30 July 2014

Lichfield Tour (Part One) and a Blast to My Past

Sister Mace took me out last night for a little tour of Lichfield, and we had so much fun! I'm still pretty slow, so I only saw half of it... but we'll finish up another night. But what I've seen so far I've absolutely loved. It's another small, charming English town, but it's big enough to have not only it's own cathedral, but several other rather grand churches, along with some great historical sites. Right up my alley! :)

St. Mary's church, but no longer used as a church...
One of Lichfield's claims to fame...

The spires of the cathedral visible through the trees. That little platform in the bottom right corner with the iron railing in front of it is the 'Speaker's Corner' where you can stand and basically complain about whatever you want.

Lichfield Cathedral

Front entrance to the cathedral... isn't is stunning?! And the lighting last night was absolutely brilliant!
Just your average 16th C. tudor house taken from the Erasmus Darwin herb garden
I could probably sit on this bench and stare at this scene for hours...

Still in the Erasmus Darwin home gardens, but looking towards the cathedral.
The courtyard in the middle of some more 16th C. tudor homes... still standing and still being used. Though you can kinda see how terribly uneven the upper levels must be. I wonder if they have to keep all the furniture on the lower side of the room, or if the interior has been rigged to help compensate for the tiltage...

Regardless, I could probably sit at that little table for hours, too...

Inside the cathedral

I didn't really get to see much of the inside of the cathedral, because there was an event going on... so we decided to join in the fun instead! It was a lecture about the so-called 'Staffordshire hoard' of Anglo-Saxon treasure (ca. 650-670 AD) discovered about 5 years ago near Lichfield, given by one of the archaeologists and curators that worked on the project. 

It might sound boring to normal people, but as an archaeologist that has been deprived of pretty much all things archaeology for far too long, it was absolutely riveting! My two areas of focus were Near Eastern and European archaeology, so I've done a fair amount of study on Anglo-Saxon archaeology. But since this hoard was discovered while I was at BYU Jerusalem, and after I'd finished all of my archaeology courses, I don't remember hearing about it, and I certainly never got a chance to study it. 

It was well-presented, and even Sister Mace enjoyed it--which was good because we were there for nearly 2 hours! It took me back to all those years I spent thinking of and planning my life as an archaeologist. I never forget how much I love archaeology... It is such a huge part of who I am, what I love, and how I've ended up where I am today. But since I'm no longer pursuing that course in life, I don't get many chances to relish in my passion for archaeology. It was great to have an opportunity to do just that during and after the lecture. An unexpected ending to a delightful evening!

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