Thursday, 28 December 2017

A Quick Look at Bristol

My friend lives in the Cotswolds, but works in Bristol, so it was easier for her to take me with her than to get me back to Kemble to retrace my steps home.
So I got a very pleasant ride through the Cotswolds - we didn't have to start off too early because her first appointment was in the afternoon. What we wanted to do was to have a look at St Mary Redcliffe church, which is close to where she works (the houses look out over the river and harbour):

Bristol city centre was badly bombed in the early days of the Second World War, which the government tried to keep secret - so that the bombing of Coventry shortly afterwards got all the attention. So the centre of Bristol has a lot of new buildings, but Temple Meads station still looks like a magnificent Victorian castle, and the houses overlooking the harbour are Georgian - and there are apparently miles of tunnels cut into the cliffs beneath them.
And St Mary Redcliffe is still there. From a distance it looks like a fairly ordinary parish church, if a little on the large side - but when you get close up, the late medieval stone carving is superb. We had been reading that there are 47 Green Men carvings around the church, and we wanted to see if we could find them. However, a big funeral was just about to start when we got there, and we quickly retreated to the café in the undercroft.
I can highly recommend the broccoli and stilton soup.
Thus fortified, we had a look at the porch which was once a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The statue is gone now, but the stonework is wonderful:

And then it was time to take me to the station. The journey back was smooth and uneventful (I quite like the rebuilding they're doing at Newport, all curves), and I got into Hereford just in time to catch the bus back to Hay.

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