I recently returned from a trip to England to tour museums and collections of historical fashion, participate in the Grand Regency Promenade in Bath (part of the annual Jane Austen Festival), and visit historical sites relating to Jane Austen. Here is the first of a series of posts on my travels.
Winchester was a lovely place to visit. There is so much history! It was once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Normal royalty and has seen and withstood many changes. Winchester Cathedral itself was quite fascinating. The cathedral has it's roots in the 7th century and you can elements of it's development in different sections of the cathedral. There is a memorial to St Swithun, patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, mortuary chests containing the remains of King Cnut and William II, as well as the grave of Jane Austen in the north aisle of the nave.
Many stained glass windows remain, dating from the 1500s to the most recent installation in 1992.
The architecture itself is amazing, I could sit and stare at the ceilings all day!
I love the roof bosses that cover the intersections of the ribs of the vaults.
I also enjoyed studying the textiles to be found in the cathedral. Most were created from the 19th century to the present day. The embroidered bench cushions are quite elaborate.
The 13th century medieval floor tiles in the Retro-choir captured my attention and I snapped photos of as many different patterns as I could find. I think the designs would transfer well into quilt or textile designs. I also like the idea that I am walking on the same tiles that were trod upon 800 years ago! How's that for craftsmanship?
I wonder how I can work this colour of blue and gold stars into our decor...
The cathedral library also holds a 12th century illuminated Bible crafted in the great priory linked to Winchester Cathedral, which I didn't get to see! If you are interested in learning more about Winchester Cathedral, the cathedral's website has a lot of information and images. I would love to go back someday after further study.