The sun was shining, Heather was feeling less battered so we decided to visit the nearby town of Ely. What a lovely surprise this town was.
Ely is perched on an original island in the middle of the fens surrounded by the Great Ouse River. The name Ely means eel island or Isle of Eels as eels were common in the river.
Daisy was full of energy so we had a walk down to and along the river before exploring the town. One famous former resident of the city was Oliver Cromwell who spent ten years in El, employed as a tithe collector.
The riverside was very pleasant and we found a lovely tea room to have a spot of lunch. We then tour the quaint town and around the cathedral close
Ely Cathedral is very impressive both from the outside and inside. We had been told by one of the locals to look specifically at the west facade where it has been lopsided ever since the transept collapsed in a storm in 1701.Heather took the guided tour of the cathedral.
The cathedral is on the site of an early monastery/abbey established by St Ethelreda in 673AD It is a mixture of Norman and Gothic architecture. The cathedral has a huge nave with an impressive painted ceiling. This ceiling was constructed to cover the Norman beams in the 19th century. The planks of woods were painted white and then the artist drew the outlines and then got a team of people mainly amateur volunteers filling in the colours. - an early painting by numbers!
The one unique feature to the cathedral is the Octagon Tower the only one of its kind in England. It was built in 1322. Its construction used the largest oak beams that could be found to support some four hundred tonnes of glass and lead. Looking up it certainly was impressive.
An amazing cathedral and a lovely town.