Continuing where we left off
Gloucester Locks are the entrance to the harbour from the River Severn. This image was taken from the harbour side lock gate looking towards the Severn. I covered the locks route in a post way back in 2017
Had I been entering the harbour system from the Severn I would be seeing the view below instead.
I watched the antics surrounding this vessel for awhile, but I could not work out what they were trying to do. It was a relaxing sort of scene though but realistically I could have been there for hours and they would probably still be doing it. I do not have that kind of patience. Besides, I needed to watch the time as I still had to get to the bus station and wanted to at least try to see the Cathedral.
As I exited the harbour I spotted a large egg shape ahead and just had to investigate. Way back in 2015 these had been scattered around the town for the Rugby World Cup. I was not really interested in pursuing them all so photographed them when/if I saw them. This particular one was labelled “Colour the World” by Swarez. and it looked like this way back then:
And this is what it looks like today…….
Having seen the results of over 5 years standing around doing nothing I felt suitably invigorated but was starting to get tired. I bid the narrow boats farewell and looked for the way out.
Would the Regiment give me a lift? Nope, even the Army seemed to be closed.
I spotted a likely alley with signage pointing towards the Cathedral area and started the long plod back to town (I hoped.) Once underway I spotted my target in the distance.
Just a quick detour for some artwork….
I had emerged into Westgate Street and somewhere along here was an alley that led to the Cathedral Close. That spire in the middle belongs to St Nicholas Church, which was declared redundant on 7 May 1971, and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust on 25 June 1975. I doubt whether I ever had a look around the church but will remember it for next time.
This wonderful alley leads to St Michael’s Gate which was the entrance to “the lay cemetery”, and was used by pilgrims to the shrine of Edward II. It also has a quirky secret in the corner: Beatrix Potter’s “Tailor of Gloucester” “lived” in the shop.
I did not have the time to visit the Cathedral any longer, but took a quick look before heading for tourism office to enquire about “facilities”.
Fortunately the “facilities” were in shouting distance and I was also able to stock up on a bottle of Ribena which I emptied even before I hit the bus station. It was now really a matter of following the arrows till I got to the bus station, pausing for a quick pic of ancient Roman. Gloucester was founded in AD 97 by the Romans under Emperor Nerva (that’s him on the horse) as Colonia Glevum Nervensis, and was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II.
One last surprise was awaiting me as I passed between the scaffolding on the way to the bus station:
You just have to love public and street art!
And then I was on my way home. I was exhausted, dehydrated, sunburnt and worn out after my jaunt. I do not have the stamina any longer due to the enforced 2020/21 stay at home. And, I am getting on too, plus I always have to bear in mind where the next loo may be. They are all challenges that I need to deal with, but for tonight I would be able to sleep like a log.
I had to return to Gloucester for some tests on the 3rd of August, and while I did not take my camera with I used my phone and did photograph a few more interesting things. The biggest surprise was at the Royal Gloucester Hospital where I spotted an almost illegible plaque on one of the gateposts of an older building. Unfortunately, getting a photograph of the actual building was difficult due to the car park and tree.
I had some time to kill before my bus so wandered around for a bit, it was sad to see the huge Debenhams store all closed and empty and it really signals the death of so many established brands due to Covid. The local pubs though did have a trickle of customers, and I would love to explore this oldie.
The timber framed building is used as a public house, hotel and restaurant and is the most complete surviving example of a medieval courtyard inn with galleries in Britain. It is a Grade I listed building. A small plaque is affixed underneath one of the windows.
I did venture into the courtyard area but it had been covered with a large tentlike roof so photography would have been a waste of time. Further down the road was the “The Abbey” which is also a pub/hotel but I was not able to find anything about it, although it may not be as old as it looks.
I also wanted to photograph “The Imperial Inn” but typically, as I was lining up my shot two customers strolled out of the door and lit up their smokes and stood in front of the building. I did not get my shot as a result. Fortunately I already have an image of the building with the tilework.
A pub called “The Plough” stood on this site from at least 1722, and it was bought at auction by brewers Mitchells and Butlers in May 1898. and rebuilt with the elaborately moulded and coloured glazed tiles that are still to be seen today.
The last building of interest is The Station Hotel. It was built in 1880 and is in stone throwing distance of Gloucester Station. As you can see, the front of the building (facing the bus depot) really belies the side and back of it. I was unable to find any useful info on the hotel but like so many similar hotels it served the local railway. Sadly the railway from 1880 is a far cry from the quiet station complex that Gloucester Station is today.