Vanessa’s Dining Room: Histon and the mid-level of CB2: Cambridge: Wednesday 10:45 pm and Thursday 11 am GMT
Vanessa didn’t have to work today so she drove us in to Cambridge and we visited the round church. (I’ve posted pictures of the outside of it already.) The people that own the church use it to focus on the story of Christianity in England in general and Cambridge in particular, highlighting notable religious figures throughout the ages that have had interactions with Cambridge UIniversity.
Inside there are several (12 or so) large displays that start during the Roman period(and St. Alban) and tell the story of Christianity in England. Every time a famous person is mentioned, if they had attended Cambridge University, then their college name was included in parentheses just after their name.
After reading through these we went on a tour that the Round Church people put on which takes you through several of the Cambridge churches and chapels telling you the history of Christianity in Cambridge.
We started with the round church, of course. The church had been built after Crusaders had gone to Jersusalem and seen the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (which had been built by Constantine as a memorial that is supposedly over the location that Jesus was buried. We have a friend that used to work at the Garden Tomb which is another place Jesus might have been buried. So there are two locations that I suppose people believe may be The place.) which is a round church. In order to remind themselves of this great event in their lives (
Then another section was added on to the round church and that's where the stained glass window is that I took a photo of. The stained glass was put in just after WWII, I believe that each part had special significance. (Like the pelicans just over the cross. People used to think that they tore off their own flesh and fed it to their babies. So the birds came to represent Christ who gave of his own flesh, so to speak. The guide pointed out that you'll see pelicans carvings all over the city. Of course, now people realize that the pelicans are just pulling out bits of stored up fish to feed their babies. So there you go.)
We left the round church and headed over to the divinity school (where the grumpy old men picture was.) Just so you get a sense of how close together this all is, the round church is kitty corner from St. John's College (which was started by Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort (who gave birth to him when she was 13). Across from St. John's College (and it would be just across the street from the round church except there was a shop in between) was the divinity school. So these buildings are all within spitting distance of each other.
The guide explained that the dude on the left of the entranceway (in that grumpy old men picture) was a famous Catholic named Fisher who invited Erasmus to Cambridge as Lady Margaret Professor. (Henry's mother not only started the Divinity school and St. John's but she provided endowments that would pay for a professorship and a divinity head (or something like that). Erasmus then made a parallel Greek and Latin New Testament (meaning that you could read the familiar Latin down one side and then compare it to the original Greek that was on the other side of the page). This was a beginning ingredient for the reformation as those who studied Scripture began to see the little changes that had taken place from the original text to the then present-day Latin translation. Fisher was later killed after Henry VIII led England out from under Rome.
The grumpy old man on the right was Cranmer, Henry VIII's archbishop (I believe he's the one that helped Henry secure his first divorce). He helped lead the reformation in England and I believe he was killed by Henry VIII's daughter, Queen Mary I (who was later renamed by her sister Elizabeth, Bloody Mary).
We did a quick stop into St. John's College Chapel which had a statue of Margaret B. out front stamping out ignorance and another of Fisher, I think it was, stamping out ignorance and something else. (I think I only took a pic of Fisher.) Inside there was a statue of Wilberforce who was instrumental in ending slavery in England. (And the anniversary of that date is coming up this summer so there are going to be several celebrations. I hope abolitionists of today's slavery make the most of that. I'll probably try to post something on it in the slave group at some point.)
From the divinity school we headed over to Trinity College which Isaac Newton attended. (There's an apple tree planted by the college entrance in his honor.) Trinity was also *cough* started by Henry VIII (hence the picture of him as a stubby little man holding an orb and a chair leg).
Near the end of Henry VIIIs life his wife (#6, I believe) said something to him along the lines of, "You really think you're going to get into heaven after splitting the church from Rome and beheading two wives?" Back in those days, one way to assure your entrance into heaven was to build a church or college. I'm sure that had been part of Margaret Beaufort's desire back when she started the divinity school and St. John's. And she was quite free with her money. Her grandson, Henry VIII, however, decided to take two old colleges, combine them, rip out a building or two and call it Trinity College. (Actually, it had a much more laborious name to say, but Trinity was in there and that's what it got shortened to.)
We went into the courtyard of Trinity and I think I snapped a shot of their dining hall. Far cry from the cafeterias most of us chowed at in our University days. And we visited the chapel where there were several statues of famous men.
We then went to see the Senate House where David Livingstone made a call to Englishmen to become missionaries to Africa.
Though the site of the White Horse Inn as well as many other churches were a part of the tour, we'd already covered our allotted hour and a half by this point so the guide took us quickly to one last church before leaving us. That was St. Edward's Church. This church is famous for being the heart of the Reformation in England. Because it was hosted by two University colleges and was not under the governance of the Anglican church, reformation preachers could preach freely here. (You'll notice that this is the church that now holds Goth Eucharists.)
Once the guide left us, Vanessa decided that we really should see the King's College Chapel. Rob decided to his a cafe rather than pay the 4.50 ($9) to get in. It wasn't worth it to him. But I enjoyed the Tudor history involved.
It was basically built by the Henrys and it was decorated during the time of Henry VIIIs short lived marriage to Anne Bolin (after 3 years he had her beheaded because he thought she was conspiring against him) so there are H's and A's all over the place. It reminded me of teenagers carving their initials everywhere only these were in stone and worked into all of the church decorations.
The ceiling was breathtaking. I wish there was something on the floor that I could lie on and take in the ceiling without getting a crink in my neck. The screen and wall decorations were wonderful (and matched the shot I took of the outside with the dragon and dog). But I have to admit that I really felt like they were grumpy at the door about making us pay (like they wish they could have charged more) and I felt a sense of the "Let's make the tourists pay to keep up England's national treasures." I really prefer the suggested donation thing. At least then you feel like you're helping as opposed to feeling used.)
After King's College we went and got some pasties for lunch. Rob Loves pasties. Have I mentioned that before? We found a really cute little shop right on the market where the workers all seemed to be from France, which Vanessa enjoyed since she was a French major.
After Cambridge we went to Tesco's again. This time Rob and I picked up a suitcase and goodies for the kids to fill it with. ;-) We also got more tea and biscuits for home.
Rob made lentils for dinner and since Nathaniel and Rebecca were at Patrick's it was just Ness, Rob, me and Katie for dinner. I don't know if Katie has ever had lentils before the way Rob makes them but she enjoyed them and she and I practically devoured and entire wheel of yummy, creamy cheese. :-)