My Best of Bath Abbey (3 of 3): Spy Holes, Keystones, and Fresh Buns

Bath Abbey Ceiling HoleShhh! Those people down there are sitting in Bath Abbey, and we’re spying on them through a hole in the ceiling. Actually, we don’t need to be quiet. We’re so far up and there’s so much ambient noise that no one would hear us talking. And about the “spy” hole, I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.

Bath Abbey Interior of Old SectionThis is not the whole Abbey, just the older section. In this part, the ceiling was hand carved. At the time of construction, stones could not be cut precisely enough so that they would fit together properly once put in place. Instead, the stones were set in place, then carved. Because the carvers needed tools and whatnot and it would be a long way to climb up and down scaffolding, ropes were used to pull items up and down for the craftsmen. This was done through holes in the ceiling. The “spy” hole shown above was one such hole.

Bath Abbey Ceiling ArtworkThis is a close-up of the ceiling shown above. According to our tour guide, the “spy” hole can be seen in the right side of the upper part of the top blue shape. Can you see it?

Bath Abbey Ceiling KeystoneThis is a picture of the top side of the part of the ceiling we were just looking at. Do you see that bit of brick sticking out in the foreground? That’s the keystone for this arch, so if you were to remove that stone, the ceiling would collapse. What’s amazing is that the builders were able to construct the arch, and then position the keystone to hold everything in place. Did you see how high up the ceiling is? Those builders must have had nerves of, well, stone.

I’m sure there’s a lot more interesting stuff about Bath Abbey, but this three-part tour presents what I found most memorable. I hope you enjoyed my take on Bath Abbey. And if you happen to visit the Abbey and build up an appetite like I did, then consider swinging around the corner to Sally Lunn’s for a Sally Lunn bun.

Sally Lunn's Bath BunA Sally Lunn bun is like a giant hamburger bun but made out of brioche-like bread. Yum! The buns can come savory (I had mine filled with chicken and bacon), sweet (topped with lemon curd, perhaps?), or plain to go (take away). I believe there is a visit to Bath in my future. What about you?

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About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Destinations, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Best of Bath Abbey (3 of 3): Spy Holes, Keystones, and Fresh Buns

  1. Gunta says:

    Simply love the details that went into building that jaw-dropping structure. What a fun visit!

  2. I know “the gay Sally Lunn” from the Gilbert and Sullivan song that begins: “Now to the banquet we press.”

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

  3. Monique says:

    Fantastic shot through the spy hole, wow! And, Mmmmm, bunnnnnnnns. 😉

  4. l says:

    I want a bun!

  5. Madame says:

    Very interesting (the story of the hole and the pictures) !

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