Monday, March 31, 2014

Guess the Field Trip!

Would you like to guess the destination of our field trip last Friday? I'll give you some clues, and you see what you can deduce. By the way, photography was not permitted inside this place, so we must content ourselves with exterior shots. Ready to play?

1. It was located in a city that is a one-hour train ride from our own town. And we walked through a park, past a palace, and through another park to get there.

2. In one form or another, this building is over 1000 years old. It's constructed in the shape of a cross, and its current Gothic-style incarnation was begun in 1245 A.D.

3. It's staffed by a cadre of paid and volunteer workers whose robes or uniforms tell who they are. Marshals wear red (see below).

4. After the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror was crowned king here on Christmas Day in 1066. Since then, every English monarch's coronation  has taken place here as well. You can stand where their royal feet have probably trembled in their royal boots, if you like.

5. Speaking of standing, you can walk on the graves of Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, David Livingstone, and many other illustrious persons. (The only embedded grave you cannot walk on is the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, from WWI.) You can glimpse the coffins of Edward the Confessor, Henry V, and Elizabeth I. Also, there are many other memorials, often indistinguishable from grave markers, to persons who are buried elsewhere but deserved recognition, such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and C.S. Lewis. Interesting note: You don't have to have been Christian to be buried or memorialized here. You do have to have had lots of money or influence, or have made significant enough contributions to society that folks petition for your inclusion. (I give you noted agnostic Charles Darwin.)

{Personal opinion which you can take or leave: Tourguides here emphasize the soaring architecture and distinctive shape as evidence that this place was built to glorify God. However, I think that many of us leave with more of an impression of it as a monument to human history and achievements. Which is probably what most who visit as tourists are looking for anyway.}

6. Most of us have seen inside this building in recent times when a certain bride walked through its front door -- which is NOT the door through which visitors enter -- to meet her Prince Charming. You may have wished to be among the honored guests, but honestly? There's this structure about halfway down the nave called the quire, and if you were sitting on the wrong side of it, as many guests were, all you'd glimpse was part of the processional and recessional. We got a better view on television!

So, what do you think? Where did we go?

(Check your answer here if you like!)


  1. My first guess was Westminster Abbey. Google said I was correct:) Fun field trip!

    1. Great detective work, Kelly! :-)