Lamp Posts, Lewis, and Monks

 

Delightful speculative piece on whether the lamp posts of Durham might have influenced C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.  John Ewin’s photo is of a lamp post I remember from my daily walk to the music department next to the cathedral.  (And I do recall stopping to look at it and drink in the silence one snowy afternoon.)  As for the monastic connection, there isn’t one, really.  The monastery at Durham Cathedral had been dissolved long before the arrival of lamp posts, gas or electric.  True, yours truly, a Benedictine monk, was a student at Durham University in 2006-2008 and did notice–and ponder the marvelous incongruity of–a couple of lamp posts quietly standing between pavement and the “wilderness” of the woods along the River Wear.  But I would like to think that the way the monks laid out Durham’s plan, built as it is on a fascinating peninsula, was also a contribution to the claustral hush of snow and river and town and woods in which a stately lamp post fits both naturally and paradoxically.

06 - Prebends bridge from the east 061121 - Copy

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