Aethel in the Park (by )

To commemorate Aethelflaed Queen of Mercia and Mother of England there is a beautiful bench in Gloucester Park - it backs onto the World War One bench so we had a little walk and took some pics 🙂

Aethelflaed Bench Gloucester Park

I like the fact that it is made of wood - wood is a very Anglo-Saxon material and was utilised for pretty much everything, Aethelflaed and her family which included Alfred the Great of burnt cakes fame, her brother who was King of Wessex and her foster son and nephew Aethstan who was the first "King of England" commissioned building in stone because it was the new fancy stuff and they brought in stone masons from the continent to do so (they also nicked already cut stone from the decaying remnants of various roman buildings) but wood - wood was the main thing. They built with it, ate with it, sailed with it and made their textiles from tools fashioned in it.

Sword Welding Queen bench

The bench has some lovely stylised art work on it showing the Queen with a sword representing her military rule.

Carve Athelflaed head

Of course it is a natural material and they have have very much shaped the bench from the suggestions of nature leaving a huge great hole that Alaric just had to shove his hand into! (Had to think carefully about the phrasing of this sentence!)

Alaric putting his hand in Queen Aethelflaeds hole

Of course wood will weather even if efforts are made to maintain these benches - this is an interesting thing for these benches as they slowly become part of the landscape. There is also a stone statue in the making I believe which will be an interesting contrast and the two pieces will to me represent the juxtaposition of the Warrior Queen herself as she straddled the time of change form wood to stone buildings.

Here are the bits from the other side of the bench.

World War 1 Memorial bench

Close up of coin/medallion wood carving on bench

Close up of carving on WW1 bench Gloucester Park

And though I am pretty sure I have already photographed this bird graffiti by Trix on the Avery - here it is again because I really like it 🙂

Close up of bird Graffiti

And on that note - why is there a random Avery in the park? And who looks after it? The birds all seem happy and healthy.

Bird Graffiti Gloucester

And last but not least I also found this interesting building on our walk - I've been collecting urban and architectural photos and this one seemed to fit the bill nicely.

Interesting Building in Gloucester

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