St Mary Redcliffe ChurchView map
Gothic arches and quirky artifacts
aving been described by Queen Elizabeth I as "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England," St Mary Redcliffe’s certainly has a reputation to live up to.
After just a few moments inside, it’s easy to understand why the church is so revered. The architecture, gothic arches and stained glass windows are certainly awe-inspiring. But St Mary Redcliffe’s is also riddled with plenty of quirkier artifacts.
Forget about straining your neck looking up at the ceiling – there’s a mirror on wheels that you can push around to take in all 1200 gold-leaf roof bosses. For a game of hide and seek, try and find the whale bone that John Cabot donated to the church in 1497.
The church’s Chaotic Pendulum is another interesting sideshow on offer. This device used water to demonstrate what scientists call chaos, but more generally shows that there are no certainties in the world.
And for yet another example of randomness, head out into the churchyard and you’ll find a piece of tram line embedded in the ground, after it was hurled over nearby houses during a bombing campaign in 1941.
It doesn’t matter if it’s God that deserves the credit for the lucky escape, we’re just happy the church is still standing.