Sunday, June 08, 2014

The Worcester Cathedral, England

Bill and Ange, our hosts, knew we are keen on seeing these well-known cathedrals, so off we went to see the one that is just minutes away from where they live in Droitwich, just 10 km away.

Worcester is a city in the West Midlands of England with a population of close to 100,000.  Like Droitwich, it's Tudor, half-timbered buildings are part of its charm.

 The fun part is you don't even have to walk far to see them.

And yes, this is that city, known for its Worcestershire sauce and its porcelain.

See the knitted sushi and English licorice?  
The lady happened to be outside and she said she makes them from her knitting left-overs.  :)

But it wasn't sushi or licorice for which we came to Worcester!

It was the Worcester Cathedral, built in 1084 and situated on the banks of the River Severn.

The portal entrance itself, with all its statues, is worth the visit.

But the first view of the nave is always what takes my breath away.
I still can't put my head around worshipping in such a place!

And then I look up!  How did they do that?

And then I look down.  Even the floors tell you something.
Every stained-glass window, of course, also means something.

When you get down to the details, I'm always mesmerized by the quire/choir.
Having sung in many choirs in my lifetime, I can just imagine singing here.
Would my choir-director mom be enraptured, I wonder?

And what about my preacher dad?  Would such a pulpit fluster him?

Most of the pews look comfortable...for the rest of us.
(Did I mention I'm starting to "collect" church cushions?)

The rood screen and high altar...and modern attempts to reach all, perhaps?

It's a place for remembering those who have passed on before us.

It's always time to remember.

Speaking of which, the Norman crypt below is from c. 860.

And then we went to the cloisters. 

On one side of the cloister garth is the Chapter House.
It was a huge and empty circle that day...ready for an imaginary concert or reception.

With the garth/courtyard across from the Chapter House, what a reception that would be!
Wouldn't you love being the gardener there.

While we ate our lunch there, at the inside edge of the coutyard, a photographer took our picture.
We're famous!  Supposedly we've ended up in a magazine somewhere.

Then we left the cathedral, and I was suddenly short of eyes again.  I love ruins like this.

The college green, the archway leaving...what a way to say Good-Bye.
It left its mark on us; and we left our mark on it.

As we left for the car, a congregation of swans directed our view back to the cathedral.
I've never seen so many swans gathered together in one place in my life!
I think it means something.

And thus ends the two-day visit with our fabulous hosts, Bill and Ange, from Droitwich Spa.


  1. Wonderful set of pictures Ginnie. You have done Worcester proud

    1. You're most kind, Bill. You obviously know us well since this was a perfect outing in every way! THANK YOU, again and again.

  2. Worcester and the Worcester Cathedral are very colorful. To walk the city was a joy, so much to see. The cathedral was even better than a museum. What great details.
    Bill is right, you have done Worcester very proud. Great pictures to keep this day into our memory.
    I never saw so many swans together either.

    1. Worcester is such a BIG name in my ears, for some reason. I feel like I visited a place out of a fairytale...not real at all. Bit there it was, bigger than life. We are so lucky!

  3. Stunning, all of it! Thank you for the picture of the gorgeous flower arrangements, wow! And so many swans!

    Is it pronounced "Wooster"?

    1. Yes, Ruth, it's pronounced "Wooster." HA! That's a good way to remember it. It's a memory we'll have and hold for a long time, for sure!

  4. so fascinating. how beautiful these cities are and the architecture conjures romance. i was going to ask if this was really pronounced wooster, but i got the answer above.

    btw, do they sell sauce in like collectible containers?

    1. It's all like a fairytale for me whenever I'm in England, Maria. I'm still pinching myself! :)

      I have no clue about how they sell the sause because we didn't see any. That would be special...a souvenir container. :)

  5. I have always wanted to visit this area of England and I want to now more than ever...what a stunning cathedral.

    1. I know what you mean, Donna. I'm still pinching myself. Everything about England is always so romantic to me! :)

  6. I live so close that I am ashamed to say that I have never visited Worcester Cathedral. How bad is that coming from someone who loves Cathedrals and Churches!!

    1. Now you've dumfounded me, Cherry!!! I declare. But it's so true...often we don't see the things in our own backyard! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. :)

  7. What for a beautiful cathedral - I love all your photos - what a wonderful reminder of a great journey!

    1. Oh, yes, Philine. It's definitely one to see, if ever you have the chance on one of your trips to England. :)

  8. Now you’ve really put on a show. As I watched I tried to recall whether Worcester was one of the dozen or so we explored on our trip through England as our daughter entered 11th grade. I thought I recognized it when you got to the chapter house and back outside, but looking at the map, Worcester is a bit to far northeast of where we traveled.

    The crypt is a special treat. I wonder what stood above it when it was built. I don’t recall seeing Norman stone work so well-preserved and crisp and refined. Your study of a main pier and its details is especially beautiful. Your pictures make clear clear that no matter how early this church was, it’s soul is High Gothic.

    Never-the-less after looking at your photos I feel I’ve been there. Another gem! I hope you were there when the angels were singing. You wondered if you could worship in such a place. It’s an irrelevant question to me; I don’t worship, but the sound of the organ and choir in places such as this can certainly lift my spirit and leave me in awe of being.

    This one was a special treat. I wonder if you have ever made it as far north as Durham, one of my favorite places in the world and nicer by virtue of its seclusion than York. We got there on a second trip in which we landed in Manchester and drove north into Scotland. You’ve definitely whet my appetite for returning.

    1. WOW, Ted. You sure know how to make my day! There is so much about England I want to know and your recommendations are always important. THANK YOU. You'll be the first to know if we ever make it to Durham!

    2. On the way north to Durham we also stopped at two magnificent ruins, one an old abbey, the other a monastery.

      We arrived in Durham not have slept for almost 30 hours. I immediately took a two hour walk while Jane slept.

    3. That tells you everything, Ted! I see it’s in the NE of England, usually far away from where we visit. However, we plan to visit friends near Lancaster one day, so maybe that will be doable. We’ll keep that in mind. Thanks again for the recommendation.