Monday, July 7, 2014

Canterbury and Leeds Castle

Saturday was another full day with ISS, this time to Canterbury and then onto Leeds Castle.

We began in Canterbury with a guided tour of the town and it's landmarks. Canterbury has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and it was captured by the Romans in the 1st century AD. Because of its strong Christian basis with the Cathedral, it has been the cite of pilgrimage for hundreds of years.  Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, written at the end of the 14th century, is the most famous account of such journeys.

There are many historic churches in Canterbury, this is a portion of St. Peter's.

St. Peter's 
Just another lovely line of British shops, I can't get enough!

The most iconic and architecturally stunning building in Canterbury is definitely the Canterbury Cathedral. It is the Cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England. It was founded in 597 by St. Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. It was then completely rebuilt from 1070-1077.
St. Thomas, or Thomas Becket an Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered here in 1170.
Then following a fire in 1174 it was rebuilt as the first Gothic style structure in England.

Danielle, Karina and I in front of the Cathedral.

All the windows were stained glass. I wish we could have seen their full beauty from the inside!

Because of its long history, there are crumbling ruins all over the town.

An old window outside the Cathedral.

This building, The Conquest House, is now a cafe and shop, but dates back to Roman times and is one of the oldest buildings in Canterbury. 
Great sign outside The Pilgrim's Refectory pub in the Conquest House. 
During our free time, we made sure to see the Canterbury Castle. It is one of the oldest in Britain, dating back to 1070 when it was built by William the Conquerer, the Duke of Normandy following the the Norman conquest of England began in 1066 with the invasion of England by William the Conqueror. The castle is therefore called Norman, built in the style of Romanesque architecture used by the Normans during their rule in England 

Danielle, Romela, Karina and I in the ruins of the castle. 

The St. Mildred church, which is the oldest pre-conquest church still standing in Canterbury.

I include this photo only because this  now American Pancake House is where the Mayflower Compact was signed. Canterbury is a town with so much history, there are some understandable challenges moving it into the 21st century ;)
Next, we were off to Leeds Castle. Self dubbed "The Loveliest Castle in the World," it boasts a history of more than 1000 years. It began in AD 800-900 as a manor for the Royal Saxon Family, and then had many different royal owners including Henry VIII. The longest owner was Lady Baille who lived there during the 1900s and restored all the interior decor and made it a meeting place for everyone from leading politicians and ambassadors to film stars. When she died, she bequeathed the castle and its 500 acres of park and garden to the Leeds Castle Foundation.

The tree lined pathway leading to the castle.

There were so many birds on the grounds. Ducks, several different species of swan, and even peacocks. 

One of the gardens on the way to the castle. 

This was my first time going through a maze and let's just say,  mazes are much more fun in thought than in practice.

I had to run after a little girl who seemed to know what she was doing more than we did, but we made it. 
Underneath the center of the maze was the Grotto, an underground cave filled with strange carvings. As much as any of us could tell, it was just there as a tourist attraction.  
Strange, random, and very Pirates of the Caribbean. 

The castle itself, complete with a moat, was definitely impressive.

I have decided that little Alice in Wonderland doors are just everywhere in old buildings. :)

The moat.
An old window with its bars.
Lady Baille's bedroom.

Much of the interior was decorated with the various birds that inhabit the castle grounds. 

As usual, the library was my favorite room.

I can pretend to be Belle, even just for a few moments.

The front of the castle. 

I don't think I will ever tire of seeing castles. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hello Young Traveler....SUPER GREAT posts from another aaaaaawesome weekend abroad. You're inner adventurer, historian, writer and photograher are coming out to play girlfriend and it is a sheer delight to see it unfold from across" the pond"!!! Is 12 K...more or less 12 miles? Could the colors of the ocean water be MORE beautiful ...or the sky be more sunny and blue.... how about the red and white lighthouse with the blue of the water and sky.?. I am dying to know whats in the suitcase in Lady Bailles bedroom. Why ARE so many of the doorways so small ... were we that much smaller then? How come you couldn't go inside St. Peters to look @ the stained glass etc.?What formed the chalk cliffs...and did you notice HOW CLOSE YOU WERE TO THE EDGE IN THAT ONE PICTURE???!!! :) And as far as books and libraries are concerned.... YOU ARE BELLE!!! Had to get the old Websters out for ESPECIALLY BURSARS...still can't figure out why they were so bad! Thank you again for bringing us up to speed on your grand adventure! It is so much fun to share it with you ...and may I say you look SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY... all lit up from the inside out!!! Your friends are all so lovely too. What a great bonus to the journying! Blessings from home to you always puppet :)