Final Days (Official Post 4)

I cannot believe that our trip has come to an end. I have to say that Scotland and England were my two absolutely favorite places we went to. The first stop in Scotland was Oban and I was truly surprise by how super nice the people were, especially on the day that we all were tired and had no luggage. Oban was such a cute town like city, I definitely picture myself moving there after I graduate. I loved talking to the community members of Oban. They are so kind and love telling stories about their Scottish history. Also, the seafood in Oban is amazing! When we had our seafood dinner, the fish was fresh and very flavorful.

The second place within Scotland I loved was Edinburgh. We went to the Stirling castle and that was a dream come true. I got a chance to see where Mary Queen of Scots bed chamber was and all of her precious possessions that she used thought out her reign. I am going to miss seeing a lot of the Scottish history in person because it’s better than reading the information from a book.

England will always be my favorite no matter what. I absolutely loved Bath. There turned out to be so much todo and to explore. I loved all the Jane Austen and Harry Potter stuff we saw because it made the books and movies we cherish so much better. I liked the people of England as well. They were all super nice and the food was amazing! Like in Scotland, the food was much richer and heavy compared to at home, which I loved!

Overall, I loved all the Abbeys and castles we went to. They were all uniquely different and that made the experience much better. The Fountains Abbey was obviously my favorite. The medieval structure and how big it is stood out to me the most. I could spend days at the Abbey because there is so much history about each one & how they operated when they were active. I loved every part of this trip and it was a great way to end my college career.


Jane Austen (official post 1)

Traveling throughout England has reminded me of my great love for the author, Jane Austen. For those of you who don’t know Jane Austen, she is best known for her social commentary in novels including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. Seeing a lot of historic small country towns remind me of the settings that take place within these books. Honestly, I feel like I am in a completely different world when I view something from Jane Austen’s perspective.

Ever fascinated by the world of stories, Jane mostly began to write in bound notebooks. During her adolescence period, she stated to craft her own novels and became very successful at it. Jane spent much of her early adulthood helping run their family home, playing the piano, attending church, and socializing with neighbors. Within her busy days she continued to write, developing her style in more ambitious work, such as Sense and Sensibility.

In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her parents. We were making ways to Stonehenge a couple days ago where we passed Jane’s house. Jane didn’t live in this house for long because when her father passed away, they were thrust into some financial straits which caused her family to bounce around from place to place. It was not until 1809 they Jane and her family were able to settle into a stable living situation at Jane’s brother Edward’s cottage in Chawton.

Jane started to fully publish her works when she was 30 years old. The three books that I listed above, which happen to be my favorite were the books that were published first. Not only did we get a chance to see where Jane lived for a short period, we also saw where Pride and Prejudice (the movie with Collin Firth) was filmed in Lacock Village. My heart probably jumped out of my chest at that moment. I was too excited just to see where Mr. Darcy fell in love with Elizabeth Bennnet.

Wells Cathedral (Official Post 3)

Today was an overall easy but great day. We started our adventure off by taking a bus to Wells. Amanda gave a great tour of the Wells Cathedral. I personally really enjoyed this cathedral the most, especially when spending more time within the Chapter House and admiring the uniquely different clock that went off every 15 minutes.

The Chapter House was built around 1250, but was not completed till the time of Dean John Godeley, which was around 1305-33. The stairs that lead up to the Chapter House are oddly curvy and are well-worn out from the many years of being used. The stairs are older among all the other stairs that are located in Britain. The stairs lead up into the octagonal Chamber and it was used by the Cathedral clergy to meet and discuss business decision that was related to the Cathedral and the people who attended services. As you walk into the Chamber, the first thing that really caught my eye was the windows and their delicate tracery that contains fragments from the original glass. This part of the cathedral is still used today on formal occasions. It’s a beautiful area to just sit and think for a moment to yourself.

I personally really liked the clock. The colored-details of the clock itself are amazing. The Wells Clock was installed around 1390 and is one of the oldest medieval clock faces in the world. On the top of the clock there are men riding horses and spinning around in circles. On the quarter of the hour, it is encouraged to pause and watch the jousting knights go around in tournament. This is not something I thought I would have seen on a clock located in a cathedral so it was very surprising at first.

Day One of York (Official Post)

Today we started our journey by getting on a train to York. My first impression of York was different then what I had experienced in Edinburg. The people here are very relaxed and easy going. It was a busy day though cause many people were out and about shopping, going to the market, visiting friends, or even celebrating some exciting event that is happening in the lives. One thing I find very interesting is that everyone is so welcoming, not that I didn’t picture that before but was happy to see that the people are actually super nice. After making a quick visit to the hostel to drop our luggage off, we started walking into town. As we were walking into town, I noticed that all the shops are very close and tight. Most of the stores we saw from the outside are clean and tidy which makes it easy for customers to do their shopping. First stop we made in town was at a local take away bakery. At this point we were all pretty hungry so we were happy to see food in front of us. We all ended up eating a Cornish pastry. I tried the steak and potatoes pastry and I thought it as really good. It definitely had hit the stop and honestly, I could eat another one. As I was admiring the other pastries that were in the window, I noticed that most of them are relatively big in proportions, like you could share with someone if you wanted or keep to yourself.

We went to two different medieval historic sites; Micklegate Bar (Henry VII) and Monkgate Bar (Richard III). Both of these places were very interesting in their own ways but also had many similarities. Most of the Micklegate Bar was amazing, what I thought was unique and stood out to me was the section on sanitation, caring for the sick, and seeing what ingredients they used to make certain medicines back then. During the time of Henry VII’s reign, most of the time, the city was dirty and smelly but from what history tells us, they tried to get it under control but that just wasn’t that happening. They narrowed it down to four areas in which could use some improvements, such as; refuse disposal, sewage disposal, pollution, and securing a pure water supply. Hospitals at the time were dirty as well, so people decided to cure their patients in their homes instead. As we walked through the streets, you can tell they it is hard to keep the streets clean and that there are many chemicals going through the air. As we look st today, sanitation has definitely changed but the air is pretty dirty and smelly. One thing to keep in mind is that it was hard to control it back during medieval times but today can be controlled better today.

Walking along the York City Walls was one of my favorite things we did today. The walls extend for two & a half miles and encloses an area of 263 acres. The remains that are located among these walls signify the limits and indicates the size of the settlement within them for over the past 1800 years or so. The walls include all four of the original gates: Walmgate Bar, Monk Bar, Bootham Bar, and Micklegate Bar. One thing I really noticed about the walls is that the medieval structure really stands out. The structure of the walls are detailed and fun to walk around since you got to see what is inside and what is outside of the walls. One of the most fascinating things about the walls was that it was built during the reign of Henry VII, which was constructed in 1490s. The structure of the tower was built in bricks instead of stones. The walls are beautiful and if I was living in York I would be walking on those walls everyday if I could.

The last stop we made was at Betty’s. Betty’s is a tea room and we had the traditional afternoon tea, which consisted of: Betty tea room blend, four different kinds of small triangle sandwiches, a scone with jelly, and there pastry deserts. My personal favorite was the salmon sandwich and the lemon macaroon. The tea settings as so elegant and classy, which brings up a question about how was the tea sessions during the medieval times? I would have loved to experience how they had tea in the afternoons. It was a great way to end the day and definitely look forward to my next afternoon tea experience.

Ready To Go!

Words cannot describe how excited I am to be traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales. Personally, I am really looking forward to visiting all the different monasteries and cathedrals. I love history and seeing a lot of these places in person will be super awesome. Especially, since we have been studying the different architecture and how these places were built. Another thing I am excited to experience is the culture within each location we are going to. I like meeting new people and learning about where they came from and what special traditions they follow; I find it fascinating. Learning how to play the bagpipes would be super cool too. This will be a great trip before ending my career at Wartburg College and I can honestly say, I am truly excited.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian Monasteries in England. It happens to be located about three miles from North Yorkshire. It was founded in 1132, the abbey operated for over 400 years, until Henry VIII ordered the closure of the monasteries. The abbey is a Grade I listed building owned by the National Trust. With all many interesting things to see in a beautiful natural setting, Fountains Abbey can make for a very pleasant few hours wandering.

            One of the most important developments at Fountains Abbey was the introduction of the Cistercian system of lay brothers. They were usually illiterate and relieved the monks from routine jobs. Many served as masons, tanners, shoemakers, and smiths, but their chief role was to look after the abbey’s vast flocks of sleep, which lived on the huge estate stretching west and north from the Fountains.

            The work and encouragement of the lay brothers led to the great wealth and economic importance of the Fountains Abbey. In an ironic development that would make the founding monks roll over in their grave, by the middle of the 13th century the abbey was one of England’s richest religious houses. The lay brothers encouraged the monks to extend their estate beyond what was necessary for monastics self-sufficiency, and the working iron, quarrying stones and breeding horses.

            Despite the financial problems, Fountains Abbey remained of considerable importance in the Cistercian order. The abbots sat in Parliament and the Abbacy of Marmaduke Huby (1495-1526) marked a period of revival. Fountains was once again flourished, but its life was brought to an abrupt end in 1539 by Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

            For a few months after the Dissolution, the abbey building stood empty in the hope of being the site for the cathedral for a new Dales bishop. This was not supposed to happen because by the 1540s, glass and lead from the dismantling of the Foundations had found their way to Ripon and York.  

            Fountains Abbey and over 500 acres of land were sold by Henry VIII to Sir Richard Gresham, a merchant. The property was passed down through several generations of Sir Richard’s family, finally being sold to Stephen Proctor who built fountains hall, and Elizabethan mansion built party with stone and from the abbey ruins, between 1598 and 1604.

Citation: Coppack, G. (2009). Fountains Abbey. Stroud: Amberley.

King John

John, King of England was king of England from April 6th, 1199 until his death in 1216. The Baronial Revolt at the end of john’s reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered to be an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom. John was the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Out of all the sons, John was Henry’s favorite child. He was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given land in England. King John was married twice to Isabella of Gloucester and they had no children. Then his marriage was annulled because the two of them were to closely related. In 1200, John married another woman named Isabella of Angouleme and they had five children, one of whom became King Henry III. Furthermore, in 1205 King John began an argument with the Pope over who should be the new Archbishop of Canterbury, John’s choice or the Pope’s. as a result, in 1208 the Pope place England under an interdict, which meant that religious services could not be held. In 1209, he excommunicated King John. Afterwards, John was forced to submit. Meanwhile, as John was going through some emotional encounters, he alienated many of his subjects. They claimed that he ruled like a tyrant ignoring feudal law. He was accused to extorting money from people, selling offices, increasing taxes, and creating new ones whenever he wished to do so.


More important matters came after John tried to recapture his lost lands in France in 1214, but failed. The barons’ patience was exhausted (I would be too). During the last year of King John, a civil war broke out and in June 1215 King John was forced to accept a charter known as Magna Carta at Runnymede. The charter was meant to stop the nonsense and manipulation. It stated that the traditional rights and privileges of the church must be upheld. English kinds could not rule arbitrarily. They had to obey the English laws and customs the same as other men. The Magna Carta laid down that no free man could be arrested, imprisoned or disposed without the lawful judgement of his peers or without due process of law. King John had no intention of keeping the terms so he appealed to the Pope who declared he was not bound by it. King John died during the start-up process of the new war that was he was able to start in 2016 and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. He did achieve somethings during his reign, such as, he founded the port of Liverpool and was granted a charter to Bridgewater in Somerset.

Westminster Cathedral

The Westminster Cathedral has been one of my all time favorite cathedrals to learn about. I truly adore the architecture and art within this cathedral because it really brings out the history of it. Westminster Cathedral is a building that you cannot miss, it literally located in the center of London. It’s known as a masterpiece in a brick pattern formation that stands out from other cathedrals. The architecture was completed by John Francis who knew a lot about the Victorian style that was really popular when the reconstruction of the cathedral was being taken place. When we take our adventure to London, we’ll be able to see the exterior of the building is built with red brick and Portland stone. Including one hundred different types of marble from all around the world is within the interior of the cathedral. The architecture was not completed by one person, since they did not have the advanced tools that we have right now. It took many years to get through all the different construction stages. What I also find amazing in about this cathedral is that they have chapel inside called the Blessed Sacrament which is located on the North and the Lady Chapel located on the South. The mosaics of the cathedral were installed during the years of 1912-1916, during the time of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The colors of the mosaics go with certain themes within the cathedral. An example of this would be the Blessed Chapel was decorated in pale pink in order to have a sense of light and space go with the chapel. I heard it is truly beautiful and I honestly cannot wait to take a tour of this peaceful cathedral. One other thing that I really liked about the mosaics was that they chose various Eucharist themes such as the sacrifice of Abel and many other great themes within the Bible to have as their mosaics.


I have attached a link for anyone who wants to look more into this cathedral.

I love traveling!

My name is Kourtney and I am a Senior Business Administration Major with concentrations in Marketing and Management, and a minor in leadership. After graduation, I am hoping to land a job as a project manager within the health care industry. I consider traveling a huge hobby of mine. I grew up traveling to many places with my parents and sister and my heart fell in love with everywhere I went. I am taking this course because I love history, especially when it comes to studying castles and cathedrals. I really enjoy learning about the history of important events that happened within those castles and cathedrals. I also enjoy learning about the royal families that lived in those castles, may years ago and what their lives where like then. What I hope to get out of this trip, is to have a different view of how history was made.