Wednesday 28 June 2017

Lovely Lichfield: The Cathedral Close & Erasmus Darwin House

Whenever I go on holiday to a big city I try to include an out-of-the-city day trip in my plans. For example, the first time I visited Birmingham I also took a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon (so delightful! so much history!) then on my return visit to the city I hopped on a train to nearby Lichfield.

I started my visit by following the local heritage trail, popping into the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum and Lichfield's Museum at St Mary's in the Market Square (regular readers will know how much I love A) a heritage trail and B) little local museums). As well as the museum there's also a little cafe at St Mary's, where I stopped for a cuppa and something sugary (yum).

Now, when I came to blogging about my Lichfield trip I had totally planned on devoting a post to this early part of my day - showing you the church, the market square, the local park, etc - but it was such a grey and miserable morning that all my photos turned out terribly. Dull and depressing and definitely not representative of the actually quite lovely stuff to see in Lichfield. Nobody wants to see that snooze of a blog post.

So, I'm skipping that bit and moving on to the part of the day when the sun came out and cheered up all my pictures (hurrah!).

The weather started to improve just as I reached the cathedral close. Lichfield Cathedral itself is magnificent (and deserves its own blog post another time) but the Close is ridiculously charming.

It was lovely going for a quiet walk around the Close, thinking about all the people who've lived in these houses over the centuries and reminiscing a little about the years I spent living in another cathedral close in another city (many moons ago). 

Just off the Close is Erasmus Darwin House, which was my final stop for the day. Erasmus Darwin was Charles Darwin's grandfather and a doctor, inventor, botanist and poet. If you look closely, you can see him peering out the the window of the house...

Erasmus Darwin was a fascinating and incredibly accomplished man about whom I have to admit I knew very little. The museum really brought him, his ideas, and his inventions to life - I very much enjoyed my visit!

Not a bad view to have from your house, huh?


The museum also has a lovely Herb Garden, which is divided into Mrs Darwin's culinary herb garden and Dr Darwin's medicinal herb garden. All the plants are labelled so you can expand your botanical knowledge... 


... or you can just sit and enjoy the view like I did!

I'll be blogging about Lichfield Cathedral sometime soon (if you're a regular reader you'll know that "soon" is a bit of a flexible term when it comes to my travel blogging, but I promise I'll get there eventually!). In the meantime, you can catch up on my posts about Birmingham's architecture, museums, and Jewellery Quarter, or read about my earlier trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

For more city break inspo, check out my posts about visiting Manchester and Leeds.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post! I grew up in B'ham and once spent a lovely day helping out with setting up for an art exhibition in Lichfield Cathedral - I still have strong memories of the place and the Close and what a special place it was which this brought back.

Centi said...

How beautiful! I like the striped little house in the last two pictures best.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Anon - thanks for your comment! So glad you enjoyed the post. It's funny how these kinds of memories come flooding back, isn't it? :)

Centi - Lichfield is such a pretty place. You should definitely check out my post about Stratford-upon-Avon - there are stripey houses galore! :)

Jenny said...

Coincidence, my DD, who has loved living and working in London for 20yrs, dropped a bombshell recently. She had taken up a post at Lichfield Cathedral so one of your pics is of her office. Isn't it a lovely city? And the Cathedral has some very unusual featues - like the 3 spires. We are going to enjoy getting to know it. She was offered a flat in The Close and it was hard to turn it down, she needed a garden for her beloved dog. Look forward to some more Lichfield pics and posts.

bairozan said...

Another beautiful place! And I admire the way history is preserved in the UK, apart from the fact that many of the buildings are actively occupied, too!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Jenny - oh wow, that's a big change for your daughter to make! People who get to live and/or work in these historic places are so lucky. The combination of a tightknit community and the gorgeous buildings is really something special :)

Bairozan - there is *so* much history to enjoy in the UK, isn't there? I'm sloooowly visiting as many places as possible to soak it all up :D

Hazel said...


I live close to Lichfield. So glad you enjoyed your visit and you are spreading the word of how lovely it is. I am lucky to live here!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for your comment, Hazel! Lichfield is indeed very lovely, I'm really glad I got a chance to visit :)