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15 Jul 2018 20 views
 
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photoblog image Another Sunday, another church

Another Sunday, another church

Winchester Cathedral

 

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare

 

St Swithun's Day is on 15th July.  Will it rain for yet another 40 days?

 

The St Swithun's Day legend is an old one –the earliest surviving written reference dates back to the 14th century – although its roots are much disputed. St Swithun (or Swithin) was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester who died in around AD862. The clergyman requested that his remains be interred among the common people outside the church, but in 971, after he had been made patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, his body was dug up and moved to a new indoor shrine. According to some writers, this caused sufficient displeasure in the heavens for a terrible downpour to strike the church and continue unabated for 40 days, hence the legend. The only problem with this theory is a complete and utter absence any evidence, with no early account of the reburial mentioning the slightest drop of rain.

 

Whatever its roots, the veracity of the St Swithun's Day myth clearly fails to stand up to much detailed examination. Since records began, not a single 40-day drought has occurred anywhere in the UK during the summer months, and there has been not one instance at any time of the year of 40 consecutive days of rainfall. Sunshine on St Swithun's Day in Miami may well auger 40 days of unbroken sunshine, but in Blackpool it most assuredly does not.

 

That said, there is the tiniest glimmer of sense to the rhyme. The middle of July tends to be around the time that the jet stream settles into a relatively consistent pattern. If the jet stream lies north of the UK throughout the summer, continental high pressure is able to move in, bringing warmth and sunshine. If it sticks further south, Arctic air and Atlantic weather systems are likely to predominate, bringing colder, wetter weather.

 

The rhyme just needs a little re-rendering:

 

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days, relatively unsettled there's a fair chance it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days, a northerly jet stream might result in some fairly decent spells
But then again it might not

 

Alas, there is no sign of any rain roday and so we seem to be condemned to another forty days of the appaliing weather with its dustbowl conditions and sleepless nights. 

 

Another Sunday, another church

Winchester Cathedral

 

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mare

 

St Swithun's Day is on 15th July.  Will it rain for yet another 40 days?

 

The St Swithun's Day legend is an old one –the earliest surviving written reference dates back to the 14th century – although its roots are much disputed. St Swithun (or Swithin) was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester who died in around AD862. The clergyman requested that his remains be interred among the common people outside the church, but in 971, after he had been made patron saint of Winchester Cathedral, his body was dug up and moved to a new indoor shrine. According to some writers, this caused sufficient displeasure in the heavens for a terrible downpour to strike the church and continue unabated for 40 days, hence the legend. The only problem with this theory is a complete and utter absence any evidence, with no early account of the reburial mentioning the slightest drop of rain.

 

Whatever its roots, the veracity of the St Swithun's Day myth clearly fails to stand up to much detailed examination. Since records began, not a single 40-day drought has occurred anywhere in the UK during the summer months, and there has been not one instance at any time of the year of 40 consecutive days of rainfall. Sunshine on St Swithun's Day in Miami may well auger 40 days of unbroken sunshine, but in Blackpool it most assuredly does not.

 

That said, there is the tiniest glimmer of sense to the rhyme. The middle of July tends to be around the time that the jet stream settles into a relatively consistent pattern. If the jet stream lies north of the UK throughout the summer, continental high pressure is able to move in, bringing warmth and sunshine. If it sticks further south, Arctic air and Atlantic weather systems are likely to predominate, bringing colder, wetter weather.

 

The rhyme just needs a little re-rendering:

 

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days, relatively unsettled there's a fair chance it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days, a northerly jet stream might result in some fairly decent spells
But then again it might not

 

Alas, there is no sign of any rain roday and so we seem to be condemned to another forty days of the appaliing weather with its dustbowl conditions and sleepless nights. 

 

comments (10)

  • CherryPie
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 15 Jul 2018, 01:27
Of all the Cathedrals I have visited, I have a special affinity with Winchester.
Alan: It has the longest nave in Europe I'm told.
Beautiful! I love that the floor can be seen for lack of other furniture in this area...It's wonderful!
Fascinating info about St Swithun's Day!
I understand that without air conditioning, you all are suffering a bit... but as we do with rain - welcome a bit of change, because you know it won't last!
Alan: This is a lovely tea of the cathedral and I was lucky to get the shot without people in view. We will see if St Swithun is right about today; I hope he's not!

I do have a couple of portable air con units so at least I can keep the house cool but I can't sleep with them running - too noisy!
Very nicely detailed
Alan: Thanks, Larry.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 15 Jul 2018, 06:21
Are you allowed to walk on that ancient floor, Alan?
Alan: Yes, there are no restrictions.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 15 Jul 2018, 06:28
A fine and outstanding image for 3200 ISO

No rain today I'm afraid. Have you considered having a pet camel instead of all those expensive bikes
Alan: Thanks, I was pleased with it. I was using my fairly new 11mmm lens and I was pleased with how that worked.

No to the camel but I'll probably just end up with the hip at some point.
Wouah...superbe !!
Alan: Thank you! I was pleased with it.
We had rain on Friday for a while and rain is forecast for Monday afternoon. Non stop rain is forecast for Cardigan when we go on holiday next Saturday

A fine picture of this magnificent cathedral
Alan: Thanks, Bill. According to the BBC, you've got good weather for your week - around 21 deg and sunny intervals; sounds perfect to me.
The floor is quite special.
Alan: Surprisingly there are no restrictions on walking on it.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 15 Jul 2018, 11:02
Que dire sinon que c'est magnifique.
Alan: It is one of gems of England.
What a beautiful area of cathedral.
Alan: Thanks, Brian. It is a delight.

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camera Canon EOS 5D Mark III
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/30s
aperture f/9.0
sensitivity ISO3200
focal length 11.0mm
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