In the Footsteps of Jane Austin

It feels really strange to be starting a new blog after the best part of three years working on my old one.  I spent hours trying to coax Blogger to upload photos in January and got absolutely nowhere.  Then Mr O arrived at school….. and the rest you already know from my previous post on Stand and Stare V1.  The main problem was that I felt that ‘Stand and Stare’ didn’t really work without photos.  So here I am at the tender mercies of WordPress.  So far so good…. the choice of free templates is limited but OK and the image upload speed is fantastic.  Fingers crossed..!  This is the post that I’ve been trying to write since January…

We’ve driven past the turn to Winchester, on our way to the coast from Worcestershire, dozens of times over the last 20 years.  I understand that it was recently identified as the best place to live in the UK.  We decided to explore the hype and went down there for a weekend break with my parents.

On the Saturday morning the weather was fantastic.  We decided to explore the cathedral and it looked amazing in the low winter sunlight.  The nave had been cleared so that visitors could fully appreciate the gorgeous architecture…

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We also found Jane Austin’s grave.  I hadn’t realised that she had lived in the area and spent her final years in the city..

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There was a later, Victorian, memorial on the wall..

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We were all struck by the enormous amount of medieval detail in corners of the building.  The were wall paintings in a tiny side chapel…

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And a huge expanse of 13th century tiles…..

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There’s also plenty of 19th Century features ~ like the screen behind the high altar.

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Our little audio guides pointed out that a stature of Queen Victoria can be found in a niche to the side of the screen.  I went looking and found her….!

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And we also learnt masses about the brave diver who spent years under the cathedral stabilising the foundations.  I can’t even begin to imagine what his working conditions were like, week in and week out in the darkness..

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We the sort of family who like to get ‘value for money’ when we’re exploring.. so it took us the best part of three hours to work our way round the cathedral with the help of the audio guides!

Fortunately the sun was still shining when we came out..!

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So we wandered round the edge of the cathedral close (where they were clearing up the Christmas Market)…

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And out through a sequence of gates…

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To Jane Austin’s house, near Winchester College…

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It’s privately owned but you can see that it attracts plenty of attention from her fans..

So… here’s the moment where I publish for the first time with WordPress!  Wish me luck.. this post is weeks overdue!!!

Jx

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