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: 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: Treasured Cathedral

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My first stop in Chester was the beautiful gothic style cathedral and its stunning gardens. Unfortunately, on this occasion I was unable to visit inside due to covid-19 restrictions. I have actually been inside on a previous visit, but unfortunately I do not have any great pictures of the inside to share with you guys. But, I did manage get some shots of the outside, in-between avoiding a man who kept trying to hand me a squirrel 😅. One thing you will notice here is, there are so many squirrels, and they don’t seem bothered about getting close to you.

A bit about the cathedral

The Cathedral had previously been the Abbey Church of a Benedictine Monastery, which had been dedicated to Saint Werburgh. It is now dedicated to Christ and The Virgin mary. It is also seat to The Arch Bishop Of Chester and has been since 1541.

Some of its oldest parts date right back to 1093 and it still has some of its Norman features from when the Norman’s built it. Although, from 1250 the church was built to be a gothic style.

Although, it is now restored their is still some places where you can see where it had been destroyed and defaced in the past.

If you visit Chester, don’t miss visiting inside this stunning cathedral It’s located in the heart of chester at St Werburgh St, Chester, CH1 2DY. For more information visit here

Until next time, thanks for reading 🙂

stay safe

Natalie x

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

I finally visited York, UK

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I finally to visit York! Well, I say this because I’ve actually been to York on several occasions, but it has always been to visit family members. My family live in the beautiful countryside of York, tho this is quite some distance from the centre of York, so I had never actually seen this incredible city.

I travelled here with my sister (My partner in crime) which was refreshing since I’m usually travelling alone.

The tour company we travelled with

We travelled by a coach with a company called Smile Adventures. The company specializes in day and weekend tours around the uk from Manchester. The coach picked us up at 8am in the city centre. On arrival, we had a small tour of the city for around 2hours then we were left to explore by ourselves. The full day trip cost around £32 at the time of booking.

I would highly recommend this company.

I look forward to sharing the adventures of this trip in the next few posts.

Natalie 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

Exploring Liverpool Part3

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Video from my day trip to Liverpool three months ago! Better late than never.

Thanks for watching 🙂 Stay safe x