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Posts Tagged ‘domesday book town’

Last night I arrived in Salisbury for my next booking. Just 1 week but enough time to enjoy the area and explore. I’ve visited Salisbury and the Cathedral in pre-covid days, and love this area.

Because I only officially started work at 11am today, I was free to go walkabout last night and again this morning…. which I duly did.

I’m working very close to the cathedral and can virtually see it from the front door of the house. Its an incredibly historic area and there’s a medieval hall within walking distance…like about 100 yards. Its amazing.

Because it was quite dark I didn’t stray too far, and didn’t take too many photos…but nonetheless, my camera was busy once again.

Here are a few images to whet your appetite

The main entrance

The original Salisbury Cathedral was completed at Old Sarum in 1092 under Osmund, the first Bishop of Salisbury. In 1220 the foundations were laid for the Cathedral at the site it is today.

Stunning carving of Madonna and child above the entrance

There are an amazing array of sculptures dotted around the cathedral grounds….

String Quartet
St Anne’s Gate
A bricked in door next to Malmesbury House
History on the wall at Malmesbury House
The Chapter House – outside the cathedral walls
Outside the cathedral walls
I’d love to know how old that house is
Love love this
Salisbury Cathedral looking ethereal in the dark

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England. The cathedral is regarded as one of the leading examples of early English Gothic architecture. The main body was completed in 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.

At 80 acres, the cathedral has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain. It contains a clock which is among the oldest working examples in the world. Salisbury Cathedral has the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta. I was lucky enough to see the Magna Carta on my last visit.

In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration.

I’ll post some more photos taken this morning of the sculptures in the grounds, of which there is an amazing array, well as of the river Avon and some of the buildings in the city.

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And suddenly I was on the home straight with just 19 hours to go and I’d be on my way. My final break was taken in town and I followed some of my more favoured routes and managed a decent 6.8kms, albeit with a reduction in my time off again 🤔🤔🤔

When I first arrived in Shepton Mallet 12 days ago my heart sank…it looked dull and grey with no defining features beyond grey walls and grey houses, a massive Tesco store and the distinction of being mentioned in the Domesday Book….and the oldest prison in the country looming large…and grey 🤨🤨

Shepton Mallet Prison- closed 2013
Exterior of the prison

But as usual I set out to explore and managed to find lots of interesting nooks and crannies, a great number of interesting houses, some of which are Grade II listed.

The Merchants House – 17th century Grade II listed

Three other houses of historical interest:

Longbridge House : with links to James, Duke of Monmouth and the Battle of Sedgemoor July 1685. Now a B&B. With parts dating back to the 14th century the house is best known for being where the Duke of Monmouth stayed before and after the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.

Exploring Shepton Mallet

Old Bowlish House : I was delighted to note the old English spelling…first house name I’ve ever seen in old English. Built around 1618, this Grade II* clothier’s mansion was modernised by the Georgians c.1735 and the Victorians c.1860.

Old Bowlish House – note the old English spelling

Downside House – Georgian House 5 bedrooms 3 bathrooms…I’ll have one of each 😃

Downside House

exciting finds, although I’m pretty certain there were quite a few more dotted about. After all, in its past, Shepton Mallet used to be a very wealthy town built on the wool trade

I found and walked a small section of the Roman Fosseway, and explored the greater countryside, walking many sections of the East Mendip Way. I discovered the wonderful viaducts, one of which carried the old railway – now disused. I explored the beautiful Collett Park and stretching myself I walked to Downside, Bowlish and Ham Lane.

Fosseway
Exploring Shepton Mallet – Collette Park
Collette Park
Collette Park
Viaduct on the Kilver estate
The River Sheppey at Bowlish

I squelched along muddy public paths, slipping and sliding and climbed some interesting stiles 🤪🤪🤪 One of my favourite sections was between a steep field and the small holdings along the River Sheppey where I met lamas, horses, goats and chickens.

This was my favourite stretch of the walks
Helloooo

I walked along narrow roads and lanes and prayed that the tractors that had left their treads in the mud right at the absolute limits of the lanes, didn’t decide to come either up or down the lanes while I was walking along…they didn’t. Whew! I would probably have had to either climb under or over …or resort to climbing into the hedges that towered along the sides.

Narrow roads and wide tractors. ..

I managed to find many items of interest after all…I thought my options were out, but no.

Some houses had little plaques remembering past residents who went off to war and never returned

Although the architecture is mostly solid grey stone

A dilapidated house
Literally falling apart

I did find some older painted houses, albeit peeling and covered in mould….the reason for the stone houses was more apparent. The town is mostly located in a very deep wedge between hills, the Mendip Hills, and a great number of houses are built right on the rivers edge.

Mouldy peeling paint – note the crown decoration
A river runs past
Same section of the river
This house is also built right on rivers edge next to the Fosseway
An optical illusion- on Cat Ash the houses are actually adjacent

I found what used to be a Priory

The Priory exterior
The Priory interior

I’m totally intrigued by the bricked in doors and windows of many of the older houses, and am curious to know when and why they were sealed off.

Windows and doors bricked up m

Addendum – Many thanks to Grace for sending me this link in the comments. The reason why windows and doors were boarded up…governments eh 🤪🤪🤪https://www.amusingplanet.com/2018/04/why-do-many-historic-buildings-in-uk.html?m=1 anything to squeeze more money out of their citizens.

The church was beautiful albeit locked so I never got to go inside 😔 and the market cross is beautiful

And after yesterday’s walk and 2 weeks of indoor walking I’m now closer to my 2020 target of 2020kms. Hoorah. It looks like I may just reach my target by 31.12.2020

As usual, saying goodbye to the pets is sometimes the hardest part of leaving

And so ends my sojourn to Shepton Mallet. Its been quite a stressful job, and I’ll be glad of my 48 hour break before starting all over again on Monday in Croydon 🤪🤪 thankfully only 9 days….

At the moment I’m in transit, first train and nearly in London ….1 tube ride, the HS1 to the coast and a taxi ride away from the Airbnb where I’m staying this weekend.

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Unexpectedly, I had the opportunity to visit Wells last week. What a delight. The weekly market was in full swing and people bustled about buying Christmas presents and savouring the delicious aromas that wafted through the air. I saw some amazing wreaths and was tempted to buy one, except I have nowhere to hang it, and a 6 hour journey to the Thanet coast on Saturday.

I loved this wreath
Autumn colours are perfectly suited for winter wreaths
Celebrating an Olympic Champion; Mary Bignall Rand, Gold medallist Long Jump 1964
Built around 1450. Here beggars used to ask for pennies
Penniless Porch, Wells, Somerset

I had 2 hours to explore and made the most of the time…..and spent most of it in the Bishop’s Palace 😁😁 which left me with 10 minutes to visit the cathedral. Fortunately we’re going back later this week so I can have a proper visit.

Layout of the Bishop’s Palace
Entrance to the Bishop’s Palace

Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells, the palace, founded in 1206, has been the Bishop’s residence for more than 800 years. The great medieval bishops – Jocelyn, Burnell, Ralph of Shrewsbury, and Beckynton – developed their palace next to the city’s ancient wells. For centuries, water flowing from these wells has shaped the landscape; the buildings and the gardens of this site.

Entrance to the palace rooms
Along the ramparts

Wells, a cathedral city, located on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, has had city status since medieval times, due to the presence of Wells Cathedral. Often described as England’s smallest city, it is actually second smallest to the City of London.

Wells takes its name from 3 wells dedicated to Saint Andrew, one in the market place and two within the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace and cathedral.

Moat, boats and birds

A small Roman settlement surrounded them, which grew in importance and size under the Anglo-Saxons when King Ine of Wessex founded a minster church there in 704. The community became a trading centre based on cloth making and Wells is notable for its 17th-century involvement in both the English Civil War and Monmouth Rebellion. 

Wells was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Welle, from the Old English wiells, not as a town but as four manors with a population of 132, which implies a population of 500–600

Over the years

William Penn stayed in Wells shortly before leaving for America (1682), spending a night at The Crown Inn.

I had a wonderful time exploring the Bishop’s Palace and am looking forward to seeing the Cathedral more fully on Thursday.

Children’s Wings

Inside the Bishop’s Palace

The Coronation Cope worn by Bishop Kennion at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902
He assured me that I’m on the ‘good’ list 🙃🙃
The entrance hall from the stairs
The chapel windows
A compilation of the chapel
Scenes from the gardens

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Had a good 6.8km walk yesterday afternoon – took a slightly different route and ended up at the viaduct again but still haven’t found the lake that shows up on Google maps. Although I did see a small lake near a business park complex and a duck pond in Collette Park.

From the viaduct I went off in a different direction across a couple of fields and finally back to the main road, through Collette Park and down the High Street, then up onto the hill in time for the sunset and finally followed last nights path in reverse and back to the house.

Always good to be reminded
Last night’s path – on my left behind the fence are the manor house grounds
Manor House grounds

Did some slip sliding on the muddy paths on the hill, but managed to not fall on either my face or my derrier.

I more or less slid down that path..

The path across the hill takes you beneath what must have been a railway bridge before the 1960s purge of railway lines, its really dark and foreboding, especially in the waning light of night time – I just love it, looks so spooky.

Dark and spooky

Before setting off across the fields I visited the Kilver Court Designer Village. They have some really lovely items, and I’m glad my debit card was at the house 😁😁😁

Kilver Court Designer Village on my way back

In all a really good walk and I’m getting closer to my target for 2020 and making good progress along the virtual Great Ocean Road in Australia. Unfortunately the organisers of the Conqueror virtual challenges haven’t done any virtual postcards yet for this particular route, but I hope to receive them when they are ready.

Great Ocean Road virtual challenge
320.1kms to go by 31.12.2020

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Since I only had a few days in Chester, I set off really early the next morning to explore the city, wanting to see and do as much as possible in my allotted time (although setting off at 9.30am is not really that early LOL). Greeted by a mildly overcast day that promised to brighten up, I hastened into the city stopping first to photograph the clock again…of course. Just look at that date!! 1897. wow. I wonder if Queen Victoria even saw this magnificent clock?! Probably not.

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The famous Chester clock located on the East Gate of the city

Next stop the Chester High Cross located next to the Guild Church of St Peter

I then took a stroll along the galleried walkways of The Rows; Britain’s oldest shopping arcade. The history of these buildings is phenomenal and it felt quite weird and exhilarating to be walking along these corridors where thousands of people have walked for centuries.

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galleried walkways of Britain’s oldest shopping arcade

Next up a visit to the Guild Church of St Peter’s. As with all these wonderful ancient churches, the history is phenomenal and architecture beautiful with stunning stained glass windows telling the stories of the Bible, as well as a phenomenal edition of the Chester Breeches Bible.

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The Guild Church of St Peter, Chester where you can see the Chester Breeches Bible

From here I strolled around the streets photographing just about every building I passed and then some LOL they are all so gorgeous. I just wish that the councils of this historic towns & cities would ban shop signs. A discreet sign above the door should be sufficient.

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The Black & White style was part of a wider Tudor Revival in 19th-century architecture.

I spied the cathedral looming large at the end of one cobbled street so made my way over for a visit.

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Chester Cathedral at the end of the street

Founded in 1092 as a Benedictine abbey dedicated to Saint Werburgh, the original church was built in the Romanesque or Norman style, some of which you can still see today. What an extraordinary building. I have visited over 30 cathedrals in various cities and countries and they are all so very different and so very beautiful.

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Chester Cathedral

Although the site itself may have been used for Christian worship since Roman times, the current Grade I listed building, rebuilt from about 1250 in the Gothic style, which took 275 years to complete, the church as we see it today is a stunning structure with oodles of history; part of a heritage site that also includes the most complete set of monastic buildings in England with remains of Roman barracks on the Dean’s field. The original windows of the abbey were destroyed by Parliamentary troops and the current stained glass windows, dating mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries, are a sight to behold with some fabulous windows in the cloisters that contain the images of 130 saints.

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the cloister windows contain the images of 130 saints

After spending an hour or so exploring the church I booked myself on one of the free ground floor tours for the following day, after which the 60 minute Tower tour for £8.

After exploring the church I went walkabout in the city centre… what a cute little elephant sculpture, I would have loved to have a ride on that bus and I saw the ghost of a Roman soldier!!! Hmmmm, maybe not!

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Chester – so much to see!!!

From there I then set off for the North Gate to walk the City Walls. Oh my gosh, what a fantastic experience.

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Chester City Walls starting from the North Gate I passed the King Charles Tower (awesome!)

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along Chester’s City Walls and passed beneath the East Gate clock (more awesome)

Enroute I diverted slightly to visit the Roman Amphitheatre

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Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre

At the Bridge Gate I made another diversion to visit the river and stroll along in the sunshine, stopping off at the cafe tucked behind the bridge for tea & scones (pre-vegan).

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The River Dee flowing through Chester

Then headed back along the pathway past Chester Castle, founded by William the Conqueror in 1070. Someone told me its was a private residence and not open for tours so I didn’t bother to go in, but on further research I see it’s an English Heritage property ….I guess I’ll just HAVE to go back for another visit then LOL no hardship 😉 Also that will teach me to do proper research before visiting a place.

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Chester Castle and Water Tower Street

Then back onto the walls till I got back to the North Gate. There are so many things to see from the walls that I can seriously recommend you make the time to visit. Approximately an hours walk will take you around, unless like me, you stop for 100s of photos!

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along Chester’s City Walls

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The North Gate – currently sections of the wall near this gate are under reconstruction

Welcome to Chester. I used mapmywalk app to record my route around the city

There are so many wondrous things to see in Chester, so after my city wall excursion I went walkabout once again. This just fascinated me – 3 Old Arches 1297!! I mean seriously!

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Three Old Arches – 1274 AD – Three Old Arches, at 48 Bridge Street, incorporate part of the famous Chester Rows and is a Grade I listed building. The stone frontage at the street and row levels is considered to be the oldest surviving shop frontage in England.

After my marathon walkabout I strolled back through the city and along the canal back to the BB for a snooze and a meal.

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The Canal in Chester’s Industrial Heart and Chester’s Industrial Outskirts

After a short rest I once again headed back into the city centre; I simply couldn’t get my fill of the city walls so had another short stroll along from King Charles Tower, past the Eastgate Clock

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Chester at night

and onto the Bridge Gate where I disembarked and walked along the riverfront to the Queen’s Park Suspension Bridge

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Ye Olde Kings Head – built 1622 and the Queen’s Park Suspension Bridge built 1852 and my shadow alongside the city walls

after which I stopped for a second meal at Adam’s Fish and Chips. They were sensational and for the 2nd night they created a very clever cone for me to take away my fish cake and chips.

Adam's Fish and Chips Chester

Adam’s Fish and Chips Chester – best ever fish cake and chips

Meandering about the city, trailing a heavenly aroma, eating my chips and fish I eventually found myself back at the cathedral. I saw that the lights were on and could hear music from inside. So thinking it was some night-time service, I strolled around to the side door and walked in. There was a crowd of people milling about and no-one seemed to mind that I was there, so I just meandered about and took some more photos (it’s not like I didn’t already have enough) and then I left.

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Chester Cathedral at night

It seems I actually gate-crashed a private event, but not a soul said anything and the young man at the door even held it open and wished me a good evening when I departed. LOL marvellous. I was thrilled to see one of the 2014 Tower of London WW1 poppies on display…I wonder if it’s the one I planted!! Probably not LOL

I took some more photos of the buildings, looking ghostly in the dark

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The Rows at night

and then with one final photo (again) of the Eastgate Clock

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Chester’s Eastgate Clock – 20:30 and all is well

I took a slow stroll through the streets of Chester, along the canal and back to my B&B. What a marvellous day. I can say for sure that I am totally charmed with Chester.

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