Saturday, 22 August 2009

Bye bye Yorkshire, Rievaulx Abbey

Today is the last day and we take a last loving look at the view ....

Windowseats are soooo comfortable: aren't they? Lovely ancient thick stone walls.....
We have so enjoyed sitting on them that I must ensure we'll have them in a future home!
Another window and JJ's beloved blue BMW outside waiting to have it's pod refilled....
Then outside ready to go with a wriggling puppy on my lap.
To break the journey and make it feel like a proper ''holiday'' day we stop of on a slight detour to see Rievaulx Abbey a site I have not visited since the late 70's... It's English Heritage now and the children enjoy the free audio tour enormously!Founded in 1132 this Cistercian monastery was completely self sufficient for hundreds of years: growing it's own food, tanning leather, building the facilities, creating glass for windows and even colouring the glass with mined pigments. Meat was only eaten on feast and Holy days, which were few and far between. At it's peak in 1160 it was home to 650 men and the most famous Abbot was Aelred who travelled extensively and met and gave advice to many religious and secular as well as Royal leading men of the day.( circa 1147-1167)
The remains as well as the setting are stunningly beautiful and there is serenity even allowing for the many visitors.

The dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 due to King Henry VIII saw the end of the religious devotion practiced here, but the legacy remains.
The ruins have inspired many artists and writers and visitors for hundreds of years and me too as it happens: it's a very lovely serene and spiritual place to visit.
My camera battery gave out or I might have taken quite a few more, this is all however, I would highly recommend a visit.
A Holy Trinity of windows.
Awesome as in it's original inception: awe inspiring.
By early evening we were back home in Oxfordshire: where a sunny thriving garden welcomed us with lots of new growth.

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