Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Astronomical Clocks of Southwest England

On a roof tour of Exeter Cathedral over the summer I did my usual and swung by the magnificent astronomical clock on my way out.
20180811 Exeter astro clock
Then, in a random conversation with someone, I discovered that Ottery St Mary had one, so off I trogged.
20180923 Ottery astro
I then discovered that there were four of these 14th-16th Century beauties in the south west and, as I'd already found two, it seemed churlish not to bag the other two.  So a month ago I visited Wells Cathedral.This clock dates between 1386 and 1392.
20181013 Wells Cathedral 14.36.07
And then last weekend I finished the set with Wimborne Minster.
20181117 Wimborne Minster 14.23.19
What wonderful creations of art and science these are!  Added to that I had the joy experiencing such amazing architecture of these cathedrals/minsters/churches, such as this unique archway in Wells.
20181013 Wells Cathedral 14.32.20
And this stunning ceiling in Wimborne Minster.
20181117 Wimborne Minster 14.28.07
I listened to a lecture recently about building these cathedrals and I'm in awe at what people achieved without a fraction of the equipment and technology we now have. The reason we still have these ancient buildings is that they are continually maintained.  Being places of worship, they have been cared for over the centuries, unlike castles which sit in ruin.

By the way, if you ever want to see an up-side-down sundial, Wimborne is your place.
20181117 Wimborne Minster 14.45.26
And, oh dear me, I've just found a list of 18 wonderful astronomical clocks.  Exeter and Wells are there - but there are maybe 16 others I now need to find?!

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