I had the opportunity to go on a walking tour of Grantham, the city near Harlaxton Manor. I thought I'd share a few interesting pics:
This is the pub sign for "The Honeybee" - the only pub in the world that can claim it has a living sign! This is a live bee next/house placed in a tree outside the pub's doors. Apparently they're very well-mannered bees, because no one is ever stung (even the drunk people!)
This next photo is kind of a side/back view of the Grantham church (not cathedral). This one is particularly well known for a 100% lead roof (that apparently doesn't cause any eco-damage), two style of stone window scrolling (the more decorative on the right, more geometric on the left). The gravestones are all made of slate, which is why they've lasted so long and preserved so well.
This is actually the school that Isaac Newton attended (he is the home-town hero of Grantham).
And here's something a little fun -- when mansions/houses like this were originally built, it was customary for the homeowner never to see the servants. But the house still needed supplies like grain for the kitchen and coal for the furnaces. What they would do is build a mini railroad track out along the back of the house that would come right up to a back entrance in the house. Then there would be a second little rail system along a single floor with a bunch of chutes along the way. These mini-cars would take supplies from the big train outside, then card them along the length of the house, dumping the supplies down the appropriate chute. The one at Harlaxton actually runs along the top floor (that was level with the hill in the back that the train came up to). Half of the line has been converted into rooms though (that's the hall I'm staying in, actually). I just happened to be walking down the hall the other day when I saw that this mysterious door at the end of the hall was open! I couldn't help but explore, and literally traveled from the furnished coziness of my wing's hall into this:
It is normally locked tight (did you know bats are a protected species here in the UK and that meddling with them/waking them up is against the law? Bats live in this tunnel...) but a security guard was giving a tour to one of the local historians (I didn't know this at the time). I got about half-way down before they noticed us on their way back and I was escorted out - but not before I got this great pic! Not all students can say they've done this ;)
I've added some more photos to the Manor Album - twelve or so at the bottom, including a pic of ME AND MY ROOMMATE for those of you that have been asking (http://picasaweb.google.com/christine.zani/TheManor)
I've also added pictures from the Grantham tour. No captions yet... maybe some day! (http://picasaweb.google.com/christine.zani/Grantham)
Until next time - cheers!