Birmingham: Some of my favourite architecture from this city

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As I mentioned earlier in my last blog, I visited Birmingham around two or three days after a long lockdown so there were still many places closed. With this, I found myself wondering around this unfamiliar city and discovering some of its amazing architecture.

Birmingham City Council House

This is Birmingham City Council House one of the largest buildings in the city, its that large it has its own postcode.

Birmingham town hall and Chamberlain Memorial

The building that looks like the Pantheon in Rome is actually Birmingham’s town hall. The Chamberlain Memorial fountain is a monument to Joseph Chamberlain, a former buissness man, Mayor and member of parliament.

These two sit in Chamberlain square which is in the heart of Birmingham. Dare I say it! It felt like being in a little part of Rome, especially because we actually had some sun this day. The architecture in this square in incredible.

St Martin Parish Church

Both from a different era, but the contrast of the two is strikingly beautiful.

This is St Martin parish Church of the city of Birmingham. The church is a replacement of a 13th century church and was built in 1873.

The great British fudge Company is a family run buisness set up in 2017 that provides a unique fudge experience. They launched the fudge bus in 2018.

Hall of Memory

The hall of memory is a war memorial dedicated to 12, 320 Birmingham citizens who died in world war I

Chester England: Along the city walls

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Hi all! Hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe.

I’m proud to finally announce this will be my final blog on Chester, unless I visit again that is. I hope it has been helpful to anyone who has plans to visit here. It really is an incredible city to explore and I’ve enjoyed creating a little space on my blog for it. And to everyone that has stopped by to have a read…Thank you so much for your continued support 🙏🏾

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A bit about the history

Chester boasts the oldest, longest and complete city walls in Britain, some parts date back to to over 2000 years old.

The walls were built to protect the city and started to be built by the Romans between 70 and 80 (CE) when the fortress of Deva Victrix was established.

I really enjoyed walking along the walls because it gave me incredible views over the city whilst also giving me a great insight into the long history of the city. The walls are 2 miles long and took me approximately two hours to walk around, but I’d say they could be walked in less than an hour if you didn’t want to exit at the sights.

Attractions

on route you will get to see many of the cities attractions such as: Chester castle, Eastgate Clock , Chester Roman Gardens , Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower, Water Tower, Pemberton’s Parlour, Phoenix Tower. Bridgegate, Watergate and the famous Chester rows , just to name a few of the incredible attractions.

The medieval shopping rows are two tired black and white half timbered unique buildings used as a shopping arcade.

A view that can be seen standing at Eastgate clock

This tower is allegedly the tower where King Charles watched his troops being defeated in the Battle of Rowton in 1645. However, historians suggest this couldn’t have been possible because the battlefield can not be viewed at this point. They also suggest it is more likely he was stood on a tower of Chester Cathedral and not this one🤷🏿‍♀️. Who Knows! Either way, it’s a cool place to stand for a great view over Chester.

I’ve completely forgotten the name of this tower and I can’t seem to find it in any of my research attempts to find it, but how cool is It?

There are many incredible views from Chester walls, but i won’t give them all a way here😉

Thank you for stopping by

stay blessed

Natalie x

Chester England: This place gave me the shivers

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St John the Baptist Church sits in a beautiful location on top of a cliff overlooking the River dee. It was founded in around the late 7th century by the Anglo Saxons, and used to be the former cathedral of chester in the early middle ages.

Church ruins

it operates today as a fully functioning parish church, but also features a number of ruins which used to be part of the Church which were left in ruin after the dissolution of the monasteries.

The spooky coffin

Engraved in the walls is the most bizarre phenomena your most likely to see here. This coffin bearing the words Dust to Dust!

I tried to find out the story behind this, but kept coming across myth stories such as ‘it’s the coffin of a murdered monk’

As much as we all love a good dramatic story the most believable was: It’s a rare survival of a medieval coffin that was discovered during renovation or grave digging in or around the 1840s.

What is unclear is that no-one seems to know why it has been positioned here. Maybe it’s was to attract tourists or to create some made up mythological stories. Who knows! But what I can say is, this is a bit of a spooky place and the coffin only adds to it. I came here alone and can honestly say it sent shivers down my spine besides this, I thought it was a great place to experience. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go inside the church as it was closed at the time of visiting.

Location

if you would like to visit here you can find it at: Vicars Ln, Chester, CH1 1SN

Thanks for stopping by

Stay blessed

Natalie x

Chester, England: Western Europe’s only portrayal of a Roman goddess

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I can’t believe I stumbled across this while wondering around Chester! Sometimes I love nothing more than getting of the beaten track. I’m so grateful and thankful to have a wondering curious mind and a real zest for life otherwise, I would never stumble across amazing things like this.

At first I thought it was a hobbit house, but it turned out to be the site of Minerva’s shrine, a roman goddess. It is said, that quarrymen carved this shrine to Minerva more than 2000 years ago. The quarrymen would come here to worship and pay respect to the goddess as well as praying for success and safety.

shrines were very common in the ancient world, but many of them have been claimed and this is the only one in its original site in Western Europe, as recorded by Historic England.

The shrine is a little worse for wear, but you can still see the outline figure of her holding a spear.

Location

If you want to visit, it’s located in Edgar’s field. Go across the old Dee Bridge across the river, Edgar’s field is on the right next to a pub called the Ship Inn.

Whilst here enjoy the beautiful surroundings nearby

Chester, England: A Roman garden

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Chester’s Roman Garden is located just outside the city walls. It’s a place I would highly recommend visiting. Its made up of finely sculptured building pieces from the Roman legionary Of Deva, collected and unearthed from around the city. Some of the pieces are from important military establishments, including part of a Roman bath from a former main baths building, which had been of great importance of the Chester Fortress.

Address

The garden is located at Pepper St, Chester CH1 1QQ and is free to enter.

Chester, England: The almost roman capital city of Britain

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I vsited this fascinating city back in April of this year. The visit came after discovering the city may have been, or at least planned by the Romans to become their capital city. There has been a growing speculation of this over the years after the discovery of a Roman maps for the city.

I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve been here before and didn’t realise just how historical this place is.

A bit about Chester

Chester is situated in the northwest of England. It was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D.

It’s captivating beauty and distinctive character makes it one of the UK’s well liked destinations.

The place where the Romans trooped to war, the Vikings caused destruction and the Normans defeated the Anglo Saxons. And with that being said, you’ll probably know there is plenty of rich history in this little city.

Over the next few posts I will be sharing the places I come across whilst here.

Until next time☺

Natalie x

York England: Oh, What a Shambles!

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My favourite part of our day trip tour of York was walking through the shambles.

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The shambles is known as the most popular medieval street in England. It was everything I had imagined and more! With its stuck out buildings and narrow cobbled streets, this truly felt like we were on the set of a Harry Potter film or inside the pages of a story book. In fact, It was the inspiration for the film version of Diagon Alley.

A bit about the history

There is only one surviving butchers here now but, the shambles was the street of the butchers. Cattle, pigs and sheep would be brought here from the markets to be slaughtered. The carcass of the animals would be dragged into the street and put on the benches to be cut, then the meats would be displayed on the hooks and shelves to sell, a number of the shops still have the meat hooks and shelves. Can you imagine how bloody and gutsy this area must have looked? I don’t really think I would like to! However, this is where the name come from as people would say ‘Oh what a shambles’ It has had a number of names in the past but by 1426 it was known as The Great Flesh Shambles, but was shortened over time.

Meat was sold here in this way until around 1939 when the outbreak of war led to it being stopped.

Many of the buildings here date back to 1350-1475

York Minster: The largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe

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One of our tour stops was York Minster, after all you can’t visit York without seeing its most popular landmark.

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The history in brief

York Cathedral is the cathedral’s commonly known name, but it is officially the Cathedral and Metropolitcal Church of St Peter. The first original Church on this site was a temporary wooden church built by King Edwin of Northumbria. The church was built after King Edwin, who was in control of York, married Princess Ethelburga of Kent who persuaded him to convert to Christianity as part of the marriage deal. The church was built for the purpose of King Edwin’s baptism in 627.

After his baptism, Edwin ordered for the church to be rebuilt in stone structure, although he never actually got to see it complete because he was killed in battle in 633. The church was supposedly completed in 640 under King Oswald some time after Saint Paulinus helped King Edwin’s widow and her children back to Kent. The church was then dedicated to St Peter.

In 732 the first Archbishop of York was recognised by the pope.

In 741 the church was burnt to the ground and Ecgbert the first Archbishop of York re-built and designed the new lofty structure.

The stone saxon church was ransacked by William the conqueror’s forces in 1069, he then ordered his appointed archbishop to rebuild a Norman Cathedral on the site. It took Archbishop Thomas 20 years to complete the Cathedral. This cathedral was badly damaged in a fire in 1137, this time Archbishop Thomas’s successor Archbishop Roger Pont L’Eveque started to remodel the seating area and chamber in 1154. All the work was completed by 1175 with an addition of two western towers.

The Gothic style church of today took 250 years to build, and was built between 1220 and 1472.

Interesting facts about York Minster

The Cathedral has its own policing The police force was established after a religious fanatic set the church on fire on the 2nd of February 1829, and has had a police force ever since.

Some of its roof was designed by children A children’s programme called Blue Peter hosted a competition to design a roof in 1984 during restoration of the cathedral. The winning designs were art inspired by Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the raising of Mary Rose and a whale and diver.

The first black Archbishop of the Church Of England led services here Dr. John Sentamu became the first black Archbishop in the church of England in 2005. He became the Archbishop of York and led the services here up until June 2020.

It costs £15,000 a day to keep it open We already mentioned the police force but, imagine the cost of heating, lightning and all the other staff.

Its apparently haunted. With York having the reputation of one of Europe’s most haunted cities, it’s probably hardly surprising to hear this. One of the many story’s that pops up is, a man is often seen sitting in the pews.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about York Minster if your thinking of visiting click here for more information and tickets.

Thanks for stopping by

Natalie x

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The river in the sky

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Hi! 🙋🏽 Hope your all keeping well.

This will be the last post on North Wales, until I get to revisit again. Just wanted to share this incredible attraction.

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Some of you may have heard of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, for those who haven’t. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is located in Llangollen and one of North Wales biggest attractions. It is built over the River Dee and is the highest Canal Aqueduct in the world.

It was built and designed by Thomas Telford, with the help and advice of William Jessop. It took 19 years to plan and build between the years of 1795 and 1805.

Would you dare walk along here? I did!

The views are absolutely incredible! It feels like your actually flying from up there, it’s mesmerising!

It actually doesn’t look that high on the pictures, it is! If your scared of heights, this could be quite a challenge.

Additional Information

It’s free to walk along the tow path and aqueduct or you can take a 45mins to a 2 hour boat trip, which will take you over the structure. I didn’t do this, but here’s a site with more information Llangollen Wharf

Parking is available nearby

Thanks for reading 🙂

Stay safe x

Conwy: A little treasure town

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Conwy Castle

Hi there!🙋🏽 It’s been a while, hope your all keeping well and in good health.

This blog is a continuation of my last few blogs from my time in Wales. If you liked the last few places I’ve mentioned, here’s another town which is just minutes away from those places and worth a visit.

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Conwy is a beautiful quaint medieval market town situated in the north coast of Wales. The town is also surrounded by the countryside with an overlooking view of Snowdonia, making it one of the most beautiful and unique places to visit.

I visited here after my visit to Llandudno and the Great Orme and was pleasantly surprised. It was just one of those places I felt immediately excited about.

Here are some interesting facts about Conwy

1 It’s home to the smallest house in Britain

Known as the Quay house of Conwy, this tiny little home measures only 10 feet deep and not even 6 feet wide and is split into two floors. The tenant a local fisherman named Robert Jones who stood at 6-foot-3inch lived here up until 1900. As you can imagine the rooms were too small for him to have been able to stand up fully. As a result of this he was forced to leave the home and the home was declared unfit for human habitation. The home is still owned by his descendents and is now one of the favourite visitor attractions in Conwy at £0.50 for adults and £1 for adults. Note: It will probably be the quickest you’ve ever spend £1 but it’s an interesting 30 seconds 😉

2 Medieval Walled Town

Conwy has the most complete and best preserved medieval walls in the UK. The walls can be walked around mostly for free however, there are few sections that require a small fee.

3 Conwy Castle

Conwy castle was built by King Edward l during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289, it was designed by the Master builder, James Of Saint George. This castle is one of the best preserved Castles in North Wales, along with it’s incredible walls and tower this castle has been featured in various photos and paintings.

Note: Some of the outer parts a free to walk around but to go inside theres a small fee ( see prices below)

Adults £8.80

Child (under 16) £5.40

Family ticket (2 adults & 3 children (under 16) £25.10

Senior Citizen £7.10

Students £5.40 ( Note prices based on 2020 prices)

The first thing I did on arrival was explore the Conwy Castle.
Peeping through the walls of the castle (Look at the countryside in the far distance 😍)

4 Suspension Bridge

This magnificent bridge was design by Thomas Telford a Scottish Civil engineer, architect, road, bridge and canal builder. The bridge is connected to the castle and the two together are just incredibly magical.

After visiting the above attractions it was time for lunch. I found a little traditional place called the cheese room around about 2 minutes walk from the castle.

This shop sells such a wide variety of cheese. I hadn’t even heard of many of them! I wanted to purchase a lunch box and take a selection of cheese home. The staff were so helpful and helped me pick out a great cheese selection, allowing me to sample whilst sharing their knowledge about the cheese. Never had much knowledge about cheese until visiting here.

With just a short time left before moving on to the next destination, I had a little walk around to catch a glimpse of the surrounding area.

The Quay

Until next time, stay safe and thank you for reading

Natalie x