May 17 – 1066 Visit Canterbury Cathedral

A side visit to Ash, Sandwich and St Bartholmew's Church

Hello from 1066 – Medieval Mosaic

We had an amazing 3 hours visiting Canterbury Cathedral. There is a lot of scaffolding around the outside and some on the inside too as great amounts of renovation have just started but if we come back in 5 years it will all be finished. Well, we will have to see about that. So many wonderful things to see as you will see from the photos. As with all the cathedrals, they are awe inspiring. The stained glass windows, the pulpit, the reredos and altar, the monuments and the chapels, the ceiling are all stunning. Here also lies Henry IV and Edward, the Black Prince.

After the cathedral, we walked through the quaint streets to St Augustine’s Abbey ruins. It is an English Heritage site and we used the headset to listen to the commentary. We have been learning a lot about St Augustine lately as he first landed on the Isle of Thanet in 597 to bring Christianity to Britain. He was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury and is considered the founder of the English church. He converted King Ethelbert, who gave the missionaries this land to found a monastery

On our way back to Walmer, we detoured to Wingham where we visited St Mary‘s church. Even though it was quite late in the day the church was open and we talked for a while to the lady who was arranging the flowers. She told us about many parts of the church and opened the vestry to show us a tomb there. The church had some lovely stained glass windows and some very large tombs. It also had some misericords, which is unusual in smaller churches, more often in cathedrals.

We also called into Ash, near Sandwich and did one church micro.  We will have to go back to this area as I have discovered a whole arm of our family tree of the Collins side of Hougham’s come from Ash, including Amy Ellen Collins, nee Wall, who is my great-grandmother.

On our way through Sandwich, we went to look for a church micro at St Bartholomew’s Chapel. As well as the chapel there are 16 cottages with the name of the brother who lives there over the door. I don’t think they are religious brothers though. We looked and looked for the cache and there weren’t that many places to look. After a while, a gentleman came out of No.13 to ask us whether we had found it yet. He pointed us in the right direction. We had a long talk and then he offered to open the church so that we could have a look. The chapel is lovely with stained glass windows and three tombs and a Charles II Coat of Arms, the oldest we have seen so far. John also told us about the Bun Run which is held every St Bartholomew’s Day, 24 th August. St Bartholomew’s was founded in 1190 for the accommodation of pilgrims and travellers where they might be furnished with lodgings, provisions and other necessities for their journey. It was a very special day and evening. John’s mother’s maiden name was Collins as was one of the other brothers living in the houses. There might even be some relatives here.