Have you seen the needlepoint in England?

Recently,  my hubby and I took a trip to England.  He had to be in Leatherhead, a suburb of London, for a one day class with work and I decided to tag along and visit with my friends (we stayed on for a week after the class).  Sue and her husband Steve were Expats in the US.  Although, the UK is there true home, they are well traveled and lived in Texas over 20 years.  When he retired,  they moved back to England.  She is dearly missed in my Tuesday quilting bee – and in our lives!

They moved to a beautiful village in Somerset and purchased a house that was built in 1609.  Now this house was renovated since then but Sue and Steve put the magic touch on this house and turned it into a home.  It is beautiful.  A true English home.

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Ok, so this isn’t their house!  This is the piggy’s at the end of their yard.  These pigs are owned by the pub in the village and are fed mainly beer and food scraps.  They were “jolly” pigs and we made friends.  They will be eaten when big enough.

The reason for this post is Sue and Steve took me and hubby to the most beautiful cathedral in Wells, Somerset.  The Wells Cathedral is a gothic style building and the current building was erected between the 12th and 15th century. If you are interested in reading the history of the cathedral click here:                                                          The Stained Glass windows:

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The Scissor Arches:

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and the Beautiful Clock:

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were breathtaking!  But, that’s not what impressed me about the visit.

The Quire!  I looked up the definition of Quire and the best I can figure out it means the same as Choir.  It’s -kind of- pronounced the same way.  Whatever it is the Quire area is breathtaking. Ok, my hubby was not as impressed but he doesn’t take the time to see what I see.

The Wells Quire had all the needlework this girl could imagine.  Mid 1900’s the Quire needlework was restored.  It is breathtaking.  I  can imagine that the people who sat in these seats designed their own image and either stitched it or had it stitched by the local expert.  Every seat – every tapestry – every alter cloth was different.  Each one with a specific design and theme.  I managed to get a few good photos but there was no flash photography allowed in this area.  Understandable!  The restoration of this area could not have been an easy task.  The amount of work that went into the project took almost 20 years according to the docent at the cathedral.  Here are a few of my photos:

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This is the tapestries behind the seats.  Five of the most breathtaking beauties.  All different.  It appeared that the design may have been a family crest.

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I found this interesting.  This is the vicars chair.  When he stands the seat pops up like at the movies but it has a shelf on the underneath of the seat for him to lean against when he grows tired.  His seat was very ornate compared to the others.

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Finally, here is the alter cloths.  The cloth is all hand made with the cording and tassels also made by hand.  These people are real craftsman.

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If you ever find yourself in the southern UK please check out this fantastic place.  It is heaven on earth for this crafter!

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