Sunday, 29 January 2012

Derby Cathedral & Bolsover Castle

Hello Readers,
We broke down and had a sling box installed at Bob and Lona's this week.  The TV is okay for me but terrible for Lori so now we have American and British TV.  I did use it to watch Way of the Dragon this weekend.  How can I not watch a film with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris?  Especially during Chuck Norris month.

Kalle had another sleep over this weekend.  Her friend has the cutest little British accent.  She also had her own little make up kit.  I am not ready for make up.  Lori took the girls to see Chipwrecked and the girls put on make up before they left.  Oh man I am not ready for this.  Kalle had fun which was great and we allowed the make up this once since we didn't know about it beforehand.  Lori and Kalle "discussed" make up after her friend left so that Kalle is fully aware of our feelings.  Plus she had an allergic reaction so her face is all red and broken out so it ended up being a learning lesson about make up.  I hope.

Saturday was a short day for us because of the sleep over.  By the time Kalle's friend left it was into the afternoon so we decided to head downtown to check out the cathedral and wander around town.
 Ever since our Scandinavian trip I want to see more cathedrals, I'm not sure why but I could tour cathedrals all day long.  You can tour its website at  Much smaller than the ones from our trip but interesting none the less.

Outside view of cathedral.  40 F and sunny - beautiful day.

Walking into the cathedral.

Cathedral pulpit. 

The Bakewell Screen, a decorative gate into the altar and worship area.

Kalle by the lectern.  Note the lions at the base holding up the structure.

The effigy dates to about 1527 and is rare because it is made from wood instead of stone.  The creepy part is the small shrouded cadaver underneath.  You can see it in the picture, it looks a wooden log.

We found Bess of Hardwick!  For those not familiar with local history Bess is very influential in the area.  You can read about her here.  She was the owner of Chatsworth which is one of my December posts and is buried here in the vault below along with 45 family members.  This was also kind of creepy, thinking of the 46 people buried below.  The monument was designed by her and built in her lifetime.

Stained glass window overlooking the baptismal fount.

Altar area.

View looking towards the entrance.

Monuments are very common in cathedrals here and in Scandinavia.  I'm not sure if they are as popular in the US cathedrals as here. 

Handy little tour guide or butt spanking paddle.  I only used it as guide this time. 

The European Bistro.  Tasty but expensive Italian restaurant run by a small hunched man named Guiseppi (sp?) who speaks broken English.  Meet you there Becky?

City Hall, another Scandinavian theme.  We didn't go in this one either.

The Old Bell Hotel, a haunted establishment built around 1680.  You can read more about its ghostly past here.  I haven't been there yet but this place goes on my "places to swill a pint" list.

This part of the inn is from 1700.  Very neat carving.

Further down the road we found a gate from 1675.

St Peter's Church.  I saw the gargoyles on top and it reminded me of reading something a long time ago.  The something was that monsters on top of towers, churches, castles, etc. aren't real gargoyles unless they drain/spit water.  I guess I will have to come back when it is raining to see if they are real gargoyles or not.

Sunday was not as sunny or warm but we haven't been out exploring the sites for a few weeks and were feeling cooped up so we went for a short jaunt into the country.  Most sites aren't open for a couple more months and the weather is still a little cold and damp so our options are a little limited now.  One site that is open now is Bolsover Castle which you can read about here.  The castle was originally built in the 12th century by the Peverel family, fell into neglect and sold in the 16th century.  The Little Castle or Keep (tall square building) was reconstructed as a castle by Charles Cavendish (one of Bess of Hardwick's husbands) starting in 1621.  Charles eventually died and his son William finished the rest of the buildings in the 1660's.  The castle is a motte-and-bailey design with the keep built on a raised earthwork called a motte surrounded by an enclosed courtyard or bailey.  The design is Norman (French) and is easily built but still defensible.  Another example of the Norman influence in the area.        

Standing the The Great Court.To the left is the Terrace Range which includes lodging rooms, kitchen area, artwork gallery, dining room and other areas.  To the right is the Little Castle.  The Little Castle was built as the house but William Cavendish soon found it was to small to entertain large groups so he built the Terrace Range.  Out of the picture to the left is the stables which William built to satisfy his obsession with horses.

The Riding House where William would train his horses.  Once he became to old to ride he built a viewing area to watch the horse trainers.  This picture is taken from the viewing area. 

Stables to the left, Terrace Range straight ahead.

Model of the estate

I thought this two sided fire place was a great idea to warm large rooms.  I don't recall seeing this in the few sites we have been to so far although they did have a few at Bolsover.  I will have to look for these in the upcoming sites.

Copy of a 1600's saddle.  We all took turns sitting on it

I thought this was funny trivia.

Cliff notes version of the castle construction.

Modern day The Gallery.

The Gallery information board.

The foggy valley reminded me of reading The Hound of the Baskervilles many many years ago.

The Kitchen Service Area information board.

The Kitchen Service Area.  We found it interesting that the kitchen and servants all were underneath the guests.  I imagine the enclosed kitchens would have been hot and miserable to work in once the stoves were fired and the servants filled the space. 

17th century window sills.

Sweeping view of the little folk beneath the castle owners.

Front of the Little Castle.

The undulating steps caught my eye.

Original painting above the panelling.  The paintings in the room high on the walls were impressive.  They all had good versus evil motifs sprinkled with Roman god and biblical scenes.  And they still looked good after 350 years.  The wall panelling and painted ceilings have all been retouched to reflect what they think the original room colours were.

I think Hercules is wrasslin' a bull here.

The dark panel to the left of the fireplace is original panelling.  The rest of the panel has been refurbished.  This place had richly coloured rooms that made you feel like you were inside of a painting.  A very neat feeling for me.

Refurbished ceiling.

Another diorama, this one of angels interacting with people.

The Marble Closet.  Marble floors, ceiling and fireplace.  This was probably the wife's closet.

Today's Lori Seppanen pic - the bread ovens.

The kids next to the Venus Fountain.  The Stables are to the left and the Terrace Range is to the right.

The fountain wasn't running but if it was I could imagine the kids giggling as the little boys "peed" into the fountain.  The interesting part of the picture is the white marble Roman emperor busts along the wall.  It seemed a little cheeky to me that they are placed underground and slightly hidden but maybe that is just me.  Plus they have little boys trying to pee on them, not very dignified if you ask me.  

Today's Kevin Coleman pic - Chuck is happy holding his Soggy Bottom.  Nutty taste that was different in a good way but nothing special.

Lunch was at The Cavendish.  Food was okay but I was busy talking and didn't get any pictures - sorry Dana.

This is the Chuck Norris sad face because the month is almost over so Chuch has to leave us.  We had a great month together.  Not sure what Lori thought of The Chuck Norris as she kept saying she didn't have an opinion.  At least she didn't say it was "hideous" like the Ebenezer Scrooge.

Our final Chuck Norris Facts:

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.

Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless telephone.

Thanks for listening,

1 comment:

  1. Well done -- both with the thorough write-up and just getting out! We had another ho-hum weekend. At least we've been to Bolsover, but you've seen more of Derby already.

    Gonna miss Chuck. I think I laughed every week.