History and Art at Gloucester Cathedral

BBC History FestivalYesterday Gloucester Cathedral hosted a BBC History Festival. This is a great thing for Gloucester, which is of course just chocked full of history.

 Events of this sort are great for kids, who can see very knowledgeable people dressed up in period costume bringing history alive in a way that a crusty old history teacher in a dusty old classroom just can’t. It also puts history into context with the world – and indeed the city – in which we live today, which is fascinating whatever your age.

 The knowledge of some of the people involved is phenomenal. In particular, I enjoyed listening to the stories being told to a rapt audience of children by a knight in armour, between bouts of beating the hell out of another knight with his sword. Even more knowledge was displayed by a medieval infantryman from the civil war, whose endless tales of daring deeds and amusing asides from the period were fascinating.

 As well as the History Festival, a visit to the Cathedral gave the opportunity to see some of the amazing sculptures being brought in for the Crucible exhibition. There may be more to come as it doesn’t start until 1 September, but what is there is terrific – well worth a visit.

 Of course I have a vested interest in people taking an interest in the city’s history, being a local history author, but the recent emphasis on highlighting Gloucester’s heritage has to be a positive thing – hopefully it will be a boon to tourism and, perhaps, even make us locals a little prouder of our heritage and less inclined to constantly slag off our city.

 And this is just the start: next weekend (Saturday 4 September) is Gloucester Day, when the Mayor of Barton parade will also take place, and the following week, from 9-12 September is the Gloucester Heritage Open Days, so come along and find out why Gloucester is such a fascinating place to live.

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About Darrel Kirby

I am what I am.
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10 Responses to History and Art at Gloucester Cathedral

  1. Jan says:

    Blimey! There’s a Gloucester Day coming up? I hope it involves cheese.

    I went to this history event too but late so missed the story-telling and violence in favour of a good slow look at the Cathedral. Your pics are excellent, though.

    The sculptures were interesting although people were finding some of them quite gory – especially the flayed man in the Choir who I was sure I’d seen before somewhere.

    Turns out to be a copy of this
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/dreamanatomy/da_g_I-B-2-01.html

    Original by the 16th century anatomist Juan Valverde de Amusco

    Agree completely with your sentiments. Good to see the Cathedral and environs so vibrant.

    • Darrel Kirby says:

      Gloucester Day does not involve cheese; sorry.

      It is actually 5th September and harks back to 1643 and the triumphant end of the Seige of Gloucester. The Southgate was re-erected the same year with the inscription “A City Assulted by Man but Saved by God – Ever Remember the 5th of September, 1643, Give God the Glory”, although I think the glory should go to the men and women who braved the seige rather than God.

      It was a national holiday until the restoration and was revived last year to inject some much needed civic pride into the city.

      You realy need a good history book to tell you about this stuff. I could recommend one….

      As for the art I heard a few sniffy comments about ‘modern art’ and some of it was a bit gruesome, but I loved the praying skeleton in the choir and especially the huge crucifixion in the nave. Oh, and the papier mache hands in the cloisters were great. The strage beasty made up from old bike parts was probably my favourite though…

  2. Eddie says:

    Sadly I had to visit family in Southampton so missed the day, although I did get some good pics last week when the art was being delivered.
    Depsite the vandalism of past councils Gloucester is still rich in history.

  3. Paul Clark says:

    Some great pictures Darrel, well done.

    Nobby

  4. Pingback: Gloucester: more heritage than you can shake a stick at « Darrel Kirby's Blog

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