Baileys at Springfields
Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, CB6 3HJ, United Kingdom
More about Ely
Old and New
A topless eel
Inside Ely Cathedral
Travel Tips for Ely
Visit Littleport, famous for Harleys and riots!
The small town of Littleport, located just north of Ely, is easily accessible by bus as it's only 20 minutes away from Market Street. I went to Littleport looking for antiques and could not find a single shop. What I did discover though was a Harley Davidson motorcycle monument in front of the local church. (see photo #2) The co-founder's father is a proud Littleport native, and so the Harley sits near a bench in the park across the street from where riots occured in 1816. (See photo #3)
The Littleport rioters were not motorcycle gangs, but rather unhappy peasants angered by England's high taxes following the war against Napoleon at Waterloo. One of the local rioters was in fact named Isaac Harley, and he was later executed in Ely. On the southwest buttress of St. Mary's Church you can see a plaque commemorating the burial of Harley and 4 other men who were sentenced to hang in Ely for their role in the Littleport riots.
(See photo #4)
One of the nicest things about Ely is that there is so much green space within the city. Ely Park is pleasant in itself, but if you look carefully you can still see the earthworks remaining from the original Norman 'motte & bailey' castle. The castle mound itself (hidden in the trees in my photo) was used in the 14th century for a windmill to grind corn for the monastery. Immediately below the cathedral is Dean's Meadow, which is now preserved as a wild flower meadow.
The park lies between Broad street and The Gallery. entrance via the Ely Porta, or from Broad Street.
Connecting Past and Future
Inside the cathedral I saw an old chest with old, religious paintings on it, and underneath it childrens' toys were stored. I thought this could stand as a symbol for the whole cathedral, its roots firmly in the past but continuing into the future. I liked it very much.
While we were in the cathedral a priest entered, rang a bell and asked everybody to be quiet for a short service. It was just a short reading, followed by a prayer. The tourists walking around all sat down and listened. I like to go to service or evensong in these old churches, just thinking of the many,many people who have done the same in the centuries before creates a special atmosphere.
It was very strange, however, that a guided tour started at exactly the same minute when the prayertime was announced.Surely the tour guide knew about the prayer, it seemed to be a daily routine.It took a while for the tour guide and her group to be quiet. I thought this was disrespectful, as beautiful and interesting this old cathedral is, in the first place it is a church and not a museum.
In order to find the eel, we walked down the hill to Jubilee Garden. This was a very nice walk,
there is so much green in Ely. We walked through a large park,cildren were playing and there were even some ponies for them to pet. The cathedral was towering above it.
In Jubilee Garden we found the eel, without a T-shirt now. Well, it was a really hot day!
Again lots of green, various activities for children and in the grass a duck with her ducklings. Children came to pet them , but then the ducklings started running around.
The song "Five little ducks went out one day" popped into my head immediately. It is a nice song, but such a catchy tune that I was humming it all day.
Bishop Hugh de Northwold
A lovely, very old tomb this; look closely and be impressed by the stone-carving skill.
Hugh de Northwold was Bishop of Ely from 1229 to 1254. During his time a new Presbytery was built, to house the shrine of St Ethelreda (at a cost of more than 5000 GBP; a massive amount of money at that time). It was dedicated in the presence of Henry lll and his son, Prince Edward.
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