I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published July 15th 2014
A minster, a museum, and a pub
Southwell is located in Nottinghamshire, about an hour by bus from Nottingham city centre or much faster by car. The town is perhaps best known as being home to the magnificent Southwell Minster, the seat of the Nottinghamshire Church of England Diocese. Along with the minster, there are a few other things to visit during a trip to Southwell.
Also known as 'the Cathedral of Nottinghamshire', Southwell Minster is perhaps one of England's most well-hidden treasures and the main attraction of Southwell. It is a truly special place, even for those who have visited many cathedrals and grand buildings on their travels. The atmosphere of this place is perhaps best summarised by the official website: 'This stunning place still brings visitors to their knees in wonder and awe to glimpse the glory of God. The thriving community here at the Minster invites you to come and see Southwell Minster for yourself and enjoy its charm and peace'.
There are many items of historical and aesthetic interest to view at the minster, including stained glass, ancient memorials, and special art and music events. Evensongs by the cathedral's illustrious choirs take place at 5.45pm from Monday to Saturday and 3.30pm on Sunday. For further information, see Evensong at Southwell Minster.
A short walk (or drive) across Southwell takes you from the sublime, ethereal atmosphere of the minster to the gritty reality of life represented in the Workhouse Museum. Fans of Charles Dickens, particularly the story of Oliver Twist, will be familiar with the idea of a Victorian workhouse, the last resort for destitute individuals in nineteenth century England. The Southwell Workhouse is the most intact workhouse still in existence. The entire building has been preserved and visitors can explore the work yards, dormitories, cellars, and a nineteenth century style garden.
After exploring the minster and workhouse, the Bramley Apple Pub is the perfect place to rest, relax, and enjoy delicious local food. The first Bramley apples were planted in Southwell by Mary Ann Brailsford in the early 1800s. Her cottage, with the apple tree, was later purchased by Matthew Bramley, who gave his name to the apple. Everything about this pub is local from its name to its food and even the beers, which are brewed by the award-winning Springhead Fine Ales.