The Old-School Capital of England

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Mar 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Cledwyn's

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, February 7, 2010

We'd been planning to go to church at some point on our holiday. We hadn’t managed to fit it in yet as we had always been in places where it just wasn’t possible. This morning however, we went to church with Sue. It was a charismatic sort of a church, though we didn’t know any of the songs. The preaching was not bad, talking about living in true Christian freedom. After the service we stayed for a cuppa and met a few people before heading back.

We had a rest and a nice hot soup for lunch before Sue took us out to Winchester for the afternoon while Pip stayed home as he had a few chores to do and some football to watch. Winchester was the capital of England until the Normans invaded and changed it to London. We started by walking along the river front, past some old walls and some lovely cottages.

We then headed up to the city centre and along the main road, passing the guildhouse and more old buildings and houses. We were soon outside the Cathedral, a huge building which has undergone a number of transformations over the years. There were two guidesheets available; a fairly dry, boring adult version and a kids version with cartoons, funny facts and activities. Following the kids guide we made ourw ay around the church, even finding a flooded crypt which Sue never knew about. There were hundreds of memorials and tombs; mainly for bishops and political figures but we also found Jane Austen's. The church was built on a marshland and was slowly sinking until early last century when a diver was employed to swim under the foundations and prop them up, so there was a memorial to him as well.

We finished looking around just before evensong, we didn’t hang around for the service but saw the choir getting ready. We walked around the outside of the church and found a book stall where we bought a few books. We also passed a school that was built just after the plague to train new clergy men and a little market area.

Next we headed to a small museum about the town and its development. There were mosaics and remnants from early Roman times, but the most interesting part was a large model that showed the town in 4 different periods.

From the museum, we headed up to one of the remaining old gates. Next to this once stood a castle but it was torn down by Oliver Cromwell. All that remains is the great hall, home of King Arthur’s round table which hangs on one of the walls. There was a small wing with paintings and stuff which we had to rush through before it closed. Out the front was a small tunnel which lead us down into what was once the motte. From here we went back to the car and home.

Back home, we had a roast dinner and arranged our plans for the next day. Pip works in Plympton, just out of Plymouth, so offered to give us a lift if we wanted to get up early. After dinner we watched Duplicity then went to bed.
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