"The earliest church on the site is believed to have been founded in 627 by Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York, when he visited the area while baptising believers in the River Trent. In 956 King Eadwig gave land in Southwell to Oskytel, Archbishop of York, on which a minster church was established. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded the Southwell manor in great detail. The Norman reconstruction of the church began in 1108, probably as a rebuilding of the Anglo-Saxon church.
Southwell is where King Charles the First was captured during the English Civil War. The fighting saw the church seriously damaged and the nave is said to have been used as stabling. The adjoining palace was almost completely destroyed, first by Scottish troops and then by the local people, with only the hall of the Archbishop remaining as a ruined shell. The Minster's financial accounts show that extensive repairs were necessary after this period. On 5 November 1711 the southwest spire was struck by lightning, and the resulting fire spread to the nave, crossing and tower destroying roofs, bells, clock and organ. By 1720 repairs had been completed, now giving a flat panelled ceiling to the nave and transepts." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwell_Minster
Over recent years Southwell has become one of my favourite places to visit with it's quaint town centre, fantastic Panini shop, some good pubs and the icing on the cake, the Minster. It's a strange looking building, more a French style of architecture than English. The interior, as you would expect for a Minster, is quite magnificent. I distinctly remember taking some photos of the interior on an earlier visit because I got mildly told off by an embarrassed old lady as I hadn't paid the £5.00 photo charge but I've no idea where I stored them. Maybe I took them on my phone in which case they are gone..gone.. gone. So no photos of the inside I'm afraid.
Apart from the Minster, Southwell's other claim to fame if that it is the place where the Bramley Apple was first propagated. Cashing in on the fact, they have a Bramley Apple Festival, a Bramley Apple Town Trail and a Bramley Apple pub. They even have a Bramley Apple stained glass window in the Minster!
We usually pop to Southwell to celebrate Sal's Birthday as well, visiting the Hearty Goodfellow for a drink and the present opening ceremony in the beer garden. This visit we decided to have a change of pub but we were sadly let down. Firstly by the Saracen's Head, where we walked straight out of and secondly by The Crown which had no decent beer, only had Strongbow Cider and had zilch character. Poor do, back to the Hearty Goodfellow for us next time.
It was a cold day with lots of snow still lying so we didn't stay too late which was just as well as I took a wrong turn and we ended up heading for Leicester on the A46! Anyway, days out wouldn't be days out without me getting lost somewhere along the way. Happy days.