Thursday, 3rd November, 2016

Within a five-minute walk of our accommodation is what is known as "Britain's Brainiest Cemetery" in which is buried "three Nobel prizewinners, seven members of the Order of Merit, and over sixty who have entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: engineers, biologists, classicists, historians, poets and philosophers." Apparently, the most famous grave is that of Ludwig Wittgenstein who is considered to be one of the 20th century's best philosophers (I had never heard of him!). Our hosts had recommended the cemetery so we ventured along.


It is a small, very peaceful cemetery.




The little church is now part of the University of Cambridge and is used as the Cambridge Alphabet Museum.




This is the grave of the son of Charles Darwin and other members of his family.



I really liked this angel.


Then we caught the bus into Cambridge and visited Magdalene (pronounced mawd-lin) College.



One of the courtyards



The Chapel





St.Lawrence (c.225-258) was martyred, as legend would have it, on a griddle - hence the symbol he is associated with. and his patronage of cooks and chefs.




The Dining Room



The Pepys Library is full of very old, leather bound books. We were not allowed to take any photos within its walls. Samuel Pepys is famous chiefly for the diary he kept for 10 years from 1660.


We had seen a sign indicating that "The Old Library" would be open between 11:45am and 12:45pm on Thursdays so we went in search of it. Having been told its location, we knocked on the door and entered. We were met by a gentleman who was the personification of an old-fashioned academic. He seemed to have no idea that the library was meant to be open and didn't quite know what to do with us! We mentioned that the sign outside said the library was open for this one hour every week. This seemed to send him into a kind of panic and he made a desperate phone call to the "Assistant Librarian". Things got worse when some other people followed us in! I'm not sure what sort of threat he thought we would be. Shortly after, the Assistant Librarian arrived and made it fairly clear that we were not welcome (regardless of what the sign outside said) so we left peaceably.

Next visit for the day was Trinity College.




Henry VIII is not amused because, many years ago, some students exchanged his sceptre for a chair leg!



There are several courtyards.





A fountain.

Within the college is the Wren Library. As the name suggests It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1676 and completed in 1695. Once again, we were not allowed to take any photos. There was much of interest inside, the most notable for me being Sir Isaac Newton's walking stick and even a lock of his hair! The two photos below were found on internet.

Wren Library

Wren Library

The tables you can see were actually display cases. They all had covers which one could fold back in order to view the items on display.



The other wonderful thing for me (and a total surprise) was to see the original of this portrait of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford by Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen. Stanford is one of my favourite composers. I really wanted to take a photo but this one from internet will have to suffice. The original is much larger and far more colourful and bright.



On our return from the Wren Library, we met a local inhabitant. Sadly, the camera focussed on the leaves instead of the squirrel so the photo is not as clear as I would have liked.





Newton and Tennyson can be found in the antechapel.



This is as far as one was permitted into the chapel itself.


Although we had been to St.John's College for several services, we did not visit during the day until today.


St.John's Chapel

The tower of the chapel is under repair.



As usual, there are several courtyards.



We got a really good view of the Bridge of Sighs.




Again, we were so fortunate that the sun shone for us just at the right time! This is also part of St.John's College.



bridge inside

A view of the inside of the Bridge of Sighs.


bridge out

A view looking out of the glass-less windows of the Bridge of Sighs.



Looking up a spiral staircase.




The chapel. Again, we were not allowed to go right inside.

In the evening, we went to Trinity College Chapel for Evensong at 6:15pm. This is a mixed voice adult choir which has recorded a number of excellent CDs so I had high expectations. They were met! The Choir was very good indeed. The organ music before the service included Schumann's Studien für Pedal-Flügel, Op. 56 No. 4. The responses were by Rose, the canticles were The Chichester Service by William Walton and both the introit, Evening Hymn, and the anthem, Ekteniya of the Litany were by Rautavaara (a composer with whom I was not familiar). The organ voluntary was Prelude from Concerto in D by Balbastre.

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