Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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The first place we went was St. Peters Parish Church. This church is most well-known for its tomb of Mary Shelly, author of the world-famous novel "Frankenstein". On the outside wall of the church "gate" is a plaque that says "In this churchyard lie the mortal remains of Mary Shelley author of "Frankenstein", her father William author of "Political Justice", her mother Mary author of "The Rights of Women", her son Percy, Jane his wife and the heart of Percy Bysshe, her husband the poet." Her parents and other family are also buried in the same tomb.
The inside of the church is very impressive and has a similar look to the inside of most Catholic churches early times (St. Paul's Cathedral in London and Notre Dame in Paris). Lots of stained glass windows, prayer chapels in the corners, and a very ornate nave. It was difficult to get good pictures since you couldn't use a flash. I did my best but some of the pictures are a little fuzzy.
I walked outside to find the tomb of Mary Shelly expecting to find a special area with the one single tomb. As a walked around the outside of St. Peters I discovered several headstones, many the same style as the ones we saw at King's Park on Sunday. Some were the headstones for past priests of the church and one was a "maestro" of the Bournemouth Symphony. As I walked around the back of the church I discovered a hill with stairs and headstones scattered about. There didn't seem to be any real order... just a grave site where ever there was space. I discovered from an information flyer that the stairs leading up the hill had 30 steps which represented the 30 Articles of Religion. At the start (or bottom) of the stair case was an above ground grave and it turned out to be Mary Shelly's. It wasn't separated from the other grave sites around it. It was large because it was above ground but not the largest and not the most elaborate.
Not far from Mary Shelly's grave was the headstone for Alexander Morden Bennett, the first vicar of Bournemouth. Up the hill a bit was the headstone for Richard Clement Moody, Major General Royal Engineers and founder of British Columbia. Along with the headstone was another stone stating, "The city of New Westminster province of British Columbia, Canada, honors the memory of Richard Clement Moody who, when Lieutenant Colonel of Her Majesty's Royal Engineers surveyed and planned the city of New Westminster in the year 1859."
We left St. Peters and headed down the road a bit to find its "sister church", St. Stephens. When we found it there were a lot of people walking around the grounds of the church and a lot of cars. I thought there might be a wedding or something taking place but we discovered it was the last day of the May Festival. A concert was just about to start so we were not able to walk around and take pictures inside. A gentleman explained the schedule of the events for the day and was very apologetic for not allowing us to tour the church. He offered some quick information about the church, such as it was only 125 years old although it looked just as old of any of the other churches we had seen (late seventeen hundreds). I found a quote from 1954...
"St. Stephen's is one of the most beautiful churches in England.... its pale, soaring interior is one of the sights of Bournemouth and whenever you walk inside the church and in whichever direction you look, you get a fine view. Every detail in the church, from the ironwork and woodwork to the moldings of the stone, is carefully considered, and the church abounds in seemingly perfect vistas which give it a sense of mystery and eternity, a perfect architectural expression of the Catholic Faith of the Church of England...". (Sir John Betjemen - 1954).
The church was not built all at once. A beginning was made with the nave and aisles, which were consecrated in 1885, June 10th. The Chancel and Lady Chapel were begun in 1896, the foundation stone being laid by Sir George Meyrick on June 10th, and finished in 1898, when it was dedicated by Bishop Sumner, Archdeacon of Winchester.
We left St. Stephens and while walking back discovered another church that wasn't on our list... St. Andrews United Reformed Church. This church was surrounded by a garden and had some "spitting" gargoyles on the steeple. The church was locked up so we couldn't go in.
A community garden was just on the other side of the road from St. Andrews and Tory, being a huge fan of plants and flowers wanted to go and investigate. Bournemouth has a Garden which stretches approximately 1 mile through town with the sections... Upper Garden, Central Garden, and Lower Garden. At the place where we entered the garden we discovered a War Memorial which was erected in 1922. The main plaque on top is in memory of those who gave their life in service in the War of 1939-1945. The lower plaque is in memory of those who served in the Great War of 1914-1919. We walked up through the Central Garden and saw many flowering plants which you don't see in Texas. Some trees had plaques announcing the tree was planted to commemorating royal events. There was a section toward the end of the Upper Garden with a Water Tower and Fountain that was quite lovely.
The entire garden was very peaceful with some houses that backed up to the garden. The houses were on a bit of a hill and so the back porch or deck overlooked the walking path. I can only imagine how nice it would be to sit outside on your porch and take in all the wonderful colors and smells of the blooming plants, to hear the slight bubbling of the stream, and to just relax with all the peaceful sounds around you. I'm starting to get sleepy just thinking about it!
We walked from the Upper Garden to the Towne Center and had a late lunch at The Slug & Lettuce. No, I'm not kidding. This was the actual name of the restaurant. We looked at the menu before entering to determine what the "slug" was. Although there were menu items named Slug Combo and Slug Platter none of us to determine was "slug" was.
After we left The Slug & Lettuce we stopped in to check out Thornton's which is a classic chocolate shop. Thornton's definitely has Godiva beat... not just in taste but in price as well. Even though it was in pounds and not dollars you didn't pay the expensive price we do when you buy Godiva.
We headed back to the hotel so we could be ready to meet Louise Spencer, B&P College faculty, for dinner at her house. Louise picked us up around 5:30pm and took us to her house in Poole which is about a 10 minute drive. She had made what she called a typical Sunday tea. She made Roast, roasted potatoes, steamed carrots, broccoli, cheese cauliflower, and yorkshire pudding with gravy. It was really nice. I especially liked the cheese cauliflower and yorkshire pudding. Very tasty. For dessert she made "Summer Pudding" which she described as fruit and bread. It was a spongy type of cake with raspberries inside which made it really moist and somewhat juicy. It was served with a berry sauce and extra thick cream on top. Very tasty as well. I really liked the pudding. It was light evening though it had the thick cream on top. I'll have to get the recipe. After dinner she walked us around her village area in Poole and took us to a pub called the Bermuda Triangle for some real ale. We stayed at the pub and chatted for a quite a while and then got a taxi back to the hotel.
Tomorrow starts the college work and it will be a very full week. I'm excited to talk to other faculty and supervisors to understand the structure of their programs and how students take classes and move through their degrees. It should be a really interesting week.
I'd better get some sleep so I can be fresh tomorrow. Until then...