"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 2 July 2010

Hereford Cathedral, Mappa Mundi and Clearwell Caves

I will return to blogging about the IOW holiday later but first some photos from yesterday when I took my son to Hereford to see the Mappa Mundi.

Following a nightmare experience trying to park we eventually got to the cathedral and it was certainly worth the parking hassle. Its a beautiful cathedral steeped in history with a nave dating from the twelfth century, Norman pillars and fourteenth century aisles. There are some incredible stone and wood carvings, wonderful stained glass windows and medieval artefacts, shrines and tombs. The Mappa Mundi exhibition is excellent and the Mappa Mundi itself (the largest surviving complete medieval world map) is awesome as is the Chained Library.My son, David also tells me that the Library contains one of only four original copies of the signed Magna Carta.

You need to buy a permit to take photographs inside the cathedral and somewhere I read that you are not allowed to publish these anywhere so sadly the photos below are limited to those I took outside the Cathedral. They are are not very good as there was a lot of construction/renovation work taking place.

In the afternoon we couldn't decide whether or not to visit Nagshead (RSPB Reserve), Puzzlewood or Clearwell Caves but as we only had a few hours we decided on the latter.

According to the Guide the caves form part of an extensive natural cave system that was partially filled with iron ore 180 million years ago. Mining for coloured iron oxides and ochres commenced over 4000 years ago and has continued until today. The mining caverns deep underground are very atmospheric (almost spooky at times as we saw very few other people) - several films and episodes of tv series (e.g. Doctor Who including the recent weeping angel episode) have been filmed here. The caves provide a home for several species of bat such as greater horseshoe, natterers, and long-eared bats with lesser horseshoe bats being the most numerous. Hanging web strands made by the European Cave Spider make the atmosphere more eerie and the guide reports that an "old man" in old-fashioned mining clothes appears to haunt the mine. There are lots of interesting rock formations, including a frozen waterfall, and a variety of rock types such as flowstone (a type of calcite), grease limestone, whitehead limestone as well as the iron ore occurring mainly as goethite (brown haematite) and red haematite.


Pete said...

well I'm in trouble as I have photos on my blog!!

I think you'll find as long as there's no financial gain you'll be safe!!

couldn't find anything on their site so i emailed them.

worcester say

Photograph permits are available for personal use from the Cathedral shop and cost £3.00 per day per person (small cameras/mobiles) or £5.00 per day per person for cameras using a tripod or video.

Further fees apply for photographs which are taken with the intent to use commercially or which may be used for commerical gain by an individual or business in the future.

Permission should be sought from the Operational Manager and a fee discussed and agreed prior to photography taking place.

Ragged Robin said...

Sorry for the delay in responding for some unknown reason I can only post comments on my own blog on the laptop and I have to wait to get on here with everyone else around!

Thanks for checking that out Pete - I think I was being overcautious!! In addition I couldn't remember the exact wording of the sign I saw.

Looks from Worcester's comment that I can post them on the blog so I will add them later. All I seem to do at the moment is blog!! Would have been much easier if I had had internet access whilst away and could have done it daily.

Thanks again

Pete said...

most odd why you can only comment on laptop. have you tried another browser?

Ragged Robin said...

It is most peculiar especially as I can leave comments on other people's blogs. I have tried another browser (thanks for the suggestion) but no luck there either. I've checked the blog settings too and can't see anything wrong with that.