The astronomical clock in the Cathedral Church of St Peter in Exeter, England dates from 1484. In 1841 my great great-grandfather Richard Ingram Pentecost was a student at the Training School in the Precinct of the Close of St-Peter’s Cathedral in Exeter City, England, and so would have gazed upon this same clock.
Wikipedia informs that the fleur-de-lys ‘hand’ indicates the time (and the position of the sun in the sky); the silver ball and inner dial shows both the age of the moon and its phase; the upper dial, added in 1760, shows the minutes. There is a door below the clock with a round hole near its base. This was apparently cut in the early 17th century to allow entry for the Bishop’s cat to deter vermin that were attracted to the animal fat used to lubricate the clock mechanism.
The headstone with the cross marks the grave of my 3x great grandparents, Richard and Anne Pentecost.
As we stood graveside in the cemetery of the small church of St-Paul’s in a little village called Starcross I imagined Richard and Anne gazing upon us from afar, seeing their great, great, great-grandchildren. I felt a sense of history, of time and perpetuity. They would have looked down and seen how the world has changed, as we looked down and saw how much it has stayed the same.
Dinan today is more city than village. Our fisherman’s cottage was in the Old Port, a few cobbled streets stretching along the banks of the river where today sailboats rest side by each. A lovely humpty-back bridge and a large viaduct bridge the river, the latter being new at the time of Blanche’s stay in Dinan. As we meandered these cobbled back lanes I felt sure that Blanche had not frequented these streets by the Port – full of charm today, a century ago it was more likely bustling with transients, and the hawk and cry of fishmongers.The cobbled squares, the old stone buildings, the rooftops and chimney pots forming a puzzling maze along the skyline are many of the same my grandmother and great-grandmother would have looked upon over a century ago …
Ailsa’ travel theme this week is: Time