Tuesday, 20th June, 2023

After our second and last breakfast at Holiday Inn Express in Glasgow...

 ...we made our way to Dumfries House. The house was put up for sale in 2007 and its content set for auction at Christies. Indeed, some of the furniture was actually on its way to London when the then Prince Charles heard about it and helped to raise the £45 million required to purchase it. Dumfries House retains much of its original 18th century furniture including 60 of the 600 pieces of furniture proven to be made by Thomas Chippendale (or his two brothers). It is now owned by The Prince's Trust and is open to the public. There are opportunities for local students to be apprenticed in a number of trades such as hospitality, carpentry, thatching, stone masonry and so forth.

The Chinese Bridge

One of the dragons guarding the Chinese Bridge

The tour of the house was very interesting and the guides friendly and knowledgeable but we were not allowed to take photos of anything inside the house. If you are interested, you can go to the Dumfries House "Explore the House" website where you will find photos and information concerning all the rooms we saw on our tour together with many of the pieces of furniture.

Our next stop, Carlisle Cathedral, was more than two hours away. As Satoshi had contacted them about seeing a particular brass etching that is not normally available to the public, we had to be there by 3:30pm. This meant we had very little time to wander around the gardens.

We arrived at Carlisle Cathedral with at least five minutes to spare! It is the second smallest of England's ancient cathedrals (after Oxford) due to heavy losses to its fabric over the centuries. It is, however, very much worth visiting, as I hope the photos below will show. There was much activity in the cathedral as a concert was due to take place that evening. You will see a variety of electrical equipment and TV screens in some of the photos - it couldn't be helped!

This Lesser Black-backed Gull was on the Cathedral lawn

The Cathedral was part of an Augustinian Abbey until the dissolution. This is the only archway left of the Cloister.

Unusually, the west end of the cathedral has a chapel.

Joshua, Gideon and Judas Maccabeus

The organ pipes on the Quire Screen

Looking west from the sanctuary into the Quire.

The lectern is dated 1897, pretty good for an old bird!

The Bishop's Throne.

A carving on the Bishop's Throne

Looking towards the east end

The ceiling of the quire

There was a variety of angels helping to hold up the roof.

Angel Musicians!

The Choir Stalls with the medieval canons' stalls behind.

A misericord under one of the seats

The Font

St Wilfrid's Chapel...

...contains a beautifully-carved Flemish triptych dating from the 16th century - the Brougham Triptych.

This is the brass etching in which Satoshi was interested. It is usually covered by a carpet to protect it but the Verger kindly removed it for us. It depicts Bishop Bell who died in 1496. The interest for Satoshi is not the Bishop but the decorations around the edge.

Among the common everyday animals and plants depicted, there are two strange creatures with long necks and what appear to be bony protrusions on their tails. Today, we would identify such animals as sauropod dinosaurs. As dinosaurs were not known in 1496 (the word wasn't even invented until the 19th century) is this evidence of a divine Creation?

Another section of the ceiling

One of the ceiling bosses

The cathedral's treasury, excavated under the north aisle in 1990, holds a number of precious items.

This figure of Christ was rescued from the destroyed medieval rood screen. It was created in the late15th century.

15th century chalice and leather chalice case

The Renwick Alphabet Bell from All Saints Church, Renwick. This is the larger of two medieval bells belonging to the church which date to about 1371.
The use of twenty-three letters of the alphabet round the shoulders of the bell in Lombardic capitals is a not uncommon form of decoration.

Late 15th century alabaster panel; originally this was the central panel of a five-panel alabaster altarpiece, set in an oak frame

This 'Pieta' (the Virgin Mary holding the body of the dead Christ) is from an unidentified Flemish altarpiece, carved c1500.

Late 15th century oak figure, possibly of an Augustinian Canon. The large knife on his belt is similar to those used by hunters or foresters.

It is astounding to know that the cope above has survived over 500 years!

On the backs of the choir stalls are these rare painted medieval panels which detail the lives of three saints.

For those who choose to hear the story of St Antony.
He was born. so it seems, in Egypt.

Here (St Antony) is baptized and inherits great lands and rents.

The Salkeld Screen dates from the 1540s and bears the coat-of-arms of Henry VIII.

This chapel is in the north east corner of the cathedral.

Detail of above

St Longinus

St Michael

St Oswald

St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo)

St Herbert

St Nicholas

We checked into our accommodation and found that the lift wasn't working and we are on the second floor! At least it's only one night! Also, the car park is very small and we were worried that, if we took the car to get to dinner, we might not have a spot on our return. We found that there is no Uber service in Carlisle so we resorted to a taxi to take us to Toby Carvery.

A most satisfactory ending to the day!

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