Friday, May 25, 2012

Anglophile Friday - Much Wenlock, Rievaulx Abbey

 The Priory at Much Wenlock
Actually, I think this building was the infirmary

I imagine a Cluniac monk (not named after George Clooney, btw, but after Cluny, France, where they originated) quietly walking about the grounds, wondering where he laid down his best pen, all the while secretly suspecting pompous Brother Cedric of making off with it.

I try not to think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

From http://www.MonasticWales.org:

'Cluniac monasticism originated in the year 910 with the foundation of the abbey of Cluny in Burgundy. The lives of the monks there were governed by a set of rules or customs based on the Rule of St Benedict but modified by the incorporation of additional statutes. These permitted a closer prescription of the daily routine of monastic observance as well as increasing the quantity and elaboration of its liturgical content. Cluniac monks did not participate in conventional manual labour that had previously formed a component of monastic life, as dictated by the Rule of St Benedict. Indeed, they even thought it inappropriate that monks should dirty their hands in this way. Peter the Venerable (d. 1156), who was abbot of Cluny, remarked that it was unbecoming for monks, 'the fine linen of the sanctuary', to be begrimed in dirt and bent over labouring. In Cluniac houses other elements of their monastic observance - such as the copying of manuscripts - were considered to fulfil the work requirement of the Benedictine Rule.'

And who dared accuse Peter of simply being LAZY ?  Peter obviously didn't get it about the sacred and the secular! (see yesterday's post) 

 Rievaulx Abbey on the Yorkshire Moors
One of my very favorite photos

Further to the northeast, on the Yorkshire Moors, the Cistercian monks were busy getting their hands dirty! Kinda like the difference between Brother Cadfael and Brother Jerome, for you 'Cadfael' fans.

From Wikipedia:

'The abbey lies in a wooded dale by the River Rye, sheltered by hills. To have enough flat land to build on, a small part of the river was diverted several metres west of its former channel. The monks altered the course of the river three times during the 12th century. The old course of the river is visible in the abbey's grounds. This is one illustration of the technical ingenuity of the monks, who over time built up a very profitable business mining lead and iron, rearing sheep and selling wool to buyers from all over Europe.' 

We just couldn't get enough of this place. Most of our SD card was used up with photos of abbeys and priories.* They're everywhere, pleasantly dotting the landscape of North Yorkshire.

*and sheep, of course, but that's for another time.


Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, everyone! See you next week.


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16 comments:

Eileen said...

I do love your photos on Anglophile Friday. I would have taken lots of photos, such lovely memories for you. I also like that you can imagine the monks walking the grounds... me too.

Ginger Zuck said...

Judy, your photos are stunning. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful Memorial weekend!

Paulette said...

What a beautiful place, great photos. I can almost hear the chanting of the monks as they stroll around the property.

EM Illustrator said...

Absolutely beautiful - I love those old buildings. Have a lovely day!
Sunshine in Dublin today :-)

Eva

Sandra said...

thanks for the view. i love old ruins and we don't have them here. and i can't go there, so this is next best thing. so very beautiful, i would have my hard drive stuffed just from one visit to this amazing building.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

Such beautiful photos!!

Amy Burzese said...

Love this post. Yes, I would have to get many more memory cards if I traveled there.

Debra said...

Won't lie, I am thinking a little Monty Python and the Holy Grail now. :) I love the photos and the post!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

There is something intriguing about ruins......maybe because us Americans don't like them sitting around cluttering the place up!

Thanks for posting them again. I still re-enjoying them!

Yenta Mary said...

Such a gorgeous place! I love the old architecture of the cathedrals, the varying styles as the buildings were erected over centuries, the strength and character they show even when becoming ruins ....

Ruth Kelly said...

Apparently, some monks had it easier than others. Love the Yorkshire shots and history. Thanks for sharing.

debbie bailey said...

I'm with you. I can never get enough of abbey and castle ruins. There's something so romantic about a ruin; especially if it's shrouded in mist.

Robin said...

I love your pictures of Rievaulx Abbey...it is so special. Have you been to Jervaulx Abbey which is 6 miles from Leyburn it is as stunning as Rievaulx. Have a great weekend.

Chatty Crone said...

Now I remember you are thinking back to your vacation. You had a gorgeous travel plan to see all those wonderful buildings. Nice photos. It looks so beautiful there. sandie

Denise said...

Enjoyed the pictures.

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

I always love your text & photos particularly your favourite with that sky too.
I was going to say that I was more familiar with Rievaulx Abbey but then again I was taken past the entrance by a friend & his walking group on a 6 mile walk from Helmsley. I must return sometime on my own to spend ...
- time with the camera & ...
- the entrance fee !!

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