Friends in high places

CBA London was running a day out on Bankside which included a foreshore visit, a tour of Southwark sites excavated as part of the Thameslink project, a look at the remains of Winchester Palace and a walk of London playhouses – the Globe, the Rose, the Hope and a couple of bear baiting pits. But the highlight for me was a visit to the tower of Southwark Cathedral.

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Ooh. DANGER.

Well, it was quite a long way up, up a murky, narrow stone spiral staircase.

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As you can see, the danger was making my hands shake.

Part of the way up, we stopped to have a look at one of the levels inside the roof. Here we saw several phases of construction, destruction, remodelling and repairs.

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At one point we came out onto a balcony that looks down inside the cathedral. It’s at this point that we could see just how REALLY high up we were already.

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Others before me have had the heedie-jeebies up here…

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The next ascent involved some slightly disconcerting wooden stairs and then, after many creaks and groans, we were out onto the open roof of the tower.

Here’s Nathalie taking the obligatory group photo.

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The views were, of course, fabulous.

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After drinking in the views all round, we started to make our way back down into the cathedral. The choir was rehearsing, and from our lofty position the sound seemed to soar, but it really is a blooming long way down.

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From the bottom of the tower, inside the cathedral, we could get an alternative view of just how high it was. The view in the image above was taken from the gallery near the top of the image below. This was only about the half way point on the way up.

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One last word from the powers that be. Don’t touch the bell-ropes!

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