We then went round some of the shops in the shopping precinct, Alison bought a couple of tops but I didn't buy anything, still enjoyed pottering around window shopping though.
Then I gave Alison a tour of old Carlisle, she lives in the Scottish Borders and doesn't know the city well. We first went to the cathedral, which, though small (it's the second smallest cathedral in England), has many special features. It was established in 1133 and somehow has survived fires, wars and numerous border raids by the Scots - Carlisle, being a border city has had a lot of strife and has been both English and Scottish numerous times in the past.
The barrel vaulted roof of the cathedral dates from the 14th century and is painted sky blue with golden stars, it is generally quite dark building and looking up to the ceiling feels like looking at a bright blue summer sky. The most famous feature of the cathedral is the east window. It is in the most complex English Gothic style, the Flowing Decorated Gothic. It is truly beautiful when the sun shines through it. Much of the window still contains the original medieval glass.
The choir has forty six black oak misericords - hinged seats. The misericords are carved with various, often fantastic, scenes, hybrid creatures, angels, scenes from legends of the Apostles, St Cuthbert, St Augustine and others. Some of the seats have traces of burns from where monks had fallen asleep in services and burned them with the candles they held. A nice human touch!
From the cathedral we walked the short distance through the grounds to Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery. First we went into the gallery (free entry) which has an extensive and nationally important Pre-Raphaelite exhibition. These form part of the part of the museum's Emily and George Bottomley bequest, which came to Tullie House in 1949. I have always loved Pre- Raphaelite art - even years ago when it wasn't "in fashion", now it is appreciated as it should be once more. As a young teenager I often used to go to the art gallery to look at these paintings and drawings. As well as loving to see the exhibitions I've always liked the "feel" of art galleries and museums, it's like stepping into another world. Tullie House itself is a beautiful building, with well preserved marble staircases, ironwork stair rails and gorgeous ornate wall tiles.
|Madeleine by Arthur Hughes|
Every woman knows a LBD is an essential part of any wardrobe. It can make you look fabulous and feel a million dollars. No wonder it has been around in many versions for almost a century. If you can, go to see this free exhibition, it's well worth seeing. It's on until February 26th. So that was our day out in Carlisle, we saw a lot and spent next to nothing, that's what I call a good day!