Thursday, 29th September, 2016

I have decided that, rather than giving a lot of information here about places, I will make links so that those who are interested may learn more.

Unfortunately, our accommodation at Coventry, although comfortable, had a very strong smell of cigarette smoke. Even the towels smelled of smoke! Luckily, the windows opened! I was quite glad to leave.

Gail's Place

Gail's Place (on the right)

 

From Gail's Place, we headed towards Lichfield. Having found a parking place (a little more easily this time!) we walked off in the direction of the Cathedral. On the way we passed St.Mary's in the Market Square.

church

Sadly, only the left hand section (see roof) is used as a church any more. The rest is now the tourist information centre, a museum, and a cafe. It was strange when we entered the church part which was only the quire (including a three-manual pipe organ) and sanctuary of the old church. The organ must be VERY loud in that small space. Apparently, even that small part of the church is to be closed soon.

window

A window in St.Mary's

 

window

Simeon holding Jesus (detail of another window)

Lichfield Cathedral is located only a few minutes' walk from St.Mary's in the Market Square (probably why it has closed). There is a pond on the way with ducks.

 

duck

We think this is a "Canada Goose"

cathedral

The large, ornate and very beautiful front of Lichfield Cathedral. Most of the statues are 19th century replacements of the medieval originals.

 

gargoyle

Gargoyles, original on left, newer on right

 

gargoyle

The purpose of gargoyles on cathedrals is to scare away evil spirits. This one even has teeth!

 

victoria

Among all the monarchs and saints on the front is Queen Victoria. She was carved by her daughter, Princess Louise.

 

nave

In this photo, you can see the whole length of the cathedral. If you look carefully, you will see that the portion of the cathedral beyond the screen is not quite in line. This is because the builders used the foundations of two earlier buildings which were not aligned.

 

screen

This screen, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, perhaps the most famous architect of the Victorian period, divides the nave from the quire. If you look carefully, you will see eight angels at the top. Each one is playing a different musical instrument.

 

violinist

A celestial violinist

 

fruit

A detail of the screen showing some ornamental fruit.

 

quire

The Quire

 

angel

An angel above the Quire

 

sculpture

The Sleeping Children. The first died when she ventured into the snow to look for snowdrops for her sister. She is still holding them. The other died about a year later.

 

lectern

The Lectern

 

colours

The Colours of various regiments are laid up in the Cathedral. Those at the top have been there so long that you can actually see right through them!

 

angel

angel

More references to music, this time in a side chapel

 

cat

This carving of a cat with a rat in its mouth is located above the Dean's seat in the Chapter House.

 

angel

This portion of a sculpture depicting the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation was found in 2003 during construction of the Nave Altar platform, buried under the nave of the cathedral. It is from the 8th century. It is known as the Lichfield Angel.

Dr Johnson House

Also located in Lichfield is the birthplace of Dr Samuel Johnson, the writer of one of the first dictionaries.

 

room

dictionary

A page from Dr.Johnson's Dictionary

 

Those of you familiar with the TV series Blackadder will remember the time when Dr Johnson stayed overnight with Edmund. Baldrick, his servant, used the pages of Dr Johnson's newly-completed dictionary to start the fire! They stayed up all night trying to rewrite it. When they came to the letter "C", Baldrick added the meaning "big blue wobbly thing which mermaids live in"!

We returned to the Cathedral for Evensong. Again, we were allowed to sit in the Quire for the Service. The boys and men of the choir were present and the singing was of an excellent standard. The Preces and Responses were by William Byrd, the setting was Wood in D and the anthem Factum est silentium by Dering.

From Lichfield we travelled on to Exmoor Bed and Breakfast in Denstone, near Uttoxeter. This accommodation was very comfortable indeed and free of the smell of cigarettes! The cooked breakfast was just right.

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