Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Beauty of History

One thing I love about England is its history - its very very old history. Here in America, especially in the Midwest, old is maybe a hundred years or so. To give you an example, the state of Nebraska was not officially a state until 1867 - it was a territory for awhile and people didn't start moving west until the mid-1800's.

Not so in England! While I was in Witney, a small town about 7 miles from Oxford, I had ample opportunities to stroll around and soak up the wonderful history of this country. And of course, there's nowhere better than to really go back in time and see history than stepping foot in a local church.

This is St. Mary's Church, a beautiful building that still has an active congregation.


Take a look at the sign. It was rebuilt and dedicated in 1243.
That date still just blows me away. But what is really inspiring is being able to sit inside that building and soak up hundreds of years of history. It's not a grand cathedral, but it's humbleness enfolds you and makes you feel warm and safe and part of something incredibly special and spiritual.
Memorials such as this one on the wall are scattered throughout the church. I took a photo of this one because I loved what it said.

I love the architecture. When I sat in the pews and just looked around me, I just marveled at the beauty.




Well! There's your tour stop for the day. :-) I'm back at work and even though I'm not 100% recovered, it's good to be with my co-workers again and to be out and about amongst the world!

15 comments:

  1. These old churches are very beautiful. My ex-husbands family can date themselves back to the Domesday book, I think that was 1066.

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  2. Debts - Oh my goodness! 1066? That is amazing! What a wonderful legacy to have!

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  3. Good to have you back Mo!

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  4. I love old churches too and, as you say, all the small plaques within them. Talk about inspiration for a myriad stories! Thanks for sharing those pics :)

    The church my mum attended until she left England was built in the 11th or 12th century and is still standing today (somewhat altered).

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  5. Just thinking of the craftsmanship and labor behind all that stunning architecture is inspiring. To build those churches hundreds of years ago without technology must have been an immense undertaking. I think that's part of their beauty.

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  6. Glad to see you're starting to feel better again.

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  7. Thanks, Calfee! Good to be back.

    Tess - Oh yes, the stories they can inspire! My mind was just spinning when I read the placque in the photo, wondering who this man was.

    Joanne - It is absolutely amazing what they were able to accomplish with so little technology. And you're right - it makes it that much more beautiful.

    Diane - Yes, finally feeling better! Still not 100%, but slowly getting there. :-)

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  8. Sorry that you've been sick, but I'm still way jealous of where you are! Beautiful pictures! Feel better soon and have a great time!

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  9. Ell - I'm back now, but I did have a great time (except for that whole food poisoning thing...). :-)

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  10. I adore old churches! They feel more sacred, in many ways. Love the pictures, and hugs on the food poisoning.

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  11. Michelle - I agree. They do feel more sacred. I think it's the thousands of people who have passed through their doors and worshipped in their halls.

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  12. That church is awe-inspiring and gorgeous!

    I'm not a history buff, not in the textbook way. But to enter old buildings, or peruse the history found within an antique store, fills me with such pleasure. You can't touch those sorts of things and not be affected. You know?

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  13. Janna - Absolutely. I felt that way every single day I was there. I just wanted to stop people and say, "Do you realize how lucky you are to live where all this history is?" But I figured they might look at me a bit funny. ;-)

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  14. I miss that actually, the real age of things. Everything seems so 'new' here, even our century old home. Except the land. I think that holds some of that sense of history, but in a different way. That is what the US has.

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  15. Toni - I think I would miss it, too, to be surrounded by all that history. Canada and the U.S. are relatively "new" when compared to Europe - especially with the buildings, etc.

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