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A treasure saved

semi-overcast 62 °F


Back to spending pounds and hearing English! We docked in Southhampton and went right to Winchester. The city is delightful and filled with spring flowers - which is why this blog entry is dotted with them. Even the lawns are sprinkled with tiny daisies. In the middle of town is Winchester Cathedral, the longest medieval cathedral ever built (the nave is 558' long). It is stunningly beautiful and unusual. Here's a very brief synopsis of the building. Constructed from 1079-1532, it went from Norman to Gothic, to partially demolished under Henry VIII. Deterioration continued until the 20th century when a miracle happened. In 1905, the whole cathedral was on the verge of collapse: walls had cracks wide enough to crawl through, the stones were falling and the foundations sinking. The Normans had built it on a 17' thick raft of beech trees laid diagonally, and some had rotted (after 1000 years!). Many engineering solutions, digging, pumping, etc. failed, and the River Itchen rushed in and flooded the cathedral foundations. Billy Walker, a diver, arrived from London, put on a 200 pound diving suit and worked 7 hours a day for 6 years to stabilize the foundation enough so that it could be pumped out. And it was, and the result of his Herculean efforts are magnificent. Inside under soaring ceilings, St. Swithin's tomb lies beneath a lovely embroidered pall, and there is a window (can't be seen clearly in photo) of the visit of the Magi to the manger - and the Wise Men are WISE WOMEN!! All over are cushions and kneelers with stunning needlework by the broderers guild (รก la the Tracy Chevalier novel "A Single Thread"), and chapels like that dedicated to the fishermen Peter and Andrew - where Isaac Walton (The Compleat Angler) lies buried). Wow!
Love H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 07:02 Archived in United Kingdom

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Wow! I imagine it feels like "coming home" with all the years you have spent living in or traveling to England. Will you see Mary Quinlan (not sure of first name) or go to Oriel?

by Seabury

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