Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ely and Bridgham

Strap yourselves in... this could be a long one.
Long, long ago, (well 1000 years ago to the day give or take a few for the changes in the calendar that occurred in 1752), the Lady Aelfwaru died. She was a noble & wealthy Saxon widow.
In her will this pious & wealthy woman gave many possessions to the then Abbey of Ely including the entire village of Brigham. Today Ely is a large Cathedral town.

Brigham is the next village along from us here in East Harling. Here is a picture of the church from this website.

The village where Richard's daughter Roxi was conceived. The village where we celebrated our wedding.
To celebrate these milestones in it's history, our local historian David O'Neill organised a coach trip to Ely. It really was a marvelous day.

Here I am looking very prim, trying to look old enough to go on an English "Coach" trip. At least the hair colour is correct.
We had a great time gas bagging with our friends Edward & Rachael on the bus on the way there.
Then lunch at a pub where we were joined by a learned "Latinist" who has translated a huge tome entitled 'The Liber Eliensis'. It is an account of the history of the Isle of Ely compiled by a monk of Ely monastery in the later twelfth century, and includes a section on Aelfwaru & her Bridgham connection.There was a beautiful Evensong in the Cathedral dedicated to Aelfwaru.
As a singer in a choir it was heavenly to hear it done really well.
There was a guided tour of the Cathedral with its amazing treasures. How's this for a candelabra?

And this Alabaster reredos. No great Altar cloths unfortunately but some amazingly old banners falling off their brass holding rods with age.This is the main door in. You can just see at the bottom left, where there is a white square of paper, the tiny door that is cut out of this huge one for daily comings & goings.

Edward & Rachael & I with a tiny black cat underneath the tree if you look really closely.
There was something for everyone including jigsaw-puzzle-worthy English river scenes... complete with.............. BOATS...

I felt so refreshed afterwards, as if I'd had a week off. So nice to stop worrying at everything.

1 comment:

Antonia said...

Ely reminds me of York, where I lived for ten years.

One day while walking along the Ouse, I had the same thought as you. I stopped and said "This is where the pictures for 700-piece jigsaw puzzles come from."

Hooray for days out in spring weather.