Archive for the ‘Cambridgeshire’ Category

 

The magnificent front of Peterborough Cathedral dominates the precincts

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The entrance to the Bishop’s Palace. the room above the entrance is known as Knight’s chamber as it is reputed to be accommodation for Knights hosted by the Abbey on the order of the King.

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The walls of the Abbey Gardens

 

The Beckett Chapel, built around 1320 to replace a building of 1170 which housed relics from St Thomas Beckett. In 1541 following the dissolution of the Abbey it became part of King’s school and in 1885 Peterborough Museum. It is now the tea room for visitors to the Cathedral.

 

The Gateway between the Abbey precinct and the town square

Edith Cavell By Bain (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Edith Cavell was born near Norwich in 1865. As a 19-year-old she attended Laurel Court school, adjacent to Peterborough Cathedral, as a pupil / teacher. Her skill at languages led to her being recommended for a post as a governess in Brussels, Belgium. She stayed for five years, before returning to the UK to nurse her sick father. This led her to consider a change in career and she trained as a nurse at the London Hospital in 1896. In 1907, she returned to Brussels as the matron of a nursing school and when World War I broke out she continued to nurse the sick at the hospitals attached to the school, even when Belgium was occupied by the Germans. She became involved in the resistance movement, helping Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium to neutral Holland. In August 1915, she was arrested along with a number of others and after being interrogated and imprisoned for 10 weeks, she was executed on 12 October and buried in an unmarked grave. This harsh treatment of a woman and a nurse received multinational condemnation. In 1919, following the end of the war, her body was exhumed and reburied in Norwich Cathedral.

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The memorial to Edith Cavell in Peterborough Cathedral was set up by students and teachers of Laurel Court school.

The Edith Cavell memorial

In 2009, Princess Elizabeth de Croy, whose grandparents had run the escape network in Belgium, presented the cathedral with a lamp used by the resistance for signalling night-time meetings during World War I. It hangs above the Cavell memorial.

The WWI lamp presented in 2009

See also https://petesfavouritethings.blog/2017/08/28/the-cavell-van/

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Robert Scarlett was born in 1496 and became the gravedigger at Peterborough Cathedral. He lived to be 96 years old and may have been the model on whom Shakespeare based the character of the gravedigger in ‘Hamlet’. Near to the end of his life, he claimed to have buried 3 Queens – Katherine of Aragon, Mary of Scotland and his own wife Margaret. He was held in such esteem by the people of the town and the Cathedral that when he died he was buried inside the Cathedral, an honour granted to few people of his social status.

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Robert Scarlett’s tomb

 

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Early caseless chiming clock. some parts date from 1450

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This tower was added so that a monk could watch the relic chapel below – a sort of medieval security guard.

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Tomb of John Chambers – last Abbot of the monastery and first Bishop of Peterborough, one of the few abbots to keep a post following the dissolution of the monasteries.

 

 

This is the oldest part of the Cathedral, where work started in 1118.

19th-century copy of medieval ceiling. Original had been badly damaged by Parliamentarian musket practice during the civil war.

 

Tomb of Unknown Anglo-Saxon saint or bishop c800AD

 

 

At each side of the choir are the two most famous tombs in the Cathedral. The first is of Queen Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, who died in nearby Kimbolton Castle in January 1536. The flag of Aragon flies over her tomb and many Spanish pilgrims make their way to Peterborough to see where the Spanish Queen of England is buried.

The second tomb is no longer occupied. It was the tomb of Queen Mary of Scotland, who was executed at Fotheringhay Castle in 1581, having been found guilty of treason against the English monarch, Elizabeth I by being involved in plots to overthrow the English Monarchy. She was buried in Peterborough, but when in 1612, Mary’s son, James succeeded Elizabeth to the English throne, he had his Mother’s remains brought to London and reburied in Westminster Abbey.

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Another interesting monument is that to the Orme family. When Parliamentary soldiers used the Cathedral as a stables during the civil war, they also passed their time by defacing the monuments. Following the restoration of the monarchy, the cathedral authorities sought to restore the damaged monuments. However, the Orme family asked that this monument be left as a reminder of what had happened.

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The Nave from the west end

The Font

13th-century wooden ceiling

The Pulpit

The Nave looking towards the west door

Side aisle

Chapel of Remembrance

 

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On our recent trip to East Anglia, I had the opportunity to explore Peterborough’s magnificent Cathedral.

 

The first abbey on this site was founded in 655 but was destroyed in a Viking raid in 870. The site remained unused until a group of Benedictines arrived in the mid-10th century and begun to construct another abbey. This building was severely damaged during the resistance to the Norman Conquest in 1069 and the final destruction of this building was caused by a fire in 1116. The current church was begun 2 years later, although it took 120 years to complete. It is noted for its fine 13th century wooden ceilings and its fine lofty architecture.

The abbey closed in 1539 with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and it became a Cathedral. 2 Queens of England have been buried here. Katherine of Aragorn, first wife of Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scots who was executed at nearby Fotheringhay Castle. However, only one remains today, as Mary’s remains were removed to Westminster when her son James I came to the English throne.

The Cathedral building has remained largely unchanged since the 12th century except for the Tower which was rebuilt in the 1880s as it was feared that the original would fall down.

On Saturday Sue and I, together with two friends Andrew and James, visited the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough.This line is interesting as unlike most preserved railways it was not closed down as part of the cuts to the network in the 1960’s, but had actually closed to regular traffic in the late 1930’s.

Wansford Station

 

Wansford Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, we found on arrival that our steam train scheduled for the day had failed and so we would be diesel hauled on our trip. The line runs from Yarwell into Peterborough through the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Class 31 diesel engine. Built for BR at Loughborough in 1961 and used in the Midland Region. It was withdrawn from mainline service in 2000.

34081 92 Squadron in the yard – A Bulleid ‘Battle of Britain Class locomotive. Built at Brighton in 1948, it worked on Southern Region until 1964, when it was sent to Woodhams in Barry. It was purchased by a group set up to preserve a ‘Battle of Britain class locomotive and overhauled at Wansford. It returned to steam in 1998. It is named after a Spitfire squadron based at Biggin Hill during the Battle of Britain

We did get to see some of the other engines in the yard and some of the other exhibits of Railway memorabilia.

Thomas the Tank Engine – An 0-6-0T built in 1947 and used at the British Sugar factory in nearby Peterborough. Arrived at Nene Valley in 1973

Swedish Railcar 1212

DL83 -built in 1967 it operated first at Corby Quarry before in 1971 being transferred to the Lillie Bridge depot of London Transport where it continued to work until its withdrawal in 1989

Signal Box at Wansford

Travelling Post Office

Turntable at Wansford. Originally from Peterborough East and installed here in 1997

 

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Occupation on this site dates back to the arrival of a group of Augustinian friars who acquired the land in the 12th century and built a friary (remains of which can still be seen today incorporated into the later house).

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The friars were evicted in 1535 following the dissolution of the monasteries and after standing unused for 65 years the property passed to Thomas Hobson who built a country house on the site incorporating some of the remaining parts of the original friary. He changed the name from ‘Anglesey Friary’ to ‘Anglesey Abbey’.

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In 1926 the property was bought by 2 brothers, Huttleston and Henry Broughton, Both were keen on horse racing and owned a stud in nearby Newmarket, one of the centres of horse racing in the UK. Their father was Urban Broughton, an American who had made a fortune in mining and railways and their mother was Cara Rogers an heiress from a prominant American oil family.

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In 1929 Huttleston was created 1st Lord Fairhaven. This honour was originally intended for his father, but unfortunately he passed away before it could be conferred and so it passed to his eldest son.

In 1930 Henry married and moved away and Huttleston set about restoring the house and gardens. He was a notable art collector and exhibited his purchases in the house.

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Huttleston died in 1966 and having no heirs left the estate to the National Trust who now administer it.