Tag Archives: abbeys

Undercrofts – Chester Cathedral. #atozchallenge

When not looking up, it’s worth a trip down into the underbelly of a cathedral or abbey. While the soaring heights and stained glass are awe inspiring, save a little respect for the undercroft. Used in abbeys as a cellar for storage as well as a sleeping quarters for the lay brothers, the undercroft is […]

Rievaulx Abbey – Embracing remoteness

‘Far from the haunt of men’ – this quote refers to the Cistercians, who broke away from the existing religious order of the Benedictines to found their own monasteries. They believed in a stricter interpretation of the Rules of St Benedictine and living apart from secular communities and their terrible temptations. Let’s face it, they […]

Orders and rules – monastic life #atozchallenge

As I’ve been exploring the theme of abbeys and cathedrals, I can’t hope notice how many difference religious orders existed across the centuries.  Their influence on the architecture of abbeys in particular is reflected in their daily life.  So here is a run down of the key orders and something about their influence on what […]

Fountains abbey – small beginnings. #atozchallenge

Abbeys were often built in the middle of nowhere to ensure the temptations of town life were well away. Monks could then devote themselves to their offices while lay workers toiled to keep the money pouring in. However, it wasn’t always peaceful. In Yorkshire, at St Mary’s Abbey, at riot broke out in 1132 and […]

Buckfast abbey – alive today #atozchallenge

I remember visiting Buckfast Abbey as a child. The stone looked clean and smooth. It isn’t a ruin. It’s very much alive and occupied. The original abbey was built in the reign of King Cnut in 1018 in Saxon times. A Benedictine monastery that continued for a few decades but by 1086 when the Doomesday […]

Abbeys – a long history. #atozchallenge

My first post is about abbeys. What is an abbey and what does it represent? Abbeys are a complex of buildings centred around a church devoted to a religious order and governed by an abbot or abbess, so they are synonymous with the establishment of monasteries and convents. An abbey is a home, a work […]

Twisted perceptions – Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey

I had it the wrong way round. I had a memory of Chepstow Castle being gigantic and lots of walls to climb. Perhaps it was huge for a small child, but visiting it again, it seemed less than what I recalled. On the other hand, Tintern Abbey, which I remember as lacking much turned out […]

What if….

Been very absent from this blog for a while. School holidays, family visits… no time to write or edit, just coasting. I’m posting up some photos of my two favourite abbeys, both ruins, of course, because Henry VIII had them destroyed in the 1540s. Such a pity not to have the foresight to imagine a […]

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