"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Sioux under General


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While up North, my young host took me around Durham. What a beautiful city. The cathedral is magnificent; unfortunately no photos are allowed inside the confines of the sanctuary, but I got many of the outer walls.

The movie Harry Potter is one of many that have used some parts of the building for filming.


The construction of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy and St Godrics started in 1864, in order to add capacity to St Cuthbert’s Church for the growing Catholic population in Durham.

Strolling through the town it was evident that there had been a graduation at the ‘varsity, as there were loads of students and their parents out and about. Walking on the icy cobbled roads was like walking through history and at the same time wondering how many famous names had walked these same streets.


The song by Roger Whittaker in 1969 was named for this beautiful city.

We popped into the town hall and landed up being given an impromptu tour,                                which was fantastic! So much history. As it was just the 2                               of us, our guide opened the doors in the Mayors Chambers,

                          leading onto the balcony overlooking the town square; as I

                          walked out he said “do you know that the last person to stand                           on that balcony was Princess Diana”. I got goosebumps up a                           and down my spine at that comment.

                           The Mayoral Chambers date back to the 1500’s and houses                              the ship’s bell from HMS Invincible, which is one of a                                      number of ships ‘adopted’ by the City of Durham.                        

As we were leaving, a ceremonial sword that had been used earlier in the week, was being returned to its rightful place.


I was almost on my knees begging to be allowed to hold it, they relented and I had a piece of history in my hands! It wasn’t as heavy or as long as I expected but that’s due to being ceremonial; it was however a truly humbling experience!

Strolling along the banks of the River Wear (pronounced Weer) past the cathedral and castle which are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over the Framwellgate Bridge, was a treat. True ‘chocolate box’ scenes.


The river begins life as a series of small streams high up in the Pennine Mountains, 884m above the level of where it flows thorough Durham; and is the longest river in England to flow from source to sea within the boundary of only one county.


Durham was once a thriving industry county, sadly however, the coal and lead mines are no longer in operation. However the search for higher education brings many to the university which is ranked among the top 100 in

the world.

The cathedral, built in 1093, was originally built for a community of

Benedictine monks; and boasts some of the most intact monastic

buildings in England.


Taking 40 years to build, it is famous as a masterpiece of Romanesque

architecture. It is also the last resting place of St Cuthbert’s coffin, which is a fragmentary oak coffin put together piece by piece in the 20th century. Between AD698 – 1827, it contained the remains of St Cuthbert, who died in 687.


At the cathedral, a scale model is being built which will eventually consist of 300,000 LEGO bricks……two of which are mine! The final model will be 3.84m long x 1.53m wide x 1.7m high. Funds will go towards transforming public access to some of the cathedral’s most spectacular and breathtaking collections acquired over the centuries.


Truly a fabulous day out.


The leaving of Durham Town wasn’t easy.


3 responses to “The leaving of Durham Town……”

  1. Ursula Evans says:


  2. Chez says:

    Wow you are truly blessed to have had so many
    incredible opportunities just waiting for you to arrive. Thanks for sharing everything with us! Chez x x

  3. Pauline Smith says:

    Morning Sunshine.
    Looks like you really are having an absolute ball.
    Working for a titled Lady – don’t think you’re going to be so high and mighty when you come back to SA for a short while (which, I think, will be soon, won’t it?).
    Enjoy it

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