Wednesday, 12th April, 2023

After a comfortable night, we went down to the diniing room at Camelot Castle Hotel for breakfast. It was table service this morning. Following breakfast, we ventured outside to put the luggage into the car. The wind was incredible. We were somewhat protected from it as we loaded the car. I thought I would try to take some photos of Tintagel Castle from afar but as soon as I moved into the full fury of the wind, I felt that either the camera would be torn from my hands or that I would be blown over. (This is not a sensation that I feel often!) I retreated into the car and we began our journey without even a remote chance of visiting the castle or even of taking a photo!

Our first stop was St Materina's Church. This is the church of the township of Tintagel but it is located away from the main township, on top of a cliff.. As we approached, it rained heavily so we waited in the car for a while. During a break in the weather, I found that the church door was open, stepped inside and closed the door behind me. The church is, luckily. very solid being made from stone and its walls are very thick. It is believed that it dates from the late 11th or 12th century so it must have withstood many gales. One of the locals came into the church and I asked him to rate the wind from 1 - 10. He thought it was only a 6!

The thickness of the walls can be seen by looking at the windows in the photo above.

St George with his dragon

A carving of an angel on the end of a stall.

Here are Faith and Hope but Charity was nowhere to be found!

We then headed for Cheddar Gorge. A slight detour was made on the way as we noticed a sign indicating that there was a 16th century church at Launceston. This was found to be true and the building was open. Most of the present St Mary Magdalen's Church was built from 1511-1524.

You may be able to see that the walls, especially the one on the right, are not quite perpendicular.

Each pew had a different carving.

The Pulpit

After the church, we went to the castle. Unfortunately, this was also closed because of the wind. We were, however, able to access the lower regions of the building.

After some lunch, we found that time had marched on but we hadn't! We needed to get moving if we were to see Cheddar Gorge. It was 4:00pm by the time we arrived so we only had time to "do" one of the caves. This was Gough's Cave. This is considered to be one of the finest caves in England. It was worth visiing but we didn't think it was as good as many of the caves we have visited in Australia!

The remains of the 9,000BC "Cheddar Man" were found in the cave. This is a replica. The actual remains are to be found in the Natural History Museum in London.

In fairly recent times, one of the cheese companies in the area has been maturing some of their cheese in the cave.

Again we needed to get moving fairly quickly as we had booked to see the pantomime "Mother Goose" at the Hippodrome in Bristol. This lovely old theatre was built in 1912. The star of the production was none other than Sir Ian McKellen, the actor who played "Gandalf" in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy of films. We both enjoyed the clever lines and double entendres throughout the production.

After a short wait outside the stage door at the end of the show, Sir Ian appeared long enough for Satoshi to take this photo. He is well over 80 now but still going strong.

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