Friday, 4th November, 2016

As we have been travelling, we (all right, mainly me) have been collecting the odd book, pamphlet and guide. Today we decided we had better organise to send them back to Australia. We found out that the total weight of everything was 23kg. Suffice to say that it is a big and expensive parcel! It will be great to have mementos of the places we have seen.

We then visited Clare College. Of all the colleges we have been to, this one had the friendliest staff and a very open policy towards visitors. We found it quite refreshing.


Clare Gates


The porter told us that despite the look of this building, it is "pretty miserable" to live there. Apparently, there is only one bathroom for the 56 students and running water was not provided at all until about 1950!

dome ceiling

A view looking up into the dome of the antechapel



The Chapel



"The Annunciation" by Giambattista Cipriani RA (1727-1785) was commissioned for the Chapel by the Duke of Newcastle.



The Organ



The art of topiary. How many animals can you find in the bush?


Next on the agenda for today was Queen's College.

Queen's Gate


There is a window (specially placed) so one can get a view of the Great Hall. These two photos were taken through glass which explains the reflections.



A very impressive room indeed!



Not sure why this angel is wearing lipstick but I bet she would have a lot of stories to tell. Perhaps it's just as well she can't talk!



One of the older parts of the college


chapel ext

Chapel Exterior


chapel int

Chapel Interior - it was quite a dull day and there were no lights on so the photos are a little dark. The back of a piano can be seen in front of the altar.



Archbishop Lanfranc (Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of William the Conqueror)



Is this where Santa hides his reindeer over summer?



This one reminded me of Sam the Eagle in Sesame Street - now there's an insight into the workings of my mind!


organ and

The organ and ceiling



The triptych above the altar



John Wycliffe translated the Bible from Latin into English in 1382.



The Mathematical Bridge


We were very fortunate to visit the Old Library as it is not usually open to the public. In contrast to our experience in Magdalene College, we were welcomed here.

Old Library

Founded in 1448, the Old Library is still situated in its original room with bookcases made from medieval lecterns. Although none of the original collection remains, the library holds a fine and hugely significant collection of about 20,000 early printed books and manuscripts dating from the 12th to 19th centuries.


old library

We were invited to ask if we wanted to see a particular book. This old Book of Common Prayer caught my eye and it was duly placed on a cushion so that we could peruse it.


Of course the pages for Morning and Evening Prayer were the most worn. It is a large volume so it was probably used by the priest in a church or chapel. The librarian was not sure how old it was because the title page is missing.



We noticed that the words above (in the Prayer for the Royal Family had been crossed out. Queen Charlotte's name can be read if one looks carefully. Queen Charlotte was the wife of George III from 1761 until her death in 1818 so that means the Prayer Book was printed somewhere between these dates. Great detective work from us!



This copy of the Tyndale Bible was printed in 1549. William Tyndale was executed by Henry VIII for sedition.

Our next stop was the Whipple Museum of the History of Science. This museum is quite small but it has some interesting items on display.



This microscope belonged to Charles Darwin.



The students who used this protractor kept giving inaccurate measurements of angles. Can you see why?



Satoshi enjoyed this zoetrope.



The museum has a whole room full of globes.


Our last visit was to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. Among other things, this museum has a very large collection of fossils.





The skeleton of an iguanadon.



The foot of Satoshi and of an iguanadon.



A collection of cephalopod fossils.



A cross section of an Ammonoid fossil.



A mammoth Mammoth Tooth (on the right).



It's a little tricky to see because the photo was taken through glass, but this is a fossil of the largest spider known to have existed. Its leg span is 50cm.


spider model

This model is an attempt to show what the spider may have looked like.



Blue John


Cups made from Blue John were popular in the 18th century.



A very rare specimen of fossilised Turkish Delight. You can even see the icing sugar!





I thought this fish fossil was very attractive.

We went to Evensong twice tonight.

The first was at King's College at 5:30pm. The music was O Lord, increase my faith by Loosemore (I always think that's funny - "increase" our faith by "loosemore"!), the responses by Smith of Durham, the canticles from the Second Service by Tomkins and the anthem Iustorum animae by Byrd. I was very surprised to hear the choir struggling with the beginning of O Lord Increase my Faith. After a few bars, Stephen Cleobury (the Director of Music) stopped the singing and got the choir to start again. They got it right from then. I was quite incredulous that this would happen to such a top notch choir. It made me feel a lot better about the handful of times I have had to do the same with my choir!

Evensong at St.John's College began at 6:30pm. Once again, the singing from this choir was outstanding. The music was the responses by Ayleward, the canticles from Byrd's Second Service and the anthem Remember, O Lord by Harvey (who died in July this year). As we have come to expect, all the music was done to the highest standard. It is such a privilege to be able to be part of a Service like this. We spoke to Andrew Nesthingha, the Director of Music after the service to congratulate and thank him for his work. He seemed genuinely pleased and spent a few minutes with us.

We are continuing to have a marvellous time. My leg is almost back to normal now and, although the weather is a bit colder, it is still generally fine, even sunny. The humidity is generally very high (above 90%) and I find that this makes it feel warmer than it really is. Another thing I notice is that the nights are very still, almost no wind at all. Cambridge is a beautiful city and we have seen almost no graffiti. We are constantly amazed at the speed with which the thousands of cyclists zip around the place. It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet in England so most people don't. It's now almost 1:00am so time for bed!!

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