Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beautiful Bath

Working away on "Star Spangled Sampler". 

Today we toured Bath as part of a London Walk's "Day's Out" tour.  We met at Paddington Station and caught a train; arriving in Bath about 11:00am .  

Nearly all of the buildings in Bath are constructed with Bath Stone an Oolitic Limestone. It was originally obtained from the Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines under Combe Down, Somerset, England.  The beauty of its warm, honey colouring is why Bath is a World Heritage City. Even now new buildings and houses must be constructed using Bath Stone.  The stone gives the city a certain harmony and unity of purpose. 

First off we toured the lovely rooms of the Guild Hall.

And what is Bath without its baths?  Bath is the only place in Britain where geothermal springs come to the surface. From prehistory to the Romans to Georgian England, Bath was a place to enjoy the waters. Even now people come to Bath for hydrotherapy. 

In Georgian times Bath Spa like London, had an active Social Season.  Presided over by Master of Ceremonies, Beau Nash, the Assembly Rooms were the place to see and be seen.

Bath Abbey was a wonderful surprise. When Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells 1495–1503, visited Bath in 1499 he was shocked to find this famous church in ruins.

He had a vision of angels climbing ladders between heaven and earth and had this abbey constructed as a result.

It was built between 1500-1539.

The fan vaulted ceilings are perhaps its most famous feature.

The recent installation of angels in the choir mirrors the use of angels on the exterior of the building.

This church had extraordinary examples of needlework.  The shining star in this case was Sue Symon's work called 'One Man's Journey to Heaven' or the Bath Abbey Diptychs. It is worth a trip to Bath just to see it on display.  It depicts the life of Christ in thirty-five pairs of sumptuously decorated panels - each a combination of needlework, hand-drawn lettering, illumination and calligraphy.  Remarkable.

I'm so glad this was part of the tour.

No visit to Bath is complete without a look at the arch which comprises Bennett Street Circus.

The buildings are constructed with a different type of column on each of three levels - Iambic, Doric, and Corinthian.

The Royal Crescent - wow!

A style of architecture that stands the test of time.

Bath seemed to be a Dog Loving City.

I found a very nice VR pillarbox.

The treat was watching the postman open it and empty out the day's mail!

August seems to be the Month of Rail Disruption.  Our original train back to London was cancelled due to a signal failure and freight train issue.  The second train arrived 34 minutes late and was jam-packed with people.  I ended up standing for the first 30 minutes - not a pleasant experience.  I'm trying not to let that color my Bath Adventure.


Giovanna said...

What a wonderful place - the Abbey looks absolutely amazing, and the needlework must have been breathtaking. Glad the weather stayed nice for you.

Chris said...

I would love to visit Bath someday. Ha, you caught the inside of a pillar box. Sweet!

Melody said...

So many beautiful churches! The architecture is amazing, especially when you think about how long ago they were built.

Vickie said...

ooOoo! This Abbey is fabulous. Bath is fantastic.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

I love visiting Bath, Royal Crescent never fails to impress. The dog photos are cute, especially the shar pei - I always find their wrinkles comical.

Barb said...

It is so amazing that one country or I should say two if you count Scotland, has so many amazing Churches!! What a cute post box.

hazel said...

interesting tour I only had a whistle stop time in bath but did find it interesting would love to go for longer and the embroidery is stunning.

Hazel c uk

Margaret said...

Bummer about the ride home. But getting to see Bath!!! Wow! Do you like Jane Austen? Love Bath!

Annette-California said...

Bath is incredible! The fan ceilings are stunning in the cathedral, so much beauty there. I could not get over the needleworks photo. The Journey to Heaven is so remarkable - wow. Thank you for another incredible tour. Oh your poor feet - standing on the train... Love seeing your progress on your sampler - looking great:) love Annette

Melanie said...

Very interesting about the stone! I never knew that. That place is always popping up in Jane Austen style novels as *the* place to vacation. It's nice to see it how it is today. So beautiful.

That ceiling!!!!!!!!!!!
And needlework!!!

Maggee said...

Man, that is truly a magnificent cathedral! I really really love the angels on the outside! How interesting and unique! And those fan ceilings... wow! Enjoyed it! Hugs!

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