Day 12, Devon and Cornwall

Today we had an early start as we were off to the 10 am service at Exeter Cathedral. Mostly highway driving and we were there in about 1.5 hours. As we entered, the organist was playing his prelude…just beautiful!

This Norman / Gothic church was built at William’s the Conqueror’s request. He later commissioned Westminster Abbey to be built. It was begun in 1114, and the structure was thoroughly remodeled in 1275-1369.

The service started with an Introit by the choir. It was breathtaking, as were all the numbers performed by this choir. The organist, assistant director of music was truly amazing. It’s no wonder that he will be going on to become the director of music at the Truro Cathedral. He will be the youngest in the country to achieve this position.

When the service ended I stopped to take a few pictures of the interior. Of particular note this cathedral has the longest unbroken Gothic ceiling in the world. It also boasts a hand carved oak 60 ft tall bishop’s throne circa 1316, and one of the tallest in the world.

Vaulted Ceilings looking from the Quire to the entry door (or only about half the length shown in this picture!
The Quire is currently under renovation, however, you can still see the top 2/3 of the bishops chair, reaching about 60” in height!

After the service at the cathedral, we headed into the town a short way and found the Turk’s Head Pub for our Sunday Roast.. Dan and I had the Pork roast and it was lovely!

Looking down the street, you can just see the Turk’s Head Pub on the near left. It’s also a brewery, but sadly, we didn’t try the beer as we had a ways to go to get back.

From Exeter, we headed back into Cornwall to one of the greatest country houses in Cornwall; Lanhydrock. It was originally constructed int he 17th century, then was totally rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1881. The house now takes on a high Victorian tone, though much of the stone work and gatehouse are true to their original form.

Gatehouse at Lanhydrock. This was built not for defense, but for a viewing platform for the “ladies” to watch the men out on the hunt.
Through the gates you come to the main entrance to the house.

We were able to tour through many of the rooms in the house and got a great sense of both the upstairs and the downstairs living. The kitchens were enormous and extensive, and of course, the family rooms were opulent.

The drawing room filled with books and a variety of activities for the family. Look at the hand plastered ceiling depicting 24 scenes from the Bible.

The gardens were huge, taking in almost 1,000 acres and the showing of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons were lovely… although we did notice that the rhodo’s weren’t as far along in the north of Cornwall than in the south… a mere 20-30 miles away!

Formal gardens looking back to the house and chapel
A gardeners thatched cottage viewed through a vibrant show of rhodo’s and azaleas.

Once back home, we met with our Air B and B hosts Sue and Graham for a drink and great conversation!

A cozy room with a picture of Lenon that they got at a second hand shop! The view of the pastoral land outside their window was absolutely idyllic.

Well another great day under our belts! Until tomorrow!

Categories: Hiking in Iceland and the UK

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