By all accounts his effigy was extremely lifelike. The bones inside measure the exact length of this effigy. Here’s a look at his face:

IMG_1415

Quite the hottie. This would’ve all been painted and you can see where the jewels would’ve been in the round hollows. These would’ve been confiscated by Henry VIII.

IMG_1431

Here’s what it would’ve looked like in its day.

IMG_1433

IMG_1435

IMG_1436

 

On the way out I saw the following:

IMG_1439

I like that you can buy this in a cathedral.

IMG_1442IMG_1443

Then I went outside and talked with a guy who had a half Border Collie, Half Kelpie. She likes to jump on walls. People here are so lovely to talk to. Anyone with a dog; I’m stopping and patting their dog and getting my Poppy and Jeff fix.

IMG_1444

Then we went to Ironbridge, a town that has an iron bridge. Sometimes the English have awesomely inventive names… other times there’s a complete lack of imagination.

IMG_1445

The view was nice, though.

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Worcester Cathedral OMG.

  1. scottsabode says:

    I love how you glaze over by the time you get to Ironbridge. It’s an engineering marvel apparently – 1779 – the firstcast iron arch span bridge in the world.

  2. Lucinda Sans says:

    Love it all, including the iron bridge. How lush is that valley! Or should it be how green is that valley?

Don't be shy... say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s