Feature

My Adventures in England

While it has been an interesting two weeks in England, time has finally come to say good-bye to England and hello to Ireland.

By Katherine Iorio

My adventures in England were far from few. Traveling to London for two days to visit City University London, my new school I will be going to in fall 2013 for my Master’s Degree in International Journalism.

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While I can say I never viewed the amazing city of London by walking I can say I viewed the majority of London by a speeding taxi. With my head sticking out the window with my camera attempting to get as many photos of buildings and historical palaces, many of my pictures have come out rather speedily with people’s heads out of focus.

There certainly was enough drinking of alcohol to last me my entire life time, but I digress from that. There were days of going out and visiting friends of my family, with children who have grown up to be beautiful young adults. This also was contributed with large amounts of alcohol, but again, I digress from my alcohol consumption. (And headaches)

One day that really will stay with me for a life time was a visit to a Royal Air Force (RAF) compound. Without mentioning the names or the titles of the compound I can at least say that RAF members are crammed into small bedrooms with poor living conditions and not to mention little-to-no entertainment.
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On a beautiful Wednesday morning I was able to go to the moors in Bradford which is said to be the moors that inspired Emily Brontë for her novel of Wuthering Heights. The views were tremendous and the landscape was treacherous to walk on.  With my handy dog, Eric, whose head would only be in eye shot with every jump into the air, I was able to walk the 6 miles of the moors in order to try and find my Heathcliff. Although I did not find him, I certainly fell in love with the moors that brought him and Cathy together in the novel.

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While walking down the moors in preparation to get back for tea, I came upon a broken down barn. The ruins showed an outline of what could have been a place for employment. It was only to my surprise that this ruin used to be a baby farm. While I have never heard of such a thing, I asked some friends of the family what a baby farm was.

Baby farms were built and used in the Victorian Age for young women who became pregnant in those days. It was looked down upon for women to have illegitimate children without being wed first. The women, who stay in these farms, for roughly nine months till their child was born, would then either sell the children or kill them in order to go back to society and become wed or wait till they become wed to a man. Well, here’s to history some would rather forget then see on a daily basis on the moors of Bradford.

The town closest to where I was staying for the two weeks is called Ripon. This town is known for many of their shops and restaurants. However, one historical building that has brought thousands to even hundreds of thousands of tourist is the Ripon Cathedral.

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral (Photo credit: aaranged)

Ripon Cathedral was founded by St Wilfrid (c. 634-709), who brought craftsmen from the continent to build a new stone church dedicated to St Peter, in 672. The only part of Wilfrid’s church to survive, however, is the ancient Saxon crypt.

Much of the church people see today dates from the 12th century, though most of the nave was substantially rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries.

For this reason, the building contains a variety of architectural styles. Thus the splendid Early English west front dates from the early 13th century, while the transepts (the ‘arms’ of a cruciform church) – combining rounded Norman with pointed Gothic arches – are an interesting example of the late 12th century Transitional style.

English: Ripon Cathedral interior.

English: Ripon Cathedral interior. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ancient Saxon crypt is the only part of Wilfrid’s original church to have survived intact since 672 – making it arguably the oldest church building in England to have remained in continuous use.

While I was able to go through the cathedral when I first visited Ripon when I was eleven, this trip allowed for me to take pictures and remember much of the historical background that brings much of Ripon to life in the evenings.

My trip to England has come to an end and my flight to Dublin is within hours. This trip is only one of many to come, especially with my moving to London in September. More travels and adventures are to come from Ireland!

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