Can you imagine that I still have not finished writing about our April trip to the UK, and we are headed there again in a week for our fall excursion? I suppose I've been distracted with hiking, gardening, guests, the trail cam and drone, and travel to other destinations ... I lead a very blessed life.
But you can bet that I am feverish with excitement to return to my adopted country. And what better way to add to the frenzy than a look back at more of the April photos??
This post continues our tour of the Cotswolds; on this day we started with the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester. Appropriately, the Museum is housed in one of the warehouses at the Gloucester docks, which were built in the 1800s as the docks got busier. They had strong wooden floors supported by cast-iron columns to hold huge amounts of goods. Cargoes, like grain, were stored in the warehouses before being transported inland.
To the right is the figurehead from the schooner Katherine Ellen, 1922. The schooner carried coal on the Bristol Channel and across the Irish Sea.
Below is a model of the Liverpool Lighterage Yard, circa 1935. Lighterage = the transfer of cargo by leans of a lighter.
And the winch pictured on the left was once part of this yard.
Canals were used to move goods inland, and were plied by narrowboats. 70 feet long and only 7 feet wide, the narrowboats had a small cabin with a stove, table, cupboards and beds. Most Gloucester boatmen and women had their own homes and only stayed on board when they were working. The boatmen might be accompanied by another crewman or members of his family who helped. The boat's skipper was paid per trip, so worked long hours to complete the journey quickly and return to Gloucester.
Below is a picture of the working clothes of boat people in that era.
Roses and Castles was the colorful canal folk art that was used to decorate working narrowboats in the 1800s and 1900s. Boater's possessions and the boat itself were decorated with these bright and cheerful designs.
Given this is a waterways museum, you might expect to see some boats, and you would be correct, both inside and outside the building.
The Queen Boadicea II (above) was one of the Dunkirk Little Ships, and rescued at least 13 people on May 31st, 1940.
We walked from the Museum to Gloucester Cathedral, and along the way we passed this mosaic on the sidewalk. Very ornate!
And then the Cathedral rose before us. What words can you possibly utilize to describe such beauty???
The Cathedral stands in the north of the city near the River Severn. It originated in 678 or 679 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to St. Peter. Below you have two views of the nave, looking east (left) and west (right).
The Mason's Bracket: this curious memorial was built around 1335, and it has intrigued visitors ever since. Does it commemorate a terrible accident or a miraculous escape?
A young apprentice appears to tumble from the ceiling with his arms outstretched. Below, a bearded mason looks on in helpless horror. What happened next is a mystery.
This is an unusual monument in a several ways. Unlike many Cathedral monuments, it commemorates an ordinary working man.
The walls of the medieval Abbey were covered with colorful paintings like this. It must have been an amazing sight.
Thomas Gambier Parry completed these paintings on the theme of discipleship between 1866 and 1868. He was inspired by medieval frescoes he had seen in Italian churches. He imitated their rich color and detail, although his romantic Victorian style was very different.
I couldn't stop staring at the vaulted ceiling shown in the pictures below, but my neck was hurting! The complex web of interlaced ribs has a delicate symmetry that boggles the mind when you consider when (and how) it was constructed. And all those decorative 'medallions' at the joints. Wow! And then, just for fun, throw in the stained glass window, the altar and the tile floor, and it is almost more than your eyes can process!
Here's a closer shot of the altar.
This gives you a better look at the tile.
The Abbey was built in phases over about 400 years, from 1089 to the 1400s. During that time, techniques and fashions developed, so the style of the building varies from place to place.
The Cathedral is full of carved faces called gargoyles and grotesques. In the Middle Ages people may have believed they scared away evil spirits. Each one is different and shows the imagination of the masons who carved them.
The Great Cloister, with its fan vaulted roof, outside the North Wall of the Cathedral, was used as a location in the Harry Potter films. This architecture is another fine example of Perpendicular Gothic.
My June 26, 2022 post displayed some photos of idyllic Cotswold villages, and yet I think we closed out our Cotswold tour with one of the most picturesque villages I have ever seen, Lower Slaughter. (This was a recommendation from Clare of Walks with Hawks, and she was spot on.)
The village has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. The name stems from the Old English name for a wet land "slough" (muddy place) upon which the village lies.
This quaint village sits beside the little Eye stream and is known for its unspoiled limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswold style. We finished our visit to the village with a couple of beverages in the garden of the Slaughters' Country Inn. It doesn't get much better than this!!!
On our way back to the house of my in-laws, we passed through our old stomping grounds while on an expatriate assignment in the UK. We stopped in the Fleur dy Lys pub in Lowsonford for some coffee, all while reminiscing about the high-quality meat pies on the menu. This white-washed, rustic, oak-beamed inn has an open fire and a peaceful canal side garden.