Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Wednesday 17 February 2021

A tale of two cities: Winchester (2)

I once knew someone who swore blind they'd heard a tourist, outside Winchester Cathedral, say to his spouse "OK, honey, I'll do the outside and you do the inside". And a grand inside it is, as you might imagine of something so old and historically significant (there's a stunning exhibition on the Cathedral's Anglo-Saxon history and its associated manuscripts).
You might think this striking stained glass is a contemporary piece, but in fact it's from the seventeenth century, made up of the fragments saved by local people after the Parliamentarian soldiers smashed up windows, tombs and memorials during the Civil War:
Nowadays there are memorials to just about every regiment that's ever served or been based in the area, but the one most people come to see is that of Jane Austen. Plain, austere but fulsome about her many qualities - except that there's no mention of her writing. For a more florid story, try looking up the wall beside it: competitive or copycats?
On doing the outside (as you must to get to the café), the path passes this statue to the extraordinary William Walker, who toiled for years among the Cathedral's foundations to shore them up against encroaching ground water.

 Small wonder that in the surrounding streets there's a pub named after him, complete with diver's helmet as its sign.

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