Even though the tour company said it would take three hours by train we got to
Then Jane and I wandered through the Shambles and we found several large antique shops that we had great fun exploring. Jane bought some half dolls and we each bought a 100-year old handmade miniature doll. Jane bought a lady in a very detailed gown while I bought a doll dressed as a Stuart-era gentleman in a tiny velvet suit with lace collar and cuffs, leather boots and gloves, and sporting a real beard and mustache. They are only about 1/2 doll house size (about 3" tall). I was also excited to find an authentic (certified) 4th century bronze Roman military cloak brooch in pretty good nick. We also came across a store that had small real metal Roman helmets complete with hinged cheekpieces and crest that I can display in my office (a bit too small for my head!) They had a life-sized vinyl Roman officer out front but I didn't want to buy another ticket home for him!
After lunch we walked over to Yorkminster Cathedral and I was surprised to discover that they are the first cathedral I have visited that actually allows photos in the sanctuary. I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible and only used the flash when I absolutely had to but got some nice shots both inside and outside. They even had some Tudor-era funerary effigies like those I saw at Westminster Abbey. I find the effigies a fascinating study in portraiture and historical fashion. Using my zoom lens, I was able to get closeups of some of the gargoyles high up on the ramparts. I was a little surprised, though, that they are really rather small. Of course the stained glass windows were very beautiful and I managed to get some good photos of some of the particularly detailed ones. If I had wanted to take pictures of all of them it would have taken me days! Jane talked with an artist apprentice out in front of the church that had rolled out the template for a new ceiling fresco he was working on in pastels that is a new addition to the church's artwork.
Jane waited upstairs (she didn't want to see anything dead) while I went down into the crypt but I really didn't see any tombs or coffins. The church authorities have displayed historical artifacts down there in museum-like display cases. The church is built over an old Roman fort and you can see the dais that was used by the commanding general to address his legions. They displayed busts of Vespasian and Septimus Severus who actually commanded troops in the area at one time and a bust of
The museum is set up so the displays begin with
After we left the cathedral we walked toward the
I went out and caught the tour bus to get a ride back to the railway station but, of course, had to take the rest of the tour in the meantime (about 45 minutes). I learned about the famous local bandit Dick Turpin and saw the traitor's gate where the boiled and tarred heads of the town "bad boys" were displayed on spikes. We circled the medieval guild hall that is the oldest guild hall still in existence in Europe and were told all about the successful local "Kit Kat" candy bar factory (the guide even had us sing the Kit Kat advertising ditty!) We passed a very old church and learned about the small door called the "devil's door" on its west side. Apparently, back in medieval times, people believed that when a baby was baptized, the devil would then flee the child's body and needed a doorway to escape the church so each time a baby was christened this little door would be opened before the ceremony to accomodate the devil. The guide explained that most "devil's doors" were placed on the north side (the dark side) of the church but for some reason this little church had placed it on the west side. Of course
I caught up with Jane at the railway station and we caught the train back to Kings Cross.