Here’s Durham Catherdral, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Norman (Romanesque) architecture in the world.
1093? Really? Goodness me, that’s old.
Durham Cathedral was famous across England for being an official place of sanctuary for fugitives, such as myself. What a relief to know I could show up, knock on the door with this gargantuan knocker, and be granted 37 days in order to decide whether I wanted to stand trial or get the hell out of Dodge.
If you decided not to stand trial, you had to leave the country immediately from the nearest port, in this case normally Newcastle.
The Washington family came from near Durham. I like the way this plaque is worded.
‘…whose family has won an everlasting name in lands to him unknown.’
You know who they’re talking about, right? One of the American presidents (the first one) had the same name, which is convenient because it happened to be his family. This is where George Washington comes from.
Took so many photos of this, and I’m not really happy with any shot I got. This is the least bad one of many quite dreadful ones. You’re welcome.
If this reminds you at all of Notre Dame in Paris, it’s the same style of architecture. It’s quite an engineeering marvel, but let me let Wikipedia explain that part:
The building is notable for the ribbed vault of the nave roof, with pointed transverse arches supported on relatively slender composite piers alternated with massive drum columns, and flying buttresses or lateral abutments concealed within the triforiumover the aisles. These features appear to be precursors of the Gothic architecture of Northern France a few decades later, doubtless due to the Norman stonemasons responsible, although the building is considered Romanesque overall. The skilled use of the pointed arch and ribbed vault made it possible to cover far more elaborate and complicated ground plans than before. Buttressing made it possible to build taller buildings and open up the intervening wall spaces to create larger windows.
I’m fascinated with how light streams into a room. Perhaps I’m a bit feline in this way, but even as a young child I could sit for long stretches of time watching sunbeams. I’m reminded of Sunday mornings before everyone was herded into the car to go to church, when sometimes I was ready early and could just sit and daydream. Many people light a candle when they meditate. Although I’m not against that, a beam of sunlight does the trick for the likes of me.
This is the sort of photo that I’m sure would be dramatically better had I a better camera and had spent some time actually learning how to use it.
Here’s what it looks like from up there…or did the other day when I was there.
Lots of construction…good on them for biting the bullet in times of financial insecurity.
It’s taken me a few days to publish this post. Not because I did a tonne of research or anything. It’s just that each new day, Fafa (my mother) and I get back on the trail and see new things.
What do you have to look forward to in the coming days? Well, the neighbourhood we stayed in in Durham is called ‘Pity Me‘, which sounded curious to me. I did a bit of proper research, and I’m rather certain you’ll enjoy what I found.
Then we went to Lindisfarne, which quite honestly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There’s something to look forward to, isn’t it? I’ll get to that soon enough. This is enough for one day, don’t you think?