Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

September 2014

This months News



Garden Club

At just before eight bells (or thereabouts!) on the morning of the 14th August in the year of our Lord 2014, the good ship ‘Martins Coaches’ set sail from Oxhill Village Hall with its motley complement of some forty souls on the Garden Club’s latest voyage in search of botanical excellence, art and culture.  After an uneventful passage we dropped anchor at Salisbury Cathedral where guides waited to lead us into the interior and show us the wonders of this magnificent structure.

In the cathedral, near the 106 beautifully carved oak ‘Quire Stalls’ with their coats of arms, is the seat of the bishop – the kathedra that gives the edifice its name.

The original cathedral completed in 1092 had by the thirteenth century effectively outgrown its walled, hilltop site. It was re-located / built anew some two miles away over a period of 38 years - being consecrated in 1258.  In that age when it was believed that good works in this life guaranteed one an exalted place in the next, labour and expertise, Chilbeck stone and Purbeck marble, together with wood and lead for the construction of the roof, were largely donated – making the project possible.

Gold leaf, stained glass images, and reliquaries of the saints made this Catholic cathedral - incorporating some thirteen dedicated chapels - a place of pilgrimage. Unfortunately in the thirteenth century Henry VIII fell out with the Pope and, removing all structural or pictorial references to the saints, appropriated a lot of the cathedral’s wealth.  What little that was left was stolen, destroyed or defaced by the Puritans in the Civil War.  It was only in the eighteenth century that refurbishment started to take place leading, with millions of pounds still needing to be spent on restoration and conservation of the building’s fabric, to the awe inspiring structure that we see today.

Of special note is the Magna Carta exhibition in the Chapter House where the best preserved of only four remaining originals dating from June 1215 is displayed in the company of gold and silver chalices and other beautiful objects of that era.

The crew having refuelled in the cathedral refectory, explored the town somewhat and bartered with the natives, the ship set sail for an anchorage some four leagues distant – Wilton House.  But that is an adventure to be recounted at another time ….

Doug Nethercleft

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Last modified: September 01, 2014