As it happened I confused some dates so the scheduling didn't work out quite as effectively as it might have done. Oh well.
As an avid reader of Dorothy Sayers I wanted to see the fen country so tellingly described in The Nine Tailors so we headed in that direction and ended up in Ely (pronounced EE-lee). What should we find there but Oliver Cromwell's home. He seemed to haunt this trip!
I was hoping to find some kind of museum or guided trail that celebrated the draining of the fens, a massive engineering feat that began in Roman times. No such luck – at least for this trip.
The current octagonal lantern tower replaced the original one, which had collapsed, in the 14th century.
The great tower, in conjunction with the many windows, ensures that the interior of the cathedral is well-lighted. In spite of its age and magnificence it is still a very active parish church with an active children's music program.
As it happened this was my second visit to this small town. Our good friends Bill and Klaire Jameson lived there for a time in the 90s when Bill worked at the nearby US Government facility.
For their years in England they rented a charming house that had been converted, along with several others, from old farm buildings. They regretted that they hadn't purchased the house when they had the chance because they both fell in love with England and were sad to return to the Metro DC area when their jobs brought them back.
After a good visit with Mark & Andrea we were off to Ironbridge.
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