Durham riverside

I’ve got a couple of days off work, so I had a trip through to Durham today, for no reason other than that I love it there.  I walked along the banks of the river, which were beautiful in the early summer light.  If you haven’t been to Durham, then should you ever be in the North of England, then I really recommend that you pay it a visit.  To tempt you there, here’s the great Norman Cathedral from the opposite side of the river:

The building below the Cathedral, right on the weir, is now the Museum of Archaeology, but was originally a fulling mill, so there is a tenuous textile connection in this post somewhere!

Further along the river is the lovely 18th century stone Prebends Bridge:

After finding a path back up (and a word of warning, if you’re planning to visit Durham: everything is uphill), I crossed over the bridge.  Looking over the parapet, there were some very pretty flowers growing.  It’d probably be better for the stonework if they were removed, but for now, they look so nice against the stone:

In close up, and being very careful not to drop my camera in the river:

My botany is terrible so I have no idea what they are, but I loved the way the rain had collected in the leaves and made them sparkle.

On either side of the river, there were a couple of rather odd stone structures.  The first seen from the other side is a large seat, but it’s the back that’s the most striking:

Roughly opposite, is an enigmatic stone tower:

I have no idea what they are, though my guess would be Art.  They look to me as though old stone has been used to create them, though whether the grotesque faces were carved especially or are also old I don’t know. I need to find out!

At about this point, the battery on my camera ran out.  Never mind, I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

6 comments on “Durham riverside
  1. My camera battery ran out yesterday in an aboriginal museum in southern Taiwan too!!=) Thankfully, Sir’s had just run out of disk space, so we pooled resources and carried on snapping away.

    I haven’t yet been to Durham, but I would like to see the Oriental Museum there. I’m not at all into churches, cathedrals and related things, so I’m not sure how much other stuff there would be there for me, but I shall, no doubt, find out one day.

    I daresay that some of those stone structures may have something to do with ancient and/or pagan religious ceremonies. Or even church things (which, oddly enough, are often rather closely related!!). Do post about it when you find out, won’t you?

  2. Elizabeth: I think maybe we should both have checked the batteries before we left home! The Oriental Museum is terrific and well worth a visit, as are the Botanic Gardens next door. Even if you’re not spiritually inclined, the Cathedral is worth a visit too, for its historic, art and architectural interest, not to mention the fact that the Cathedral Treasury includes the best surviving Anglo Saxon embroidery anywhere. If you want to see goldwork that’s over a thousand years old, this is the place to come!

    Kay: stonecrop – perfect!

  3. Hi Ruth

    Here in Oz, that little plant often comes up in pot plants. We call it Kenilworth Ivy (prolific on Kenilworth Castle?), Ruin of Rome (must have destroyed lots of buildings) or ivy-leaved toadflax. Its Latin name is Cymbalaria muralis

    Love your work, especially the spirograph ones – I used to love playing with those as a child and now have an excuse to play as an “old”

    Leslie

  4. I’m looking into information about that stone seat. We have a photograph from around 25 years ago in which part of a human face appears next to my brother, who is standing in front of it.

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