A place of worship, such as a church, temple, mosque or other sacred site.

Easter, eggs, bunnies and buns

Easter, daffodils

It should be simple enough to write a bit about Easter, I thought.  After all, it is the most important festival in the Christian calendar, and a good deal of Britain’s heritage, at least for the last fourteen centuries or so, has been informed by a Christian tradition.  So we should be sure of our …

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Thank God for Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster

There are so many reasons to visit Southwell Minster that it’s a good job someone decided to build it… A few miles north-west of Nottingham, in the English East Midlands, Southwell is neither on a major route to anywhere, nor in traditional tourist-land. So, for most people, going there is a premeditated act; it took …

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The ghosts of Christ Church Greyfriars

The garden inside Christ Church Greyfriars, London

Christ Church Greyfriars is one of those places you stumble across in London without meaning to.  That’s exactly what I did a few years ago, drifting in search of somewhere to eat a sandwich after a tedious meeting.  Close to the Stock Exchange, I found myself in a peaceful garden planted inside the ruins of …

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St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland

St Andrew, St Andrews, Fife

Scotland’s national saint, St Andrew, has his day on 30th November.  As well as being the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew is the patron saint of Amalfi, Barbados, Greece, Romania, Russia, the Ukraine, singers, spinsters, would-be mothers, fishmongers and fishermen, gout and sore throats.  According to the Scottish Government’s website, St Andrew’s Day “is …

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London’s Church of the Templars

Effigy, Gilbert Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke, Temple Church

Almost hidden, tucked away from the jarring bustle of London just off the Strand, you may stumble upon a church that was built by the Knights Templar.  Like all Templar churches, it is round – modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, traditional site of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  The Order …

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St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham

Ruins, Chapel, Heysham, stone graves

This is one of our friend Jeni’s favourite places and she said we should go; so of course we did. Heysham (pronounced ‘hee-shum’, not ‘hay-sham’) sits on Lancashire’s coast at the southern end of Morecambe Bay.  I knew of Heysham as a ferry port, offering services to the Isle of Man and Ireland, as well …

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St Mary’s Chapel, Lead

St Mary's, Lead Chapel, Yorkshire

In a field opposite the Crooked Billet pub near the village of Saxton, in North Yorkshire, stands the tiny chapel of St Mary’s, Lead.  Cross the field over Cock Beck, which was said to run red with blood after the nearby Battle of Towton in 1461, and you are stepping through a vanished hamlet to …

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Visiting Alice de la Pole and St Mary’s, Ewelme

Alice de la Pole, Chaucer's granddaughter, St Mary's, Ewelme

I was looking for Geoffrey Chaucer’s Granddaughter – as you do.  In the process, I discovered a unique church and the last resting place of Jerome K Jerome. Let’s start with Chaucer’s granddaughter, Alice de la Pole.  Alice was quite a lady, a duchess, with extensive lands in the Thames Valley, East Anglia and overseas.  …

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Balliol College

Front Quad, Balliol College, Oxford

Peeking past the porter’s lodge is looking through a window into another world; a world of privilege, beauty, tradition, history and at least a thousand stories.  Here is a bit about Balliol College, one of more than thirty academic communities that make up the University of Oxford. Across the quad from the porter’s lodge, cascades …

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Mungo’s Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow, one of Britain’s great cities and Scotland’s largest, is famous for many things; but probably not for its cathedral.  Indeed, at first glance, Glasgow Cathedral appears a little drab compared with some of its squeaky-cleaned up, maybe wealthier, siblings elsewhere; there is not much trace of a busy, comfort-blanketing close, or precinct, as you …

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Give us a song, Caedmon

Parish Church of St Mary's, Whitby

This is the story of England’s first known poet. Once upon a time, many many years ago, there was a good herdsman who lived on a cliff top called Streaneshalch.  The herdsman’s name was Caedmon; he was no spring chicken and was actually quite shy.  Nearby on the cliff top was a great Abbey, ruled …

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