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Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 12, Day 2, Carlisle

Awake and up at 5:45. Got a start on my Blog from Day 2 at Burnhead. Down to breakfast at 7:30 and had a lovely English omelet full of mushrooms, peppers and ham. It was very filling. Enjoyed a chat with another guest Trevor and Norman my landlord.

 I made the decision early on to extend my visit to Carlisle for another day and leaving on Sunday instead as I will have lots of time to explore Maryport over the next two weeks. There is so much to see right here in Carlisle so I left for the town centre at 10:00.
On the way I stopped at one of the few Catholic Churches I have seen just up the street from me. It is called Our Lady & St. Joseph and was built in 1800. It was typical of old style church architecture. I spent about 15 minutes in a quiet environment and said a prayer for Mom and Dad.

 
These are two of the large turrets right across from the train station and are on either side of the former gate to the city. Some of the impressive architecture in the City.


Finally I arrived at the Carlisle Cathedral started in 1070 by the Normans. I have too many pictures of this edifice but I'll put some in at the end of this paragraph. This is the second smallest Cathedral in England even before the West nave was destroyed by Cromwell about 1640. It was already in a bad state of repair so some say he may have done them a favour and he left the rest intact. Some of the original Norman Pillars that must be 12 feet in circumference have odd angles to them as a result of subsidence. They may have a 5 degree tilt in a 12 foot rise. This is due to the fact that the cathedral was built on ruins of previous structures and this aspect was unknown to the builders. It would have taken considerable skill by the builders to buttress and connect the walls by improvised arches. I was also interested to see that the foundations of the pillars extended some 4-5 feet below the floor as illustrated by a cut-out view in the basement.
Two other aspects of this cathedral are a stunning painted ceiling and several mural paintings on the back of the choir stalls of St. Antony, the first monk, St. Augustine a Black Friar and St. Cuthbert one of the Black Friars who was Bishop of the Cathedral. These murals were heavily damaged during the reign of Henry VIII as part of his reformation.

Cathedral
 

This is the front of the priory that led to the Cloisters. The floor of this is apparently a tile floor buried one meter below ground.



Painted ceiling of the Cathedral
 
This is the mural of the 12 apostles. There is a full recitation of the Apostle's Creed painted below each individual.




Then I walked over to Carlisle Castle an English Heritage property. This one of the most besieged castles in England due to its location near the Scottish border. It was besieged 9 times mostly by the Sots who were usually unsuccessful but a couple of times by the English taking it back from the Scots. The last time was when Cumberland routed Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie) just before the tragic Battle of Culloden. The Scottish prisoners were taken, held and executed at Carlisle Castle in a very inhumane manner.

The Keep of the castle is quite an amazing structure, even though one can suffer from "castle fatigue"; this is the first one I have seen this trip. I was very impressed with the construction and helpful signage throughout the keep and interpretative centre. Mary Queens of Scots was also held her in the 1600's prior to being transferred to The Tower of London.

Keep

Carlisle Castle
Leaving here I walked over to the King's Head Pub and ordered my steak and ale pie with a 1/2 pint of their Yates Bitter. This was really excellent, the meal I mean as the beer is always good. After that I walked to the Sportsman Pub, the one I had seen the night before and ordered a 1/2 pint of their Cumberland Ale. I took this outside and sat in a small park under a lime tree an idyllic setting. I called Carol and had a geat time catching up with her. She sounds terrific.

It was after that I walked home about 3:00. The temperature was 20 c and sunny and I needed a rest. With a little help from Norman I was directed to the Spar store on Fusehill Street about 6 minutes away from LH and was able to pick up a nice selection of 3 Real Ales for 5.50 pounds. Arriving home I had an email from Mark Potter who is organising the volunteers on the dig saying that he would pick me up this afternoon at the train station in Maryport. While I had sent him the details of my trip to MP I neglected to say I would be coming in on Sunday instead of this afternoon. I was able to get that straightened out and he will now pick me up at the proper time. I felt badly about the confusion but these things will happen. So to console myself I had a glass of Black Sheep Ale one of my favourite Yorkshire brews. Can't get this at home any more.

I was able to connect with Mom and Dad by telephone and happily Pam and Bill were there too so we had a great chat and they were able to help Mom and Dad check my Blog. Had a second beer, the Headless Peg which tastes much better than it sounds. Nice large flavour. At 9:00 I decided to take a walk down to the market square. I was hoping there would have been some entertainment at the Music Stand. The place was dead quiet just like the previous night. So I walked all around the square down towards the castle looking for an opportunity to get a shot with the sun going down but I missed it by a few minutes. I wanted to get a newspaper so walked to the train station but there were none there. Fortunately the clerk on duty at the hotel next door said I could take one of their copies. 

Back home I made a cup of tea with scones, watched some TV and off to bed at 11:00


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