Friday, August 24, 2012

Anglophile Friday - Bath Abbey Revisited

 Bath Abbey


"There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for well over a thousand years. However, the Abbey has undergone many transformations and changes during this time, and much like the city of Bath has experienced rise and falls in fortune, survived a number of major conflicts, architectural and religious reforms, and two World Wars, but still stands proudly today as an essential place for both worshippers and visitors.

"As the history of this sacred place stretches as far back as Anglo-Saxon times, there is a great deal to discover: tales of Kings and Queens, saints and sinners, as well as stories of ordinary people.

"Five Things to Know About Bath Abbey

  • Since 757 AD, three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey: an Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church (757-1066), pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; a massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090, which lay in ruins by late 15th century; and the present Abbey Church founded in 1499 but incomplete until 1611.

  • In 973 King Edgar was crowned King of all England in the Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church (as shown above). The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England including Elizabeth II.

  • The present Abbey Church was founded in 1499 when the newly appointed, Bishop of Bath, Oliver King, is said to have a dream of angels ascending and descending into heaven, which inspired him to build a new Abbey church – the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England.

  • After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of King Henry VIII, the Abbey lay in ruins for more than 70 years. It wasn’t until 1616, that much of the building we see today was repaired and in use as a parish church and over two hundred years later, in the 1830s, that local architect George Manners added new pinnacles and flying buttresses to the exterior and inside, built a new organ on a screen over the crossing, more galleries over the choir and installed extra seating.

  • The Abbey as we know it is the work of Sir George Gilbert Scott, who from 1864 to 1874, completely transformed the inside of the Abbey to conform with his vision of Victorian Gothic architecture. His most significant contribution must surely be the replacement of the ancient wooden ceiling over the nave with the spectacular stone fan vaulting we see today."

 The beautiful fan vaulted ceiling of Bath Abbey

There's a lot more history of Bath Abbey to be found at Bath

 The East Window

 The only thing I didn't like about the Abbey
was the litter strewn about an exterior door.

The black Lab is wondering that too, and hoping that FOOD will be the next thing thrown onto the pavement.

I need to return to Bath with my new camera.


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Have a great weekend, everyone!




Yenta Mary said...

Oh, the abbey is truly breath-takingly gorgeous! I love the ornate architecture, the stained glass, all of the ornamentation; I so love visiting old churches and cathedrals, just awe-struck at their beauty, at their history, at their construction ... sigh. And the pictures remind me of a quote from James Joyce, who had "issues," shall we say, with his Catholic upbringing. I'm paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of "Like a flying buttress, I support the Church ... but from the outside."

Amy Burzese said...

So gorgeous and lucky you. Yes, you do need to return with your new camera and with your new friend, Amy.

Parsley said...

Part of me wishes for an escape far away like this.

Unknown said...

I remember these pictures! They are quite lovely. I must say, I am envious of your travels to England and all the beauty you saw there!

MadSnapper said...

love that fan ceiling, just that is amazing all by itself. and the door in the last two is gorgeous. a truly magnificent church, inside and out.

Denise said...

Enjoyed this, thanks.

Joyce said...

Bath is one of my favorite cities in all of England : ) We were there often..hubs brother lived in Bristol for a couple of the years we were in the UK plus we always took houseguests to Stonehenge and then on to Bath. So lovely.

Eileen said...

I'm just wondering why the black lab was waiting all alone...and such a shame about the litter, maybe a homeless person slept in the doorway :-(

Chatty Crone said...

That was interesting. Amazing how they can let beautiful buildings like that ruin and then restore. Those ceilings and the stained glass!

I hate to see the litter there - some pigs must have done it.


Olive said...

It is gorgeous. Imagine the cost to build it now. Litter annoys me anywhere but there even more. Have a terrific weekend, Olive

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Gorgeous photos, Judy! Isn't that vaulting just unbelievable - how did they do that? But my favorite is the door (I edited out the garbage in my mind's eye). The only thing worse than seeing litter in a beautiful English setting is seeing the American fast food franchises on every corner! Why are they allowing that?

Karen Harris said...

I love Bath. When we lived in England we made several trips to Bath by ourselves and with guests. Our favorite memory was when our 5 year old daughter got on a crowded lift without us and the doors closed behind her. It was 10 minutes of terror for all of us before a kindly grandmother returned her. 17 years later she still grabs for my hand before she gets on an elevator!

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos. Have a nice Saturday.

RURAL said...

It is a wonderful piece of history,captured by your camera.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Empty Nester said...

Love the intricacies of the details! And who doesn't adore stained glass? Hmmm...never thought of using a new camera as an excuse to travel...LOL

Empty Nester said...

Wait---I'm checking the email thing this time...

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's hard for me to imagine the majesty of this building! What a trip to see it in person!

Anonymous said...

I'm just now reading (been a busy week) and always enjoy these beautiful photos of places I'll never see otherwise! Thanks, and I hope you continue to share.

J_on_tour said...

Fascinating and well written history. Hope you are enjoying your new camera ... I want to return her too as I have nothing in digital. There are a few reasons why it could be just as difficult for me to visit like yourself so I'll just have to admire your photos !


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