About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Monday 12 November 2012

Remembering: Gloucester Part II

Can't possibly leave Gloucester Cathedral without exploring a few more places and sighing over the artefacts therein, like the Lancaut Font in the Lady Chapel.  

I have a soft spot for the remote, ruined church at Lancaut on the banks of the Wye.  I first saw it from the Welsh side of the river years ago and longed to get a closer look.  Then, newly single and in possession of a car, I discovered a walk in a book, the route of which took me and Ted right past it.  Inside there was a grave slab with a heart etched on it.  

So it was especially lovely to see the font from the old church here. It is made of lead and dates from c1120-40.  Can't help wondering how many children have been baptised in it, and what were their lives like.

The soaring vistas of butter-coloured stone do much to lighten wintry spirits.

Some rather lovely turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts stained glass by Christopher Whall.  

And, of course, the stupendous Great East Window which boasts the second largest expanse of mediaeval glass in the country. 

 Wooden parclose screen and Tower

Struts supporting the arches which support the Tower

The Romanesque nave built in the final years of the 11th century

Stained glass stone ... 

The 15th century Tower and South Transept

The South Porch built at the beginning of the 15th century.

As the Treasury is closed on Sundays and the Tower and Crypt were closed for winter, I reluctantly left, squeezing my way past men in khaki and women in black who were filing in for the next Remembrance Service.  The City Museum and Folk Museum were also closed, so I hobbled down to the docks on my poorly feet to make the most of the sun on water.

Taking a short cut back to the Leisure Centre to wait for Son the Elder, I found myself trundling down a road that looked disquietingly familiar, given that I barely know Gloucester at all.  Then the penny dropped: I was walking down Cromwell Street.  

Where so many women were murdered, there is now a tarmac walk way with a sign post pointing to the city centre. 

Of course it's impossible for anyone old enough to remember those terrible discoveries in 1994 to be at all objective, though I would defy anyone to wander down that street without feeling a sense of foreboding. 


  1. oo, didn't know about the Lancaut font! hmmm, Lancaut...

    1. I haven't found its poem yet. (Lancaut's, not the font's.) (Well, not necessarily.)