Visited the stunning Peterborough Cathedral where Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII’s first wife) was buried. Mary, Queen of Scots was originally interred here, but was later moved to Westminster. The vaulting of the cathedral ceiling is immensely high, displaying a variety of architecture and painting. It was originally a Saxon site built on circa 1200, and added to in subsequent decades and centuries. It houses the world’s oldest working pendulum clock.
A leisurely drive through the countryside to the impressive Burgley House. To describe it as a house is a massive understatement. The current estate is 11,200 acres in area, however this is a fraction of its original size. In the past it incorporated the entire nearby township and golf course, but gradually had to be sold off to pay land taxes, to ensure the amazing art collection remained intact. From the humble servants’ quarters and work areas, to the stately bedrooms, library and dining rooms, everything is on an immense scale. Entire rooms, from floor to ceiling, become canvasses for stunning Renaissance art. The expanse of the gardens and lovingly maintained. Sculptures adorn the lawns, hidden away amongst the trees and bushes, while a fabulous water garden is full of mysteries to explore.
Lincoln was a must as we planned to see the Magna Carta, disappointingly however the vast area of the castle that houses this historical document was closed for renovation! But that’s okay cos we can walk up the road to the stunning cathedral, described in the Lonely Planet as the most outstanding example of Gothic architecture in the country, but it was closing!!!! Timing’s everything. Short drive to Brigg and a special catch up with Pat Barlow at Artie’s Mill.
York (Jorvik) The northern capital
Thank goodness we have a sat nav as York’s menagerie of one way roads had us frustrated until we accidentally found our hotel near the Micklegate Bar, NO NOT A PUB, it’s a gateway into the walled city. Visited the Roman Baths dating back 2000 years, a fabulous Viking display centre (Jorvik is what York was called by the Vikings). Strolled through the Shambles, which originally housed many of the butchers of the city, but is now a potpourri of eateries, pubs, sweet shops, boutiques and numerous other businesses. Of course we spent an age in the York Minster, climbing the tower and visiting the under croft beneath the floors of the cathedral, which has exposed remains of the Roman garrison’s fort which was originally on the site. As impressive as the York minster is, it pales when compared to the size and ingenuity of the Roman’s development. York is ‘chockers’ with amazing displays and venues to understand the history of the Lancastrians and the Yorks, but have to admit I am bamboozled by the number of Henrys, Plantagenets, Edwards, Earls, Barons, throw in a couple of Marys who were queens, consorts, mothers and traitors………. include the Viking heirarchy which has 4 sons names starting with E and 5 with A and my confusion becomes evident.
To realize we are walking in the halls frequented by Kings and Queens, Archbishops and aristocrats, strolling the streets that conveyed Romans, Vikings, Normans and Saxons is difficult to comprehend, as our own history since white settlement is pretty uneventful in comparison.