Friday, 7th April, 2023

After a good night's sleep and another great buffet breakfast, we headed towards Northernhay Gardens.  These gardens are purported to be the oldest public space in England, having been laid out in 1612. We were blessed with glorious sunshine once again.

I love the daffodils. There are lots of varieties in all the public spaces.

We could hear many birds but spotting them was not easy. I think this is a robin - whatever it was, it was singing beautifully!

I also love the squirrels - we saw several in these gardens.

The English seagulls are about twice the size of those in Australia but they have equal disregard for manners!

Our next stop was the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. We visited it during our trip in 2016 but didn't have time to see it all so we decided to visit it again.
This building holds an eclectic collection of artefacts, including a tiger which had the great honour of being shot by King George V.

Prince Albert was there to greet us once again. I thought the pink was a bit much.

I love old clocks!

This is a Victorian Crowned Crane which I remember from our previous visit. It was no less impressive this time round.

This is a female Ruff...

...and this is her husband, resplendent in what reminded me of a fur coat!

As I get older, I find that I appreciate works of art more. The detail in the lacework is truly amazing.

This is a tapestry. How someone had the patience to create it is beyond me!

We then headed to the Cathedral for the Good Friday Service. On the way, we stopped at St Martin's, one of several very old parish churches within Exeter. Sadly, they are rarely used these days. We were lucky to find St Martin's open.

You may be able to see that the angles of the walls are not square. This is because St Martin's was squeezed in between some other buildings.

We arrived at the Cathedral early so we had some time to take a few photos.

The scale of these organ pipes, which are part of the pedal division of the instrument, can be appreciated by comparing their height with Satoshi's!

Samuel Sebastian Wesley wrote some of my favourite church music including the anthem "Blessed Be the God and Father", "Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace" and the organ piece "Choral Song and Fugue".

This is a memorial to Matthew Godwin who was Master of the Music at the cathedral when he died at age 17.

The fan vaulting is superb!

This 19th century pulpit has intricate carvings. You can see a close up of part of it below.

The Good Friday Service began at 1:30pm. The music included some verses of Psalm 22 (the same as Maundy Thurday), the setting of the Passion by Tomas Luis de Victoria, "The Reproaches" by John Sanders, "When I survey" by Edgar Day, "The Lamentation" by Edward Bairstow, The Agnus Dei from William Byrd's "Mass for Five Voices", and the hymns "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded", "There is a Green Hill", "Faithful Cross! Above all other", and "My Song is Love Unknown". The music was performed with excellence by the Choir and the whole service was very moving.

After the service, Satoshi decided that Hot Cross Buns were in order so we went to the café at Marks and Spencer.

We needed a couple of things so we visited a shopping centre.

Then we found St Pancras Church but, sadly, it was not open.

It was more or less dinner time so we tried The Chevalier Inn. It is part of the Wetherspoon chain of hotels which we remembered from 2016 as being cheap and satisfactory. We found the same applied in 2023. After dinner, we returned to the Cathedral for a performance of Stainer's oratorio "The Crucifixion" which was sung by the University of Exeter Chapel Choir, conducted by Michael Graham. The organist was Timothy Noon (Director of Music at the Cathedral), with soloists Thomas Smith (tenor) and Joseph Ward (bass). We recognised some of the choristers from the Cathedral Choir. The standard of the performance was very high. Upon leaving the cathedral, there was just enough light for a few photos.

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