Lichfield is a wonderful well to do city and is famous for its ginormous gothic cathedral, built between 1195 and 1340 (and obviously renovated a lot since then).
Lichfield Cathedral is one of the earliest Christian churches in England. There was a church on its site as early as 700 established by St Chad, the first bishop of Lichfield. St Chad was born of Northumbrian parents and travelled about a lot in England and Ireland. The King of Mercia was so impressed with his pastoral work that he gave him the land at Lichfield to build a church which ended up being his burial ground.
Lichfield Cathedral is the only English medieval cathedral to have three spires, the trio known as “The Ladies of the Vale“. The Three Spires is the name of the city’s shopping centre.
My mother undertakes a spot of gold ink Christian activism at the cathedral message table by responding to a unicorn fan.
I do take issue with what I have photographed here in the cathedral’s upstairs prayer room as it smacks of the Illuminati. Having said that, I prayed in this room around 10 years ago during a particularly dire time and left the church feeling like a new person and renewed with hope. God shows up here regardless of the decor.
The 8th century stone “Lichfield Angel” was found (already broken into 3 pieces) beneath the nave by builders in 2003 when a new rising platform was being constructed for concerts. It is the Archangel Gabriel and possibly a relic from the tomb of St Chad. The damage is suspected following Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries where angels were particularly targeted.
The Sleeping Children in marble by Francis Chantrey is in the south east corner of the cathedral. The girls are Ellen Jane and Marianne Robinson who died in 1813 and 1814 respectively. The girls’ mother, also called Ellen-Jane, sadly lost all her family within 3 years. Her husband William, a clergyman, died of TB in his 30s, young Ellen-Jane died when her nightie caught fire and Marianne died of illness during a trip to London. Ellen-Jane senior had this work commissioned based on how she had often seen her daughters sleep.
On a lighter note, The Dancing Grannies shook their asses to entertain the cathedral visitors.
The town of Lichfield is on the river Trent and comprises many Georgian buildings along on quaint streets. All tourists to England should make a visit to Lichfield a priority in my opinion. For vegans I recommend going to Ego, a large Mediterranean restaurant on Bird Street with a view of the river. They have a separate cruelty-free menu and I enjoyed the chickpea and coriander cakes, bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar plus salad.
The Garrick Theatre named after David Garrick (1717 – 1779) the most famous actor and theatre producer of his time. He left Lichfield for the bright lights of London and became co-manager of the Drury Lane theatre.
Pathway near The Garrick
Samuel Johnson, an 18th century talented writer and instigator of one of the early English dictionaries. More on him in a later blog as I returned to visit his former home, now a museum dedicated to his life.
Thespians bellowing at each other on the river bank.
“Here is my body“. At least Jesus remains chip free here; some of the disciples’ heads look a little worse for wear on this antique piece.
“I’m a rock and roll STAAAAR!” yells ted.
The only incident which marred an otherwise pleasant day was an old man swearing and shouting abuse at the young girl cashier in Cafe Nero whilst I was sat in there having a coffee and catch up with my parents. The employee had politely asked the man to leave on account of no dogs allowed on the premises. The dog owner went crazy about this ruling and mouthed off in his pompous accent, getting louder and nastier. A mature lady customer advised him “Behave yourself!” which only fuelled his fury more.
My dad, forgetting about his heart condition and the fact that he had retired from his police career over 20 years ago, eased himself up from his armchair to put an end to the matter. The angry old man then turned his attention and obscene words to my dad who just stood close to him and stared. Fortunately my dad’s presence alone was enough to quickly usher the angry pensioner out and everyone could enjoy their hot beverages in peace once again.
The targeted young girl was very grateful although did tell us she had worked for Cafe Nero in London and so was no longer was in a position to experience shock at customer behaviour. I just expected more decorum from Lichfield’s clientele.