*132* the moon and the library

That sounds like the title of a book, doesn’t it?

It isn’t, it’s only a telegraphic account of my Saturday adventures when together with my parents, I visited Gloucester Cathedral – always a pleasure btw – such an incredible building…

… best cloisters in the world…

I was really curious to see the moon installation right in the middle of the big nave… awesome… It’s a 7m (23feet) spherical, helium inflated structure created by Luke Jerram and illustrated with photos of the moon by the NASA Lunar Reconnessaince Orbiter. It’s simply mesmerising. The incongruous location increases the wow factor I’m sure, but you just can’t stop looking at it… it’s magical…

… it’s so realistic… it appears almost suspended in mid air…

Isn’t it amazing?

After that, we had tickets to visit the library I never knew existed… you know me and books, right?

Well, the story goes like this: back in the 1400 the Benedictine monks realised that keeping the books they were studying/copying whatever, in the cloister wasn’t a good idea. Extremely cold temperatures and dampness wasn’t good for them or the books so they build what at the time was the first purpose built library in a monastery in the whole of the England. They built a sliver of a building hight between two other buildings’ roofs and there they studied and collected many precious books.

When Henry VIII ordered the dissolutions of all the abbeys, he turned St Peter’s into a Cathedral instead and because it was, even then, famous for its music and choir, and he was rather keen on sang celebrations he kept the library as a school for the chorister to learn latin and so on so they could read the songs etc etc. It was 1541.

Unfortunately the books held in the library at the time got all taken when the old monastery got pillaged by a bankrupt Henry; he might have set up the school and kept the church but he made sure that anything of any value got taken away… The library remained and the collection is slowly growing with time, although none of the books are from earlier than the 1600s.

Still super cool, panelled in wood and full of old books. Heaven.

2 thoughts on “*132* the moon and the library

  1. Have you ever done the tour of the Bodlien library, it’s great to see the oldest parts. Hereford cathedral as well ha a chained library and the Map a mundi. The advantage with going to see library in Hereford is a visit to Doughtys as well!

    Like

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