The flooded crypt at Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire
© Oliver Hoffmann/Alam
Who left the tap on?
Sound II, a sculpture by Antony Gormley, has stood here in the frequently-flooded crypt of Winchester Cathedral, in Hampshire since 1986, quietly studying the water in its cupped hands. Elsewhere in the cathedral you'll find another statue, of William 'Diver Bill' Walker, a local hero who, for six years from 1906, worked alone in a heavy diving suit to shore up the increasingly flooded structure as it threatened to sink into the boggy soil beneath. Nowadays it's stable, but the lowest floor still sees its share of standing water during rainy periods.
We're here on the feast day of Swithin (sometimes spelt Swithun), the 9th-century bishop who is venerated as patron saint of the cathedral. But St Swithin is best known for an old weather proverb: "St Swithin's day if thou dost rain, for 40 days it will remain." Now for the better news: "St Swithin's day if thou be fair, for 40 days 'twill rain nae mare." Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for clear skies.