Saturday, January 24, 2009


British Studies, the cornerstone of a Harlaxton educations, brings together historical, cultural, and political aspects of Britain in one course.  We begin in 8000 BC and go on from there.  Obviously we don't have too much time to go into much depth on anything, but we cover lots.  In the four lectures and seminars that we have had we have actually discussed events that happened over 4,000 years! That is a lot to swallow.  We have a textbook and LOTS of secondary sources and you would never have time to read and comprehend it all, so we are encouraged to pick and choose those sources we find most important.  This can be difficult!  So much to choose from.  The course even has a booklet (written by the professors who teach it) that is 126 pages long.  The booklet is just to explain the basics of the course!  Despite all this, I am really loving British Studies.  I especially love this class because we can live what we learn.On Friday we traveled to Lincoln.  This has nothing to do with Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln is about 40 miles away from Harlaxton and it is a wonderful town.  With cobblestone roads, tea rooms, and cute shops galore, Lincoln has lots to offer.  I should add to the list a magnificent Cathedral and Castle as well.  The latter two are why our British Studies professors insist that we take a field trip to Lincoln.  

After a bit of a delay (our coaches were late), we venture into the rainy, cold morning.  Once exiting the coach it is very cold and very windy and very rainy!!  This makes for a miserable start to the day.  I am very glad that my first group is the Cathedral.  Even though the Cathedral is very cold, it is inside, out of the rain.  

On a trip to Washington D.C. with my family we went to the National Cathedral and that was my favorite part of the trip.  I loved the grandeur and majesty of the building.  I had never seen anything like that building.  I can remember it vividly-the stone columns, the huge stained glass windows, and the overall large scale.  It was amazing. I really had no idea that a land far away had even more buildings like this.  

In England there are lots of Cathedrals and they easily rival the National Cathedral.  First, England's Cathedrals are very old and were built to show the King's power and his connection to God.  The bigger the Cathedral, the better the King.  Here you can see some of the views from inside the Cathedral.  It was amazing. 

We learned some basics about the architecture and the different parts of the Cathedral and then we moved on to the next tour.  

Long time ago (50 AD!) the Romans invaded Britain and established a society here.  They lived here peacefully (well eventually it was peaceful) for about 400 years.  They they had some problems and had to pack up and go home.  In the years that they were here, the Romans left their mark.  In Lincoln you can see Roman ruins and understand a bit how the towns were set up.  This part of the day was very cold because we were outside the whole time!  Here is a Roman arch that was made about 1500 years ago! 

Did you know that the arches would be about 8-10 feet higher than they stand today?  This is because of the roads, powerlines, and water systems we have put in the ground.  We pilled 8-10 feet of stuff on the roads since the Romans were here.  That is pretty crazy!  

The last part of the day was a tour of the Lincoln Castle.  I was expecting to go to a castle like in Cinderella's Castle in Disney World, but this Castle is nothing like that!  Lincoln Castle was were the ruling King could look out over his land and watch for invaders.  The castle was on a large hill and had mounds around the edge.  There were also look out posts where one would watch for enemies.  If you were in the castle walls you were safe, but if you were outside you were at risk for attack.  The castles symbolized the strength of the King and his people.  Our tour pretty much stuck with the edge of the castle.  We walked up to look out posts and walked around the wall.  It was high up!  Here are some good pictures of the Cathedral from upon the Castle wall.  
This is the end of my day at Lincoln.  Overall, it was a great field trip because I saw so much of what I had been studying!  Today I am off to Coventry to see another Cathedral.  This time it is going to be a contemporary one though!  I am also going to Stratford.  This is where Shakespeare was born so that should be great!  I am seeing a production of Romeo and Juliet by the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Check back for more on that!

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME (and I mean that in the true sense of the word) pics, Jessie!