Friday, May 16, 2014

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire Moors, Anglophile Friday

This photo hangs on the wall of our 'Yorkshire Room'
These cloud photos were taken just after a downpour.

I know that some of you are probably weary of my photos of Rievaulx Abbey, but many of you are new to my blog since I last wrote about this, and you surely don't want to miss out on Rievaulx Abbey now, do you. Much of this post is a review for those of you who've followed Cranberry Morning quite a while.

Just a little aside here: Have you checked out Mike Biles' blog, Bit About Britain? If you're at all interested in British history, he's a pleasant must-read.  He regularly posts brilliant and witty essays about historically interesting places in the UK. Another great travel blogger from Britain is J_on_Tour who has lots of wonderful photos and blog posts with detailed information on places of interest - with a delightful bit of humor thrown in. So they're definitely the ones to go to if you want to actually learn something. (Be sure to tell them I sent you.)

Me? I'm the place to go on Fridays if you like to see lots of photos and an American tourist's perspective on England's castles, abbeys, cathedrals, churches, lanes, rivers, views, drystone walls, pubs, and sheep - with some London stuff thrown in now and then.

It was in the spring of 2003 (although I took most of the photos you see here in the spring of 2007) that I first set eyes on the haunting remains of Rievaulx Abbey on the North Yorkshire Moors. What an amazing, imposing structure! I tried to imagine what Rievaulx would have looked like in the 12th century when it was built and inhabited by Cistercian monks.


Some of the ideas used in planning the structure of the building, the part of the monastic complex you see in my photos, came from the European travels of Aelred, one of Rievaulx's most prominent abbots. Travel in those days was not by air or rail! Contrast Aelred with the people you know today who've never set foot outside the county in which they were born!


 A dozen or so of the 'white monks,' so named for the color of habit they wore, moved to northern England from France, for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to northern England and Scotland. They built on the thousand acres donated to the order by the lord of Helmsley Castle (subject for a later post), and by the mid 1100s at its peak, there were as many as 650 men living at Rievaulx.



Their economic business was raising sheep and selling wool, so the monastery was greatly impacted when disease decimated the flock. But the ultimate threat to the monastery was from Henry VIII, when he separated from the Catholic Church, declared himself head of the Church of England, and began the dissolution of the monasteries.



All of these photos were taken by me, although if you did a Google image search, you would find many similar photos for Rievaulx. I guess we're all impressed by the same things.

Having read Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, I always wonder if there was a stray monk who's up to no good.


Rievaulx Abbey, built to the glory of God - and without modern equipment! What a testament to the creative ability, i.e. imagination, reason, determination, organization, artistry, perseverance, etc. that God has given to mankind...



...which is almost terrifying when you think that it is just a vague shadow of the creative power the Creator Himself has - and without Whose creative and sustaining power we wouldn't be able to take another breath.






If you can stretch your imagination to see this trip route as a creature with three antennae, 
then Rievaulx Abbey is at the end of the eastern-most antenna.


Thanks to all of you who actually had the patience to wait for these images to load. I suppose I could have divided it into two posts...

***

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Have a great weekend, everyone! 

 
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32 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I enjoyed the photos of the ruins of the Abbey. Wow. Impressive images. I can see why you have some framed and in your room.

I came here to view your fences post and enjoyed that also. Loved the close up images but most of all I ENJOYED the last photo in the previous post...your grandson. What a charmer. Cute as can be.

podso said...

I too enjoyed your photos. I think it would be easy to be there and imagine how life would have been there. We are so used to our modern way of seeing construction, that it is amazing to contemplate this was all done by hand so long ago.

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

Impressive collection of pictures. It always saddens me that so many of these buildings were ruined.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Judy. No I never tire of seeing shots of wonderful buildings so never worry if we have seen them before. Mostly I really cannot remember everything I have seen!!! These shots and these ruins are magnificent and the information to go with them is great. Have a great weekend.

Paulette said...

Learning about and seeing places that I will probably never visit is wonderful. I enjoy your anglophile Friday posts

Vee said...

Impressive structure to be sure...now did that book have anything tomdo with poison? It rang such a bell, but my memory is not what it used to be. Off to follow a link or two.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

These are magnificent. Wow. You can feel the history and stories!

TexWisGirl said...

impressive old ruins. :) i've visited mike biles' blog, yes. :)

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

The Abbey is absolutely beautiful!! Does the Church own it still? Wouldn't it be neat to go in and rebuild the inside, using the exterior walls for the outer shell of your new home???
Lovely Judy!!
One day I'll get over there!!

Nancy Shuman said...

I'm new to your blog (LOVE it), and these photos are absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing them for the rest of us to enjoy.

Denise said...

Nice post.

Joyce F said...

I always enjoy your Friday posts and today was especially great!

Jacquelineand.... said...

I never tire of your photos and the bits of history you include!

Thank you so much for your kind words on my post yesterday, I appreciate them so much.

Jen Vandervoort said...

Hi Judy, those are gorgeous photos I don't think anyone would be tired of seeing them they're beautiful. What a trip that must have been.

If you find they take a long time to load on your blog you can resize them in PicMonkey or any other photo editing program. That makes them load much faster and it doesn't not distort the image.

Jen

J_on_tour said...

Thanks for the mention, there's no need to apologise about showing repeated material. You have brought it to life with your text and that's what makes it a success as well. ... still haven't been on the other side of the fence yet !

Valerie said...

What wonderful photos and writing. Such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing! =) Blessings and Sunshine, Valerie

Terri D. said...

What an interesting place. Your photos make me want to touch the walls and explore the ruins. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your wonderful photos.

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow. It's blogs like this that make me want to take a trip back to England. I missed this during my one trip over there!

NanaDiana said...

Wow,Judy. Those are AMAZING photos. Those Abbey ruins are just amazing, aren't they? Can't you just imagine that when it was a thriving establishment? Sad to see the ruins, really.

Hope you have a great night! xo Diana

bj said...

OOO, how beautiful these are. Imagine them in their prime....
xo

EG CameraGirl said...

The abbey is a wonderful treasure and I'm very glad you have posted about it again!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

That was a fascinating post. I loved the pictures and I'm adding the abbey to the places I'd like to visit when the cottage is renovated.

Pamela Gordon said...

Wonderful post! I love this old history and ruins. Beautiful photos! I'm going to have a peek at the two blogs you mentioned as I enjoy British history. Enjoy the weekend.

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Debby@Just Breathe said...

So beautiful. Hopefully I can visit someday. Thank you for Mike Biles' link, looking forward to following him.

Deborah Montgomery said...

Beautiful pictures -- you are right, it is absolutely amazing to think of the labor and creativity to design and build this, all by hand.

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Amazing. I always think of Narnia when I see English ruins. xoxo

Eva Ason said...

I love these 'walks' through history in your posts. This abbey is magnificent! A lovely place it seems. Great pictures

Donna said...

These are marvelous! The beautiful clouds in the photos really help to showcase the structure. I am always astounded to think about how they built such magnificent buildings under such primitive circumstances.

Sorry that I haven't been able to comment lately. Too much going on with taking care of my husband and our home.

Ruth Kelly said...

I am amazed at how many of these old ruins and abbeys that are found in England. We only saw two of them and one was in Yorkshire and the other Bolton Abbey.

Ida said...

What amazing ruins. Simple stunning.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Love the pictures! I know I have seen then in previous posts, but love seeing them again!

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