Sunday, 17 March 2013


Petworth is a short drive away from us, but has an awful lot to offer. It is known as the 'antiques shoppers' paradise' as there are plenty of antique shops around. I am not really into that, but still find it awfully interesting to browse the windows for all sorts of authentic, old-fashioned bits and pieces. A walk around Petworth offers a lot of cute nooks and crannies too

Let's start at the top of the town (well, what I consider the top of the town)... at Petworth House. I have never actually gone inside Petworth House and it is on my to do list. It is a 17th century country house and is set in Petworth Park. The entrance to the park is a short drive away and offers a fabulous (free) walk inside an enormous park, complete with deer. It is supposed to be landscaped by Capability Brown but to me it looks pretty natural. Shows my ignorance, I guess!
Us lot on the park side of Petworth House. I am glad I don't have to keep that house clean!

The park is home to England's largest and oldest herd of fallow deer.
The actual house is just on the outskirts of Petworth, but I've only ever seen the rather imposing gates.

St Mary's Church is on the main road through Petworth, just a litte bit further up. It looks to me like a mish-mash of different building styles, almost like bits of the building were added  at different times. I love the eclectic look of it!
In the graveyard some really gorgeous, old gravestones.
One of the clearest (and cutest) examples of windows tax can be found in a house on Petworth square. If you look at the photograph below, you'll see that some of the windows were blocked but painted to look like the windows are still there! (First and third from left in top row and third from left in middle row, I think)

Another example on a different house that made for a very nice artistic photo.

Other bits and pieces that are good to see...

Collection of different buildings and bricks and stone coming together.

A very tall door!
The Petworth Cottage Museum was once the house of Mrs Cummings, a seamstress at Petworth House. The house is set up as it was in 1910. I have not been inside as it was not open when I was there, but the outside is quaint enough.

The outhouse at the back of the garden.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Arundel Cathedral

The Cathedral in Arundel is a real treasure trove! There are many nooks and crannies to explore and lots of beautiful things to see. One overwhelming thought when in the cathedral is always how dedicated the worshippers must have been to build such a magnificent building!

Let's start on the outside... There is a fabulous view of the castle and the cathedral on either side of the town as you approach Arundel, but unfortunately there is no place to stop and take a photo. The next best view is the one from the castle grounds.
The view of the cathedral from the castle grounds.

Above the entrance, the Rose Window and carved figures (I think it is Jesus and the 12 disciples (5 either side of him plus another figure in the pillar - not visible in the photo).
On the inside, you see the magnificent nave.

If you turn around and look back, you will see the Rose Window and the organ.

Just inside the door, there is a link to South Africa!
Plaque to Peter Madden, killed in action at Nooitgedacht in South Africa in 1900. (Devirani)
The cathedral is called St Philip Howard and the stained glass windows depict him and his wife. I cannot remember all the details of his life, but it has a lot to do with converting from Protestant to Catholic faith and being thrown into prison for it...

Confessionals (Retha)

Read more about Arundel.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Chichester Cathedral

I had another look at some of the photos that I have of the cathedral and decided that the Chichester Cathedral deserves a post of its own. There is an awful lot of history and story related to the cathedral (details of which I may or may not remember). I'll do my best...

 A view of the cathedral from the Chichester Cross. (Retha)

 The entrance to the cathedral is the starting point of story-telling! The two outer doors and inner door (all made of glass) each has a metal cross on them so that when you into the cathedral through the doors, you see 3 crosses (referring to the crosses on Golgotha).
Difficult to see the three crosses, but the cross can be seen on the right hand door (one beam of the cross outside and one inside - the door opens in the middle of the cross) (Retha)
On either side of the door is a stone carving. Traditionally it is gargoyles that are carved to depict the demons and evil spirits that flee from the holy building. The stone masons in Chichester must have a sense of humour, because the gargoyles at the side on the cathedral depict Chichester Bishops and the ones either side of the entrance door depict Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (quite modestly and decently and not as evil creatures).

Inside the church, directly on the right handside, there is a 1970s stone font. The bishops throughout the ages have been committed to supporting the arts and commissioned a new font in the destinct 70s style. The Victorian font that was there before was replaced with the one below and ended up in the garden!
The font, under the right hand tower. Note the wooden 'table' and remember for later reference. (Retha)

There is a chapel in the cathedral where people of other faiths (or no faith!) can come and spend quiet time. I was quite surprised to find that there is such a tolerance, having grown up in a church where, if you did not belong to the 3 sister churches, you were considered to be part of a sect! Can only say that I much prefer the attitude to live together in harmony...

When we first moved here, the Lady Chapel was closed off and under restoration. That work is now completed and it is possible to enter and view it. This is part of the roof of the chapel.

There is an unusual medieval tomb in the cathedral, which depicts the husband and wife next to each other (nothing usual about that) but his right hand reaches out for the wife and holds her hand (which is very unusual as love and physical contact is not shown in gravestone carvings). There is also a poem called 'An Arundul Tomb' about the tomb. This is considered a very 'romantic grave', if there is ever such a thing!

The two towers on either side of the entrance to the church were apparently derelict for quite a while and was rebuilt only relatively recently (late 1800s early 1900s). The ceilings are very ornately decorated.

One's neck or balance cannot survive the looking directly above you for too long... For this purpose two little tables were made, containing a mirror, so that you can view the ceilings without falling over. Remember the little table next to the font? That was one of them!

Some of the features of the cathedral I have already described in the blog 'Chichester'.

Friday, 1 March 2013


Arundel must be one of my favourite places around here. It has everything: a castle (with a Duke and his family still living in it), a cathedral, a lake and lots of little quirky things to see. In fact, I have so much to share about Arundel that I will probably not be able to do it all in one blog! The castle warrants it's own blog, as does the cathedral!

Town Centre

The town centre
Long ago there was a well from which the owner sold drinking water to the citizens and made himself a pretty penny.

The buildings show their medieval heritage.
The checker pattern told illiterate peasants that a butcher worked there. One has an anvil at the top to indicate a blacksmith's shop.

The road from town centre towards the castle. One of the steepest main streets in the south of England!
Looking back from the top, down towards the town centre
View of the castle from outside the grounds
Other buildings near the town centre. Just some of them...

The Post Office. Not an original halftimber but a fairly modern one built in a style to fit in.

Our favourite tea room. Earlier in its history it was a stable.

The most interesting shop as it contains everything from a flea to an elephant!
Also, one of the few &Daughters shops I've ever seen (it usually is &Sons)
Ruins of Black Friar Priory by the river Arun, at the foot of the castle.

Walking to the lake from the castle

To walk from the castle to the lake behind it, you can pick one of two options - the short walk and the long walk.

The short walk

The short walk is following the road between the castle and the lake. I am rubbish at guessing distances, but it is not very far. It is a beautiful walk with lots to see on the way there.
The entrance into the castle, at the bottom of the hill (Retha)
The path next to the road, with a canal on the side of it.
A glimpse of the castle from the path

Arriving at Swanbourne Lake

The long walk

Taking the road up the hill, past the cathedral, you cut across the park, past the folly, cross the tracks where the racehorses are exercised, climb over the style, walk along the gravel road (slightly longer) or slip-slide down the slope (slightly shorter) to get to the other end of the lake. Definitely the choice for the fitter amongst us, but also offers beautiful views and a bit of exercise to boot!

A misterious wooden 'castle' that peeks over the wall (Retha)

View down one of the streets towards the sea

View of the cathedral as you walk past (Marianna)
Hmmm... I thought I had a photo of the lych gate, the folly and the style, but no. So here we are almost at the lake!

I like trees! Another lovely one!
Some sheep taking shelter from the sun (ok, this doesn't happen a lot but it happened to be a warm day when this photo was taken!)

There are lots of birds on and around the lake. We often go there to feed the birds. The Bird and Wetlands Sanctuary is just next door.