Wells Cathedral…a Must See



Wells Cathedral, Somerset

On our current tour we couldn’t leave Somerset without visiting Wells Cathedral. Lets give it its proper name  ” The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrews”.

Like most Cathedrals, Wells Cathedral is built on an earlier religious site this one dating back to around 700ad.  The Cathedral we see today was built between 1175 and1490.

Whilst the exterior is dramatic, bold and finely detailed it is the interior in a Gothic style  equally bold but could well be mistaken for a contemporary design that takes most visitors by surprise…. crisp modern yet full of the usual overpowering sense of being.

Wells is also the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells and an equally stylish Bishops Palace hides its charms away behind the Cathedral… and missed by many.

So share with us a brief visit to Wells Cathedral…




Apart from the Cathedral, Wells is a lovely City (on a small scale) to visit.  But it is well and truly on the Tourist Trail…Coach Parties are a major feature in visitor numbers. So pop along late afternoon for a more peaceful atmosphere in the Cathedral and if you are there around 6pm you can listen to the music and singing of Evensong echoing round the high ceilings of the nave…enjoy


6th July

(C) David Oakes 2018




Sunday …..So Off to Church


Stand in Awe

The Nave, Tewkesbury Abbey

Now lets give this magnificent structure its full ‘Sunday Name’…… it is The Abbey Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Tewkesbury.   Founded in the 12th century, but like many of our old religious buildings it is on a site of worship dating back to the 6th century.

Of course it has been repaired and restored regularly since then, after all if you had been standing for nearly 10 centuries, you to would have need of some care and attention!

I have mentioned before that my visits to Church, Abbey or Cathedral is not driven by any religious need or desire.  None the less here in Tewkesbury Abbey you can but stand in awe of  the Architecture…..  its sheer size and drama is stunning  but also of the skill, craftsmanship and vision of those who created and toiled to create a structure still to be much admired today.

Indeed it is more noticeable, here than in many of the other major historic religious buildings I have visited, that it has an immediate visual impact as you enter.

Visitors just stand in awe, taking in all that is above, often appearing rooted to the spot. Once totally satisfied they then explore all else that the Abbey has to offer.

30th April

(c) David Oakes 2017



Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia


Harvest Time…

The end of summer and the harvest if not already in, is near completion. The orchard and hedgerows give up their seasonal bounty and many a kitchen carry the aroma of jam making and baking.

Nostalgic scenes and nostalgic smells to re-awaken the senses.

Just an idea for the weeks Daily Post Photo Challenge topic of Nostalgia.

See what others have submitted on:-


30th September

(C) David Oakes 2016

Sunday……So Off to Church


High on the Edge of the moors in the Cheshire and Derbyshire borderland, an area of wild land that has for centuries been criss crossed with Pack Horse tails, can be found the little hamlet of Saltersford.  Salt was the very precious cargo shipped across these moors from the Salt mines on the Cheshire Plain and at this important crossing point it is believed a Salt Trading Post was established….hence the name Saltersford. It is also here, surrounded by a stone wall to keep out the native sheep,  that a small stone Chapel can be found.


The hamlet is more a collection of  outlying farms but it this community who in the early 1700’s decided that they needed their own place of worship.  They raised their own funds,, used local materials and own labour and in 1733 the Church was completed. They then had the task of raising enough funds to engage a Minister to oversee the Church’s affairs.

A distinctive Saddleback roofed Bell Tower adds character to an otherwise utilitarian rectangular construction.

Inside the nave is equally as sparse.  Plain walls, high ceiling, solid boxwood pews and a dominant pulpit with a small simple altar beyond…



I understand that the stained glass windows were a later addition but do add a touch of extra zing to the plain style of the interior.

Why Jenkin as a name for this Chapel, after all chapels and churches have ‘saintly’ names. Well not in this case. There are many suggested stories but perhaps the most likely (in my view) is that Jenkin was a Welsh Salt Trader and established the Salt Trading Post at these crossroads…..and Post was exactly what a trading post was, just a post to mark the spot. So Jenkin Chapel became the name.

Explore the graveyard and you trace not only the family history of the hamlet but also those who actually built Jenkin Chapel…


Despite its lonely and evocative moorland location….and most probably the population of Saltersford is even smaller than it once was….the Chapel is still a place of worship, even though that is now only once a month.

11th September

(C) David Oakes 2016

Sunday…..so off to Church


Hailes Parish Church, Gloucestershire

A church with no name…well at least a church that isn’t attributed to a Saint, just simply Hailes Parish Church.

It may well be a small isolated 12th century country church built around 1114 but its ‘religious ownership’ was a matter of dispute for many years.  The Norman Knight Ralph de Worcester as was the way of many Norman Knights wanted the land and took what he could.   In return he built a Castle and Hailes Church. He offered the church to Worcester Abbey but nearby Winchcombe Abbey disputed that decision and for years it was unresolved till eventually Winchcombe won out.


The interior is simple in layout, stone flagged nave, wooden pews and a simply carved wooden Rood Screen.  The stained glass window is original and amazingly intact.

Of great interest to visitors are the Wall Paintings, Saints, Angels and country Hunting scenes…you can just see traces on the plain plaster walls above.

Most visitors to Hailes Church find it very much by accident.  It is the ruins of nearby Hailes Abbey that they come to see.  Indeed these ruins are well worth the visit..


A Cistercian Abbey founded in 1246 by Richard de Cornwall.  They say that the size of the Abbey is much overstated as until its disillusionment in 1539, it never housed that many monks.  Though it was very much on the Pilgrims Trail with Pilgrims travelling to see  “The Holy Blood of Hailes” a so called phial of Christ’s Blood

It may well be small in comparison to the Abbey ruins but the Golden Cotswold Stone make Hailes Church a very striking building and hard to miss…and even more enticing to explore


28th August

(C) David Oakes 2016