Gargoyles

Gargoyles were originally designed in 13th century French architecture as a means of disposing of water. Think of them as the precursor to the gutter. Typically, a trough was cut into the back of the gargoyle and the rainwater was able to run off of the roof and through the gargoyle’s mouth.

And that’s the story I’m sticking to in showing all the gargoyles I took photos of while we were in England in September of 2022. This will be a photo heavy post.

If you would like to read more about gargoyles and grotesques in Oxford click here. You’ll see what I missed and what I’ll keep a lookout for Lord willing we ever are able to return to Oxford.

Back to the present in Colville at our Country Bungalow. It’s been raining and the temps are above freezing. Things are getting very soggy around here. We’ll call this the drip and puddle season that will soon turn to the mud season before we see the green of Spring. Dear is driving again and we managed to snow shovel the way for our truck to get out of the shop and on to the dump to make our winter dump run. Romantic, isn’t it? We did stop for lunch on the way home from the dump so that’s a thing. 🙂 Happy New week to you.

St. Barnabas Church, Oxford (Jericho)

On Friday September 16th we decided on a self-guided tour of the Jericho area of Oxford. This day was a student open day at all the Oxford colleges so none of the colleges were open to general visitors only to perspective students and their families.

We walked north from our apartment and followed Walking Oxford, a worthwhile book of walking tours that we purchased before traveling to Oxford.

St Barnabas Jericho is a fine Victorian Basilica-style Church in west Oxford, built in 1869.

Inside, the church is very beautiful with wall panels in the eastern apse depicting Christ in Majesty above the 12 Apostles. On the other walls, panels feature the animals mentioned in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4.

The High Altar is higher than the nave and is reached by nine steps and has a delicately ornate gilded ciborium over it.

The intricately decorated Walnut pulpit was donated in 1887.

On the North Nave wall of the church I was taken in by these panels which I will show in more detail.

The murals on the north wall of the nave represent Te Deum laudamus, (Latin: “God, We Praise You” ) and are made of cut glass using the “opus sectile” technique.

We Praise Thee O God

We Acknowledge Thee To Be the Lord

All the Earth Doth Worship Thee ~ The Father Everlasting ~ To Thee All Angels Cry Aloud ~ The Heavens and All the Powers ~ Therein to Thee Cherubim and Seraphim Continually Do Cry ~ We Praise Thee O God Throughout All the World.

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Noble Army of Martyrs

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Goodly Fellowship of the Prophets

We Praise Thee O God ~ The Glorious Company of the Apostles

Praise The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ The Angels

Praise ~The Powers ~ We Praise Thee ~ Cherubin and Seraphin

They never completed the South wall because they ran out of money.

We were in Oxford during the grieving period for Queen Elizabeth II.

We left the church and continued walking north and made our way to the path along the Oxford Canal on to Walton Well Rd. We crossed the Walton Well Bridge which connected us to Walton Road.

On the way to the canal we passed Old Bookbinders and it was still too early to enjoy a refreshment there.

 

Along Walton Well Rd. were a group of terrace residences nos 11-25 which included these finely carved scenes from the life of Elijah on the arches above the first floor windows, with the prophet being fed by ravens at one end of the terrace and whisked up to heaven at the other.

After we turned south on to Walton Road we came to the entrance to St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery.

We spent some time here poking around and then it was time to move on to wet our whistle.

We thought we were ready for some Fish and Chips, too. We stopped at the Jericho Tavern, no fish and chips. We stopped at Jude the Obscure, no fish and chips.

We decided to head further south and east taking Little Clarendon St. where we discovered the wonderful Gail’s Bakery and bought a couple goodies to enjoy later. We were still on our quest for Fish and Chips.

We found the Lamb and Flag where The Inklings (C.S. Lewis/Tolkien) were known to frequent off St. Giles but alas it was closed for renovations. Bird and Baby or Eagle and Child has been closed for 2 years and there were no signs of renovations when we walked past.

Our Fish and Chips hunt was becoming a real challenge. Walking along St. Giles we popped into The Randolph and sat down in the Alice dining room.

After being ignored for well over our usual tolerance level we walked out and continued our quest along George St. and tried the Wig and Pen and to our dismay they were out of Fish and Chips, too.

At this point we decided to go back to Broad and head over to our fast becoming favorite The Turf Tavern.

We sat at table #1 and waited for our Fish and Chips because they had not run out!

Cheers from the Turf Tavern! The end of a long walking day in Oxford overrun by prospective students and their parents who all decided to eat up the Fish and Chips! Thankfully they didn’t all try to find the Turf Tavern tucked away from the main streets of town.

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Back to the present. Today begins the week of Thanksgiving here in the U.S.A. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. We are looking forward to all of our kids being together. The west siders arrive on Thursday and Friday. Thanksgiving day we will be at our Colville kids’ home for our Thanksgiving meal. Friday and Saturday we’ll spend time at our country bungalow all together. We will be counting our blessings together.

World Cup started yesterday and our TV service is set to record all the games. I’m a huge soccer fan. The USA has two of our Seattle Sounders on the roster. The team from Ecuador has one of our players and the team from Cameroon has one of our players, also.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world and you all recount the things you can be thankful for!

Cotswolds Tour Part 2

Bourton on the Water and Bibury were the last two villages in the Cotswolds that we visited on our Go Cotswolds Tour on Thursday September 15th.

Bourton on the Water is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds. We had time to enjoy an ice cream cone, buy some take away hand pies, and buy a couple souvenirs in Bourton on the Water. There are 5 bridges over the water here. I’m not sure if I got a photo of all five.

While purchasing our ice cream we met a sweet older couple from Yorkshire who encouraged us to visit their part of England.

We visited Bourton on the Water in July of 2014 and to see the colors of summer in comparison to my Fall photos click over here.

After Bourton on the Water we traveled a short distance to Bibury.

Bibury ‘the most beautiful village in England’.

Arlington Row

The cottages of Arlington Row are often referred to as the most photographed and beautiful cottages in the country.

Originally built in 1380 as a monastic wool store, the building was then converted into a row of weavers’ cottages in the 17th century.

The cloth produced at Arlington Row was sent to Arlington Mill on the other side of Rack Isle. The cloth was then hung on wooden timber frames on Rack Isle after being degreased at Arlington Mill.

 

The Arlington Mill

With a history dating back to 1086, the mill which stands on the site today is believed to date back to the 17th Century.

Arlington Mill is now a private residence (which was also available as a holiday cottage), but it was once a working mill processing corn and wool, and later housed the museum of Arlington Mill with a collection of period clothing, documents and working machinery illustrating milling & the Victorian way of life.

Arlington Mill, a Grade II listed building, was recorded as a cloth and corn mill in the 17th Century, continuing in dual use until mid 19th Century when concentration switched to corn milling.

Founded in 1902, Bibury Trout Farm is one of England’s oldest working trout farms set in the historic village of Bibury, in the heart of the Cotswolds.

On our Go Cotswold Day Tour we were happy to make a couple stops to places we hadn’t seen in the past. Bibury was one of those stops. This was the end of our tour on this day and we got back on our tour van and were driven back to the Oxford Train Station. While others on the tour headed in the station to catch trains back to London we enjoyed the 5 minute walk back to our apartment in Oxford where we warmed up our steak pies for dinner.

One more post from the Cotswolds featuring St. James Church in Chipping Campden coming soon.

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Back to the present…

We are doing well here at our Country Bungalow. Our church family is treating us well with meals and visits. Our friends, family and neighbors are checking in to see if we need anything. We are waiting for Occupational Therapy appointments for Dear. There was a glitch on the referral from Dear’s new doctor. Our sleep schedule is improving.

We had a light dusting of snow on Wednesday night and we have more snow predicted next week. Our temps have been below freezing and the forecast is for several more days of freezing temperatures.

Hope all is well in your corner…

The Cotswolds 2022

It’s been a while since my last post on our trip to England in September of this year. I have a goal to finish my posts before the end of the year. Our tour with Go Cotswolds, a small family owned touring company, was called Cotswolds in a Day.

On Thursday September 15th (two months ago!) we walked to the Oxford Train Station to be picked up for our day in the Cotswolds. At the station while waiting for the tour van we met another couple waiting for the tour. We enjoyed getting to know them and connecting some dots in our backgrounds that intersected. The rest of the tour group arrived and we hit the road for our first stop which was Chipping Campden. We had a set amount of time to enjoy the village. We chose to spend our time at St. James Church. That will be a separate post.

In 2013 and in 2014 we visited Chipping Campden and my posts are here in 2013 and here in 2014.

From Chipping Campden we stopped at Dover’s Hill for some panoramic views.

It was breezy!

On the way to Snowshill we passed The Broadway Tower.

St. Barnabas Church in Snowshill

Snowshill village sits on the top of the escarpment above the villages of Broadway, Buckland, and Laverton. It is a secluded village where ancient pretty cottages and a 19th century church cluster around a small green. As its name implies – if there is any snow about then you will find it here first.

This was our tour group on this day.

In 2014 Dear and I enjoyed this little village and my post is here.

The weather was good with beautiful skies. Our next stop was Moreton in Marsh where we would enjoy some lunch which left little time to explore.

I hurried from our lunch table at the Talbot Inn so I could get some photos of the wonderful door on the back side of St. Edward’s Church.

If you walk around the churchyard towards the north porch, you will stumble upon what’s known locally as ‘The Yew Tree door’ or ‘The Hobbit door’.

“Speak friend and enter”

In 2014 we had more time in Stow on the Wold and my posts with more information are here and here.

Next time the villages of Bourton on the Water and Bibury.

 

A Mighty Fortress is Our God ~ Hymn

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Words and Music: Martin Luther, 1529.

This song has been called the great­est hymn of the great­est man of the great­est per­i­od of Ger­man his­to­ry, and the Bat­tle Hymn of the Re­for­ma­tion. It was sung at the fun­er­al of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Dwight Ei­sen­how­er at the Na­tion­al Ca­thed­ral in Wash­ing­ton, DC, March 1969.

Christ Church College ~ 3

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll attended Christ Church at Oxford and this is where he found inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.

The character of Alice is based on a girl called Alice Liddell, who was the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church at the time.

The Alice stories were first created one legendary ‘golden afternoon’ on 4 July 1862. While entertaining the three Liddell sisters, Alice, Lorina and Edith, during a boating trip, Dodgson improvised the story that would become Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In the dining hall at Christ Church, there is a tiny tribute to Alice in Wonderland in the stained glass. In the bottom left of one of the stained glass panels is a small Alice in Wonderland with long blonde hair in her iconic blue dress. In the centre of the panel is a girl’s face and this is Alice Liddell.

If you are an Alice in Wonderland fan you can read more of the real story behind the book here.

Truth be told, I’m not one of those fans and we do not own a copy of Alice in Wonderland but I do find the story behind the story very interesting. It’s interesting to me how books by C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, and Carroll stemmed from letters they sent to young ones in their lives or from entertaining the children in their lives.

Across the street from Christ Church is Alice’s Shop.

Formerly the grocer’s where Alice Liddell would buy her favorite barley sugars and the inspiration for the Old Sheep Shop in Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (1871), when Alice finds herself: in a little dark shop, leaning with her elbows on the counter, and opposite to her was an old sheep, sitting in an arm-chair knitting.’ from Walking Oxford 1,000 years of history in 8 walks by Vicky Wilson. I highly recommend this guide book if you are going to spend some time in Oxford.

As we walked out of our tour and headed back to St. Aldate’s via Broad Walk (the tourist entrance to Christ Church College) we noticed this quotation inscribed on  the path from John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

My Sword I Give to Him That Shall Succeed In My Pilgrimage. ~ John Bunyan

Speaking of John Bunyan, we visited Blackwell’s Bookstore and their famous Norrington room in the basement, the largest bookselling room in the world. Hmm…but not one book by John Bunyan to be had in this huge collection of books. I wanted to buy a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress while in England but I had no success.

We did find a copy of Grace Abounding ~ The Life and Death of Mr. Badman by Bunyan in St. Philips Books for ten pounds. This bookstore was a couple shops away from Alice’s shop. A very small shop.

I’m in the process of reading The Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s not a quick read for me. It was first published in 1678.

Here are some of the descriptions written about The Pilgrim’s Progress;

An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim’s Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

The Pilgrim’s Progress, religious allegory by the English writer John Bunyan, published in two parts in 1678 and 1684. The work is a symbolic vision of a Christian man’s pilgrimage through life. At one time second only to the Bible in popularity, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most famous Christian allegory still in print.

John Bunyan: Born at Elstow, near Bedford, in 1628, the son of a brazier. Served in the Civil War on the Parliamentary side. Became a preacher in 1657; and pastor of a congregation in Bedford, 1671. Intermittently imprisoned for preaching from 1660 to 1672, and again in 1675. Died in London on 31st August 1688.

Have you ever read The Pilgrim’s Progress?

Christ Church College ~ 2

Today we will go that way…

A fair warning: This post will be long with lots of photos!

The Grand Staircase where Professor McGonagall met new students arriving at Hogwarts.

A more well-known Harry Potter filming location is the stairwell, leading up to the Great Hall.

These iconic Harry Potter steps were used in multiple films, but they are mostly known for the grand arrival of the students at Hogwarts on their very first day at Hogwarts.

Now we move on to the dining hall that was the inspiration for the dining hall in the Harry Potter series. This great hall is filled with non-fiction history and not just the fiction of J.K. Rowling and Lewis Carroll.

The Christ Church College Dining Hall is the largest in Oxford, seats 300, and is known for its stained glass, hammerbeam roof and portrait collection.

The Dining Hall at Christ Church has dozens of paintings hanging on all four of its walls. This is the wall at the one end of the hall and features paintings of Henry VIII in the middle and Elizabeth 1 to the left. To the right of the King is Cardinal Thomas Wolsey(1475-1530), Lord Chancellor of England (1515-1529).

Christ Church College was founded during the reign of King Henry VIII in the early 16th century.  It is the only college that was founded by King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor of England, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. It was founded in 1524 and originally called Cardinal College, named after Wolsey himself. He was a product of Oxford, having graduated from Magdalen College. The founding of his own college was a great undertaking, and one that could only increase his already-impressive status. He was not only one of the wealthiest men in England, but also one of the most powerful.

Cardinal Wolsey fell out of grace with Henry the VIII when he failed to secure an annulment for the King and his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. He was charged with allegiance to a foreign power (Rome and the Pope). He was forced to hand over all properties to the King. The college was known for some time as “King Henry VIII’s College,” and finally named Christ Church College by King Henry in the year 1546 – one year before his death.

There’s a lot more interesting history from this college but I’ll let you discover it if you wish.

Looks like I’ll need one more post in the Christ Church College series to cover Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. Till next time, cheers!

Christ Church College Part 1

On Wednesday morning September 14th we ate breakfast out at The Breakfast Club on the upper level of Westgate Shopping Center. After breakfast we made our way to Christ Church College via Brewer Street right past the home where Dorothy Sayers was born. We’ve enjoyed many books by Sayers like her Lord Peter Wimsey series. She was a friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. She was baptized by her father in Christ Church Cathedral.

We walk past the front of the college where it’s famous Tom Tower looms onto the Oxford Spire skyline.

We crossed St. Aldates and continued on Broad Walk to the Christ Church Gift Shop to buy our tickets for our tour of Christ Church College.

Our tickets were discounted since the Cathedral was closed to visitors during the Mourning Period for the Queen. Christ Church College was the most commercialized tour and restricted of the colleges we visited. You had to wear a lanyard attached to an electronic tour guide and you got head phones for listening. All the paths were marked and restricted areas marked, too. Not my favorite way to tour but for many it’s a great way to get all the information you need as you walk through.

Christ Church is one of the most famous Oxford colleges for several reasons: its size, its wealth, its grandeur and, to the current generation Harry Potter. But this college’s history spans back over 500 years as Christ Church was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII.

The tour visitor door is off of Broad Walk across from the Gift Shop. This was the only college to our knowledge that had a gift shop, too.

Christ Church was founded in 1546, and there had been a college here since 1525, but prior to the dissolution of the monasteries, the site was occupied by a priory dedicated to the memory of St Frideswide, the patron saint of both university and city.

Christ Church receives over half a million tourists each year

We’ll go that way in my second post about Christ Church. Today we’ll cover the outside and the small courtyard and beautiful cloisters.

As you approach the “Harry Potter steps” at Christ Church, which lead up to the dining hall, you will notice a curious form of graffiti on a door to the right.

On an old brown door, there is the word “Peel”, with each letter formed out of very small circles.

This is the oldest form of graffiti on record and the door was marked in protest against the Sir Robert Peel who was the British Prime Minister in the early nineteenth century.

The reason it looks like there are lots and lots of tiny circles making up the word is because the name “Peel” was marked onto the door with nails.

Past the ‘No Peel’ door we head out to Tom Quad but have to turn right to the Courtyard that will eventually lead us out of the college.

I was happy to be able to see Tom Quad even though we couldn’t walk around the Quad.

The plaque on the left reads Culham College, Founded by Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, to prepare school teachers to serve children within the Diocese of Oxford and well beyond its borders. 1852-1979

Samuel Wilberforce, FRS was an English bishop in the Church of England, and the third son of William Wilberforce. Known as “Soapy Sam”, Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his day. He is now best remembered for his opposition to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution at a debate in 1860.

The Cloisters here were used in filming of Harry Potter movies, too.

After touring the courtyard and cloisters around the courtyard we exited the college.

My second post from Christ Church College will cover the Harry Potter and Lewis Carroll connections.

 

Tuesday Guided Tour

We started our Tuesday afternoon tour with Tony on the 13th of September at 2pm sharp. Our guide pointed out the bronze statue of a man on top of Exeter college and pointed out the idea that the statue is looking down at the martyr’s cross set in a circle of cobbles on Broad Street where the three protestants, Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake. More about their history in a later post about these Martyrs. The Statue is by Anthony Gormley and installed in 2009. It is about 7feet tall.

 

We walked past the Sheldonian where on plinths between the railings are a series of Emperor heads, representing Roman emperors, or philosophers. Each one has a different beard. Christopher Wren is the architect of the Sheldonian and other buildings in Oxford. These heads were installed when the theater was built and then remodeled in 1868 and again in 1970’s. One of the heads has a wren chiseled in its hair in honor of Christopher Wren.

We walked to the back of the Sheldonian past the Bodlein and past the Bridge of Sighs and on to Radcliffe Camera and into University Church of St. Mary’s.

Some of the information and places we visited with our guide were already known to us but he had some other insider information that we gleaned from him.

After walking through the covered market we exited and went onto Turl Street back toward The High with the All Saint’s tower and steeple ahead of us. Once on High Street we continued on to St. Aldate’s to Christ Church College.

Tom Tower at Christ Church College is another architectural masterpiece by Christopher Wren. This school was founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 with its entrance embellished through the addition of Tom Tower, designed by Wren, in 1680. Great Tom, the bell from Osney Abbey, strikes 101 times at 21:05 each evening: the number represents the 100 students of Henry VIII’s foundation plus an additional place funded later; 21:05 signals the student curfew according to Oxford time, which is five minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time.

We would take a tour of Christ Church College on the following day, Wednesday September 14th.

We walked along the Broad Walk through part of the school campus and on to Merton Grove.

We caught a glimpse of the Christ Church College Cathedral through the iron gate along Merton Grove. This is the only cathedral in Oxford and it’s the smallest cathedral in the U.K. Sadly, the cathedral was closed during the mourning period of the Queen and we were not able to go inside to see it.

Dear and Tony our guide ahead of me and to the right is the tower at Merton college.

We are on Merton Street now and this is the front of Merton College Chapel.

Merton college was founded in 1264 by William de Merton, Lord Chancellor to Henry III, the oldest college in Oxford.

Above, between the statues of Edward I and the founder is a relief of a book, the Lamb of God opposite de Merton kneeling in prayer, flanked by John the Baptist and a unicorn.

J.R.R. Tolkien was an alumni of this college. We tried to get into Merton and Exeter Colleges but both were closed on the days we tried, sadly.

We turned off Merton Street onto Logic Lane.

We were drawn to the Martlets on this crest since Dear’s family crest includes these birds.

A martlet in English heraldry is a mythical bird without feet that never roosts from the moment of its drop-birth until its death fall; martlets are proposed to be continuously on the wing.

Off Logic Lane we are back on the High. We cross the street to Queen’s Lane.

Our guide pointed out The Grand Cafe which we never made it to and another cafe across the street that both claim to be the site of the first coffee house in England.

Onto Queen’s Lane past Queen’s College we turn onto New College Lane.

We see the entrance to New College, one of the colleges we did get into on the following day, and continue on to the end of our tour where we are left off at the Bridge of Sighs at the passageway to The Turf Tavern.

By this time after our 2-1/2 hour tour we are ready to quench our thirst. We say goodbye to Tony and hello to the Turf Tavern. We packed a lot of walking and touring on our first full day in Oxford.

Congratulations if you made it through this long post.

Back to the present, a Happy Thanksgiving Day to our Canadian neighbors and Happy Columbus Day here in the USA. 

The Bodlein

On Tuesday September 13th we booked a tour for the Bodlein Library at 11:00. We waited for our tour guide in this section of the building which was the Divinity School. Divinity School is the oldest and largest room in the Old Bodleian Library, and a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The stone carved ceiling is magnificent.

I’m standing between the two pulpits.

This room was used as the Hogwarts infirmary in the Harry Potter film series. It was also used in the Morse Series and Shadowlands. The Hugh Humphreys library was also used in the films. No photos were allowed in the library.

This is the door that was added by Sir Christopher Wren.

Our tour guide arrived and he had so much history stored in his brain to share with us.

We went through this door to the Convocation House and Chancellors Court which was the Universities former courtroom.

Originally built in the 17th century, Convocation House was once designed as a meeting place for the University’s supreme legislative body while Chancellor’s Court was the University’s former courtroom.

Adjoining Convocation House is the anteroom, Chancellor’s Court, which was used as the court for the university.

After we left this room we walked up a series of stairways to the Duke Humphrey’s Library. Duke Humphrey’s Library is the oldest reading room in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. It is named after Humphrey of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Gloucester, who donated 281 books after his death in 1447.

As I mentioned before I was disappointed that photos were not allowed in the Duke Humphrey’s but I’m glad we could see it in person.

The Divinity School and the Convocation House can be rented for weddings or other meetings.

You can read some history about the Bodlein here.