Canterbury Cathedral Assistant Guides Course Cont

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Assistant Guides Course - cont.

Date: 23rd February 2011

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL – Guides Course cont.

The course continues and is so interesting but goodness knows how I’ll remember even half what we are being told.

Our excellent tutor – Alan – was again very interesting and brought so much of the Cathedral and its history to life for us.

We learned much about The Black Prince and were given details on some of the many tombs. The one you can hardly fail to notice is the most colourful tomb in the Cathedral - Archbishop Chichele (1414/1443) Founder of All Souls College, Oxford. The tomb comprises the Archbishop in full regalia on top of the tomb and a cadaver underneath – I suppose to remind us all and the Archbishop that in the end whatever we are, do, achieve, we all become ‘dust’.

Chichele’s tomb was thoroughly restored in 1897 at the expense of the College who undertook to inspect it every half century. The tomb needed very little attention on inspection in 1947 but no inspection was carried out in 1997 so it has since been restored by the Dean and Chapter. The original tomb is very interesting but it is the additional colourful carving in an arch surrounding it that is a bit ‘over the top’ and garish (purely my subjective reaction). However amongst all the carved figures there’s an interesting one of Thomas Becket with part of a sword through his head – Picture below.

I took another Audio tour of the Cathedral this week and noticed that all the chairs were absent from the nave which made this pretty incredible site even more stupendous. We’ve a lecture tonight, so I shall take the camera and attempt to get a decent photo for you. Didn’t have the camera with me yesterday and the chairs are only removed during the month of February so I’ll have to make another trip to get a photo during the day.

Having struggled with the two page suggestions of books to read, I was practically throwing up my hands in despair but help was at hand when Alan recommended the Guides Guide to the Cathedral written by David Bell. What a labour of love and such a comprehensive understanding of this beautiful cathedral. Mr. Bell has taken the guide around the cathedral in a sequential order and has divided his excellent tome into Chapters dealing with each important area covering the history, the architecture, the tombs, the glass etc.

I think I shall give up trying to take notes (vastly inferior to Mr. Bell’s oeuvre) and just concentrate on his book. I’m already quaking at the idea of a Test!!

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - Assistant Guides Course - cont.

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