Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
So here is a list of my other ones. ūüėė

Crafting

A new me

Our garden

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If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.

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Tilly

 

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Bishops Palace

The Bishop’s Palace
Wells
Somerset
BA5 2PD

Admission Adults £9.10 child £4.55

The Bishop‚Äôs Palace & Gardens have been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years and sits right next door to the Cathedral.¬† The best way to get your first view of the Palace is to approach it from Market square go through the archway known as the Bishop‚Äôs Eye and you will be greeted with a view of moat, gatehouse with drawbridge and ramparts topped with crenellations. The mid 1300’s were a time of great plague, famine and political war, Bishop Ralph had these¬† ramparts built for protection and also as a symbol of authority and power. Today you can walk the remaining part of the Rampart, from here you can see the Tor, Mendips and the Cathedral. The moat as well as being part of the protection of the Palace as a practical purpose, it is a key role in taming the damp, marshy and often flooded land which surround the Palace.¬† The moat is also home to mute swans, who ring a bell when they want feeding. To enter the ground you cross the flagstone drawbridge, walking under the portcullis.

Built for Bishop Jocelin work on the Place Began¬† around 800 years ago, successive bishops have left their mark on the Palace. In the late 1200’s¬† Bishop Burnell added a chapel and great hall, in the mid 1400’s Bishop Bekynton added the north range and tower and around 170 years ago Bishop Bagot added an additional storey.

Parts of the Palace are still used today but you can walk around the vaulted Undercroft with open fire and up the  very impressive staircase to what would have been the rooms where the Bishop entertained, worked, dined and slept. From the undercroft you can enter the chapel built between 1275 and 1292 for Bishop Burnell, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Edward I. The chapel has been used for centuries by the Bishops of Bath and Wells, and their households, for private prayer.  The chapel contains some  fine patterns of stone tracery, medieval carved vaulted ceiling and sedilia. The tall stained glass windows were rescued from French churches damaged or abandoned after the Revolution of 1789, and more modern additions include the Somerset made early 20th century pews and a 21st century heraldic frieze displaying the bishops’ arms.

Now only a ruin the great hall (Bishop Burnell’s) was built alongside the chapel in the 1280’s. It is the third largest secular hall in England. During the second half of the 1500s it was stripped of its lead roof and the weather took its toll on the rest of the building. In the 19th century Bishop Law demolished two of the walls and used the remaining shell of the Great Hall in landscaping to create the¬† Garden which can be seen today.

Set within the 14 acres of garden are ‘The Wells,’ this spring is named after the city of Wells. It is believed that these wells have had sacred significance for 1000’s of years, particularly the holy well of St Andrew. The ancient Well House built in 1451, part of the water system which was set up by Bishop Beckynton to provide fresh water to the townsfolk can be seen adjacent to the well pools.

Photos

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Wells Cathedral

Cathedral Green,
Wells, Somerset,
BA5 2UE

Admission Donation

Wells Cathedral is a truly¬† beautiful place, dating back to the 1100’s. The West Front contains medieval sculptures starting with biblical scenes then going through Kings, bishops, angels, ending with Christ, from here you walk up to the scissor Arches. A fantastic piece of engineering constructed in 1338-1348 The cathedrals foundations were not stable enough to hold the high wooden¬† lead topped spire built in 1313, after several attempts at internal strengthening and buttressing¬† the¬† scissor arches were put in place by master mason William Joy.

The  Wells clock is considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain, and  survives in its original condition and is still in use. The clock face is the oldest surviving original of its kind and the original works were made around 1390. The clock strikes every quarter of an hour with jousting knights rushing around above the clock.

The Jesse Window is an example of 14th century stained glass, it dates from around the 1340’s¬† and given its¬† age¬† is still remarkably intact, what can be seen today is basically how medieval glaziers designed and created it.

The  Chapter House is an octagonal room which is still used today on formal occasions, it is   reached by  a well worn wide staircase. The staircase was built first in 1265-1280 and the Chapter house followed in 1286-1306.

The Cathedral also contains the Undercroft with artifacts, St Katherine’s Chapel, Thomas Bekynton’s Tomb, Library, Quire, Cloisters, cafe and shop.

Well worth a visit.

Photos

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The Roman Baths

Roman Baths,
Abbey Church Yard,
Bath BA1 1LZ

Admission Adult £21 to £26 depending on the time of year you visit child £13.50 to £16.00. Prices include audio tour

The Roman Baths are a very interesting place to visit to make the most of the visit I would recommend taking advantage of the audio tour which gives plenty of information about the artifacts, life and times, beliefs etc. There are also special sections for children and a commentary by Bill Bryson. I did think the price was a little on the expensive side but once we had been around I can say it’s worth every penny.
On entering the Entrance which is Victoria it is well worth looking up and taking in the ceiling which is decorated with images of the four seasons. This leads on to the Terrace a large window allows you the first look at the bath and statues which were carved in 1894 three years before the baths were opened in 1897.

The Terrace leads to Meet the Romans where you are introduced to the town and people of Aquae Sulis, from the windows in this room there is a really good panoramic view of the bath. This room is followed by the Temple Pediment, here you see the front of the Temple, it was here that the statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva was housed. Parts of the ornamental pediment survive and have been re-erected and an animation shows how the pediment would have looked in Roman times. The pediment carries the image of a fearsome head thought to be the Gorgon’s Head which was a powerful symbol of the goddess Sulis Minerva.

The next room contains the Roman Baths collection, it includes thousands of finds from the site itself, film projections of Roman characters, the Beau Street Hoard, a collection of over 17,000 Roman coins which were discovered in Bath in 2007, a stone head of a lady, dating from the late 1st century AD from a tomb and number of tombstones.

This is followed by the Roman Worship room. This room contains The Facade of the Four Seasons.
A facade with carvings of the four seasons was surmounted by a decorated pediment containing an image of the goddess Luna. It is thought that this place was where worshippers might have spend the night in the sacred courtyard next to the Temple of the goddess where they might have visions in their dreams.
The curse tablets are messages inscribed on sheets of lead or pewter, which were then rolled up and thrown into the Spring where the spirit of the goddess dwelt. These were away of asking the Gods for justice.

Three large curved and decorated blocks supported by a stone column survive from the frieze of a tholos.
You pass beneath the tholos blocks as you descend the staircase so that you see the decoration as it was intended originally.

As you enter the next room, Temple Courtyard and Minerva you walk along a suspended walkway above the Temple courtyard. This room shows the sacred area where people would gather to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva. This was the place where sacrifices were made at the great altar. There is also a gilt bronze head of the goddess Sulis Minerva one of the best known objects from Roman Britain. The haruspex stone inscription reveals that the stone was set up by L. Marcius Memor, a haruspex, who was a special kind of priest. The stone was dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva and would have supported her statue. It is thought that the haruspex had the power to advise on the meaning of omens and would have been consulted before an important event or course of action.

When you leave this room you come to the Sacred Spring which sits at the heart of the site. Naturally hot 46¬įC water rises here every day as it as done for thousands of years. In the past this natural phenomenon was beyond understanding was believed to be the work of the ancient gods. The Romans built a Great Temple next to the Spring and dedicated it to the goddess Sulis Minerva, a deity with healing powers. Objects were thrown into the Sacred Spring as offerings to the goddess including the curses. Moving on the Spring overflow which carries surplus water from the hot spring to the original Roman drain, can be seen as a small waterfall which then runs under the floor through the Roman drain which can be seen through a glass floor in the museum.

Then it is outside to the Bath, where you walk on the stone floor that Romans walked on. The Great Bath is a lined with 45 sheets of lead, and filled with hot spa water. It once stood in an enormous barrel-vaulted hall that rose to a height of 40 metres, now gone. You can then wander around the remains of the changing rooms, Saunas, Heated Rooms and Plunge Pools. These rooms finish with the Spa Water Fountain where you can taste the waters, the water contains 43 minerals and run warm, I did taste it ans it is warm with a metallic taste.

Photos

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Bath Abbey

11a York Street,
Bath
BA1 1NG

Admission donation

Tower tour £8

John of Tours was made Bishop of Wells in 1088, which at this time was the seat of the Bishop and home to his cathedral. Some  years later King William Rufus  granted the city of Bath, the abbey and its monastic buildings and lands beyond to John who moved the bishopric to Bath. By the early 1090s John had set in progress an extensive building programme, which included plans for  monastic buildings and a Bishop’s palace, and most importantly, a vast new cathedral to replace the Anglo-Saxon abbey. At the time of John’s death in 1122 most of the lower walls of the new cathedral had been built. The  rest of the building work was completed by Bishop Robert of Lewes. The cathedral was completed and consecrated by the beginning of the 1160s.

The out side of this Abbey is truly aw-inspiring the inside however left me feeling a little let down. True it is beautiful with a very interesting memorial wall and if I have this right everyone on that wall is buried beneath the abbey, stain-glass windows and arches but for me it didn’t have the feel I was hoping for.

At certain times you can for a fee climb the tower,  212 steps take you  to the top. On your way up, you will  visit the ringing chamber, bells and clock, however the day we went they were not running the tours.

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Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge
Bath

Admission Free

A beautiful Georgian Bridge than is set over the river Avon, it is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops across its full span on both sides

The bridge is named after Frances Pulteney, wife of William Johnstone Pulteney. William¬† ¬†owned a lot of land in the surrounding area of Bath and had grand plans to create a ‘new town’ to rival that of John Wood’s on the west side of the city. For this he needed a new bridge and he wanted a spectacular bridge, so ¬†in 1769 Robert Adam designed the bridge,¬† the architecture is classical, with pediments, pilasters and tiny leaded domes at either end.

The bridge was used in the film Les Mis√©rables it was the scene of Javert’s suicide

 

Photos

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Himley Hall Winter Lights

Himley Hall Winter Lights

Admission Adults £8.00 child £3.00

Advertised as ‘Discover woods aglow with light shining through the trees and upwards into the night sky, go on a family after-dark adventure in undergrowth full of shine and shadow.’ It was a little under-welling. A very small part of the woods had been fenced off and a few lights and a smoke machine had been installed. The outside of the house had been lit and looked pretty as did the windows which were filled with drawings from a local school depicting the 12 days of Christmas, my favorite had to be the four legged partridge in a pear tree.

It was OK, not something I would pay to see again, very overpriced for what was on offer.

Photos

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Himley Hall Christmas Market

Himley Hall & Park,
Himley,
Dudley,
West Midlands
DY3 4DF

Admission £2.50

I can only describe this as a shambles, starting with the path/road leading from the park entrance to the house. Cars parked on this path/road made it very hard for cars and people to move along, I did see some people give up trying to walk the path/road and resort to walking in the mud. Some sort of management of parking would have helped. The marquee needed to be bigger or less stalls should have been allowed, another option would have been timed tickets. Far too many people were being allowed in, along with dogs, pushchairs and wheelchairs it was impossible to move let alone see anything. I am not really sure what would have happen if they would have needed to evacuate. Inside the house was a little better, but not much. I can’t really give an account of goods on sale as I couldn’t get near enough to see anything.

This is the second time I have been to this market and I think it will be the last, it’s not an enjoyable experience.

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