ELY CATHEDRAL– Etheldreda built a monastery on the site of what is now Ely Cathedral in 673AD. After restoration in 970 it became the richest abbey in England except for Glastonbury. Work on the present Cathedral began in the 11th century and the monastic church became a cathedral in 1109. The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539, but Ely suffered less than many other monasteries. Major restorations took place in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The most extensive restoration to date was begun in 1986 and was completed in the year 2000.
“Ely Cathedral” image courtesy of www.elycathedral.org
CHIPPENHAM PARK HOUSE – There has been a house on the present site for nearly 1000 years but the current property dates from the early 18th century. In the late 18th century it was rebuilt in the Queen-Anne-Revival style, and was considerably extended to accommodate many guests including the Prince of Wales who enjoyed shooting and the racing at Newmarket. In 1985 the estate passed to Mrs Crawley, who has restored and refurbished the house The garden has been extended from five acres to 15 and is very popular on the three days a year it is opened for charity.
9.00 a.m. Depart Wickham Bishops Church car park
10.45am Arrive Ely Cathedral for tour, stained glass museum and coffee
12.45pm Depart for Chippenham Park House
1.15pm Arrive Chippenham for lunch
2.00pm Tour of house and gardens
4.30pm Depart Chippenham for Wickham Bishops