Friday, June 2, 2017

Rain, rain go away.

Still struggling with photos.  Hopefully tomorrow will work.

Our hopes for clearing skies remained unfulfilled. Clearly we have brought the rain with us from Massachusetts. But our day was lovely in spite of the wet weather. Hoping for afternoon clearing, we set off for Exeter to spend the morning in the cathedral.  This was a very different place from Salisbury, and it wasn't just because of the weather. The building began in 1114 with two massive Norman towers which formed the transept.
The choir and chapels came next at the end of the 13th and early 14th centuries, and the finishing construction was the nave, built in the late 14th century,  in the more flamboyant Gothic style. 

The most arresting feature of the building was the high ceiling with intricate bosses at the junction of delicate ribs.
The ceiling is 315 ft long and is the longest continual medieval stone vault in the world.

Many of the ribs and intersections are decorated with and beautiful colors.
The carved choir stalls, the pulpit, the Bishops Throne are all outstanding 14th century sculptures. There was a 15th century clock, and many tombs and memorial sculptures
. One of the chapels had been destroyed during WW II and rebuilt as a memorial.  Everywhere the embroidered cushions and kneelers bear witness to the modern crafts persons whose work forms the fabric of this building. 

The most original fundraiser, however was the Lego project. For a donation, visitors could place a Lego block in the reconstruction of the Lego Exeter Cathedral. Perhaps donations like this paid for the original stone construction in the Middle Ages.

Instead of clearing, the drizzle increased as we left Exeter, so instead of heading north to the coast and the thatched village of Selworthy, we decided to visit the country house and gardens known as Knightshayes.  

The lawns were full of families, wandering about the lawns. After a lunch of tea, scones, flapjack (an oaty cake thing) and yogurt, we entered the Neo Gothic, Victorian country house built by John Heathcoat Amory in the late 19th century. It was originally designed by an architect named Burges, full of dark paneling, hunting motifs, and elaborate ceilings.  In contrast the park and gardens were bright with many layers of flowers and foliage, and green lawns stretched for acres. The rain held off for most of the afternoon, but we finally opened our umbrellas and stowed our cameras as the rain picked up.  Back at the Red Lion we shared another meal of warm comfort food. Tomorrow morning we check out and head toward Helford for our rental cottage. 

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