Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lunch Time in Lisburn!

We were headed to the Linen Museum in Lisburn, arriving a bit early for our 1:15pm group appointment --- we scattered like leaves in a gusty wind to explore the small town and discover what this small town in Northern Ireland had to offer.

I don’t do politics – and politics is not what I’m wanting to discuss here, or ANYWHERE for that matter, but one can’t help but feel the difference when crossing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland, and think of all the conflicts that are not so far into the distant past.

Things are calm now.  They’ve been good since the mid 1990s –but I remember being terrified over the news stories that came across radio and tv while I was growing up in the 60s & 70s and into the 80s as a young married wife and mother.  All I remember thinking is “Why would anyone want to live there?!”  And here I am.

I still don’t understand the conflict and probably never will.  I am hoping future generations will look back on the past and wonder why it was so hard for people to just get along and let differences be --- and I know I don’t have facts straight or even understood.  But for this day – I was there to live and experience!

Our first clue that we were in a DIFFERENT country now?  This statue ---right where our bus was parked.

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In Memory of the Men & Women Who Served in the Ranks of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

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Lisburn Street Scene

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Beautiful clock tower!

Instead of focusing on conflict – we set out to find lunch and found it in a place of peace!

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St Thomas Cathedral has a lunch café inside!

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Beautiful Blue Door!

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And an amazing cemetery to wander!

A bit of history from the St Thomas Cathedral Website:

There has been a Christian Church on this site for over 400 years, and while there are many significant and interesting features we hope you will sense that the Cathedral of today is a living church - where part of the Body of Christ meets for worship, prayer and fellowship - not simply another historic building.
About the year 1609, a Welsh officer in the English army, Sir Fluke Conway, settled in Lisnagarvey (as the district was then called) and built, or rebuilt, a castle on the highest point overlooking the river Lagan in what is now Castle Gardens park.
St Thomas' Church
In 1623 he constructed a church dedicated to St Thomas, on the site of the present Cathedral as a chapel-of-ease for the castle. St Thomas' Church was much smaller than the present cathedral but little is known about its architecture. In 1641 the town was attacked by a rebel army and in protracted battles between October and November St Thomas' Church was destroyed.
The foundations of the second church were laid in 1642, rebuilding took 23 years. In 1662 Charles 2nd established the church of St Thomas as Christ Church Cathedral.
Jeremy Taylor was Bishop of Connor at the time, in the Parish of Lisure & Lisnagarvie. In this year the name 'Lisburn' was used for the first time.
In the more settled period that followed the Williamite wars the district was prospering when, in April 1707, the town of Lisburn and the church and castle were destroyed in a disastrous fire.
There seemed to be no urgency to rebuild the castle for the defence of the town but in the following year, on 20th August 1708, "the foundation of the new Church of Lisburn began to be laid". Construction of the present building, the third to stand upon the site, continued for several years and was completed in 1719.

The church has been a cathedral for over 350 years!

Photos from the cemetery are in the slide show below.  If you can’t view it on your mobile device please click the image below to be taken directly to the photo album.
St Thomas Cathedral, Lisburn Ireland

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Laura B said...

Thank you. You've done a great job of sharing your trip with us. I've been enjoying it.

sally said...

Bonnie, I think the first photo (St Thomas Cathedral......bldg, fence, etc...everything in that first photo) is a great inspiration for colors for a quilt! It just speaks to me. Thank you for taking us along on your trip!