Tuesday 28 May 2019

Out and about near Exeter

Over the last few weeks John and I have had several short trips and I haven't shared them with you. The most recent trip was to Devon when we were able to take 3 days away. John booked an hotel just outside Exeter and this proved to be a very comfortable base for our trip. We travelled after work on the Thursday arriving at about 8:30 p.m. . This gave us time to enjoy dinner and a drink before retiring to our room. 

One of the reasons we had chosen Devon was because we wanted to do some walking on Dartmoor and our plan was to walk on the Friday. In the event we moved this to the Saturday because the weather forecast for Friday was predicting rain and neither of us fancied being caught out on Dartmoor if the weather deteriorated. Instead we headed into Exeter. Having negotiated our way into a car park in the centre of town we found a cafe for coffee so we could agree the plan for the day. We wanted to see the cathedral and we had heard about the underground passages and wanted to check these out. After coffee we went and booked our tickets for the passages before going for a walk around the city.

As we passed a route into the shopping centre this fun display of umbrellas caught our eye. There were also several streets with similar displays.

We wanted to follow some of the old city walls and when we found them we can across this memorial. On May 4th 1942 Exeter was bombed by the German air force. It became known as the Exeter blitz and you can Go here to see the photos of the area and Here to read why it was targeted.

We also found an Exeter blue plaque to Violet and Irene Vanburgh. The sister were British actresses and you can read about them Here

As we walked we came across information boards that told us about the city walls.and gave an indication of what the city had looked like.

It was fun just walking and enjoying the sunshine whilst getting an overview of the city. We had to cut this short as we had tickets for the passages at a set time. 

The medieval passages were designed to bring clean drinking water from natural springs outside the walled city, through lead pipes into the heart of the city. The pipes sometimes leaked and had to be repaired which meant digging them up. This was costly when they burst on someone else's land. To avoid this, vaulted passages were built and the lead pipes were laid on the floor.  When repairs were needed it was easy to access the pipes. Some of the vaulted passageways are now open to the public.

The passages were narrow and had quite low ceilings, especially low in places.

There was lighting in the passages thank goodness and they didn't feel too confining. Every so often we stopped to hear the guide explain the history and point out interesting things. 

You didn't get to walk down this particular side passages but it was well lit and ferns were flourishing on the walls.

I didn't think I would like the experience as I hate confined spaces and this was dark, small and underground. However it was a very interesting visit. The hard hat really helped as I hit my head on the roof several times.

After that we decided it was lunch time and so we headed for the Cathedral cafe. We had been told they did very tasty food at very reasonable prices. We both enjoyed a filling salad which set us up for the afternoon. Feed and watered we set out to tour the Cathedral. The Cathedral has two towers, one on each side but the one on the left of the picture is more prominent.

The Cathedral' which is Anglican' was founded in 1050 and construction started on the present site in 1114. I took this photo of the figures on the front. These were to the left and above the central door in the first photo.

As the Easter session hadn't finished they still had their Easter garden .

With my back to the Easter garden I looked down the length of the Cathedral

The vaulted ceiling was amazing. I loved the bosses at each of the joins.

The flower fairies had also created some beautiful flower arrangements for the Easter period..

There was quite a lot of ecclesiastical fabric work around the Cathedral. This tapestry seat cover for example.

or this altar frontal,

or there was this Tapestry

As with all churches there were several banners. This one Mother and Child

and this the banner for the Mothers Union.

The clock was very interesting.

The clock dates from 1484 and the large dial is a working model of the solar system as was then understood. The fixed golden ball at the centre represents the earth.The black disc decorated with the fleur-de-lys represents the sun and goes round the dial once every 24 hours pointing outward to the time.

As always I enjoyed looking at the floor tiles as these are a great design source.

The canopy for the Bishop's Throne was massive. I had to stand quite a way back to fit this in the picture.

I loved this statue of a mother and child.

The driftwood cross was also very special.

Finally I took this picture . I found this particularly poignant  as many Polish families living in Britain feel they are no longer wanted  due to Brexit

We really enjoyed our visit to the Cathedral. By this point we were tired so decided we needed afternoon tea while we gathered our energy for an evening visit elsewhere.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to find out more about Exeter Cathedral please go Here

Now I need to run a couple of errands i.e. I need some muslin for the foundation piecing and some iron on interfacing for the shirt I'm making.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful visit and the cathedral is glorious. We never got to Exeter on our UK visits so it was lovely to visit through your eyes.