Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gloucester Cathedral

On one of our first weekends in England we decided to take a day trip to the Gloucester Cathedral.

There's a bus that goes pretty regularly over to Gloucester, which is part of the reason we chose this as our first little trip since our car was still on it's way across the ocean.  Andrew and Brandon were both excited about riding the "big bus" and loved having a row to themselves.

It was a short walk from the bus stop to the Cathedral.  It's a beautiful old building, though there's a lot of construction work being done to landscape the grounds right now so there were a lot of chain link fences and caution tape before we made it to the doors.

We bought our timed tickets for the crypt tour and then set off to explore.

First up were the cloisters.  This is where the monks used to live and was essentially a square corridor with rooms off of it and a courtyard in the middle.  They may look familiar to you as they were the halls of Hogwarts in some of the Harry Potter movies.
Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

They even have a Harry Potter pig- how awesome is this?!

The courtyard also had a pig.  (Apparently this is a thing in Gloucester.  I also saw a couple on the walk to and from the Cathedral.)

We walked around the rest of the main level of the Cathedral and visited several small chapels, overheard a choir rehearsing in a side room, and saw the final resting places of several notable figures.

There was a donations-accepted bounce and brunch event going on in one of the rooms, so we hung out there for a few minutes until our tour started.

The crypt tour was pretty neat. Our tour guide went all the way back to when some kind of monastery in the triple-digits AD and told us all the changes that have been made since that time, including major structural reinforcements to the archways in the crypt to keep the heavy Cathedral from sinking further into the ground.  The exterior walls of the crypt are a couple meters thick and the space would have been used as a shelter during times of war against the Welch.

The area in the middle of the crypt has these wide columns set down in the ground, which was the original floor level before the building started sinking.  You may recognize this room from Sherlock's Abominable Bride episode (near the end, as they're about to solve the case).

Apparently a Doctor Who Christmas special has also filmed here, I'm going to have to figure out which one and rewatch it!

Before we got back on the bus, we stopped in a little shop for some pasties for lunch.

All in all a great daytrip!