photo of the week: Wells Cathedral detail

Posted by carlotta on Thursday February 11th, 2016 at 10:09pm

This week’s photograph comes from Wells Cathedral in Somerset. This is Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury (1329-1363), so loved by pilgrims that they rubbed away his nose and covered him with 17th and 18th-century graffiti. Engraved names of devotees, with dates of their pilgrimages, extend over the Bishop’s entire effigy, obscuring much of the detailed carving. I was fascinated by this defacing of the tomb, the alabaster stone softened by human touch, and the desire to leave one’s name indelibly inscribed on the body of a priest from four centuries earlier.

The following photos are from the rest of my visit to Wiltshire and Somerset, where I played tourist with my visiting American friend. We went in search of standing stones in Avebury and found them in abundance, amongst other prehistoric mysteries dotted around the lush rolling hills of rural Wiltshire.

We carried on to Wells where we explored this tiny city and its cathedral. The architecture of the cathedral is truly beautiful, and if you spend the time to search them out, the interior is filled with interesting details. Particularly surprising was the tomb of Thomas Bekynton, which had two effigies placed one above the other, the lower one depicting a decaying corpse.

Our last day was spent wandering among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey on a desolately dark, cold day, appropriate weather to view the shards of ruined stone carvings jutting into the sky. More photos from this trip can be found here.

Wells, Somerset4

Wells Cathedral, Somerset2 Avebury, Wiltshire2 Avebury, Wiltshire3 Wells, Somerset7 Glastonbury, Somerset1

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