Archive for the ‘Gloucestershire’ Category

Gloucester Cathedral

Posted: September 21, 2014 in Gloucestershire, UK
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On a recent trip to Gloucester I managed to wangle some time to visit Gloucester Cathedral. It was unexpected and I didnt even have a camera with me (Lesson to self: take camera even when you don’t expect to need it).

 

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“Gloucester Cathedral from Cloister, Gloucestershire, UK – Diliff” by Diliff – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gloucester_Cathedral_from_Cloister,_Gloucestershire,_UK_-_Diliff.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Gloucester_Cathedral_from_Cloister,_Gloucestershire,_UK_-_Diliff.jpg

Built between 1089 and 1130, this Norman Cathedral stands in the centre of the city. Its interior stone work has a pinkish hue due to the burning timbers of a roof fire about 900 years ago.This timber roof was replaced by a stone vaulted roof which was completed in 1242. It was originally the church of a Benedictine Abbey and King Edward the second was buried here in 1327.

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“Doorway Gloucester Cathedral – geograph.org.uk – 1736608” by Mark Holland – From geograph.org.uk. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Doorway_Gloucester_Cathedral_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1736608.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Doorway_Gloucester_Cathedral_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1736608.jpg

The abbey ceased to exist in 1540 with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. However the King wanted to honour the church because his ancestor Edward was buried there and so it was made a cathedral. It only narrowly survived the after-effects of the English Civil war as although only suffering minor damage Parliament laid plans to demolish it. However it survived due to the efforts of the mayor and people of Gloucester and it was re-confirmed as a Cathedral by Charles the second on the restoration of the monarchy. It was refurbished by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1867 to 1873 but reamins much as it was when the last major building project (The Lady Chapel) was finished in 1470.

Gloucester_Cathedral_5_Stevage.jpeg
“Gloucester Cathedral 5 Stevage” by Steve Bennett (stevage) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gloucester_Cathedral_5_Stevage.jpeg#mediaviewer/File:Gloucester_Cathedral_5_Stevage.jpeg

I was struck by what an oasis of peace it was in the middle of a bustling city. Its stone walls had the ability to block out everything from outside and allow you to sit and think in peace and calm, sheltered from the world outside

Gloucester_cathedral_cloisters.jpeg
“Gloucester cathedral cloisters” by Saffron Blaze – Own work. Via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gloucester_cathedral_cloisters.jpeg#mediaviewer/File:Gloucester_cathedral_cloisters.jpeg

And then refreshed it was time to return to the city outside

A chance to get out of London on an RSPB trip to the WWT reserve at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. The reserve is on the Severn estuary as it makes its way to the Bristol Channel and is one of the best places in the UK for wildfowl.

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The journey down from London, was a long one due to having to divert off the motorway and heavy traffic, but at least it was enlightened by the sighting of a Kestrel, once very common alongside our motorways and 3 Red Kites. With the late arrival and the early dusk, it was a bit of a rush to get to view all three of the different wild areas which comprise the reserve – two on the estuary and an inland lake.

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There were good numbers of many types of wildfowl, but perhaps the best sighting was of four Common Crane on the estuary marshes. These birds are from the re-introduction programme that is taking place in the Somerset levels and may well have been birds originally bred at Slimbridge, which have made their way back for the winter.

Common Crane

Common Crane

Curlew

Curlew

Shellduck

Shellduck

Long-tailed Tits

Long-tailed Tits

Pintail

Pintail


Water Rail

As the dusk closed in we were treated to a wonderful roost of Jackdaws

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater White-fronted Goose [sp] (Anser albifrons)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Tundra Swan [sp] (Cygnus columbianus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Crane [sp] (Grus grus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)

A very good day and 47 species seen (including 3 species seen on the journey)