ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A BIT OF RELIGION. (13/11/14)

Another dull damp day but at least it wasn’t raining. I decided to visit the Abbey. I got in for four pounds forty pence which was very fair. I can go again as the museum was closed due to circumstances beyond their control. They didn’t elaborate on the circumstances and I wasn’t in an awkward enough mood to ask. I assumed the curator was busy conceiving something, like lighting that doesn’t reflect from every shiny surface making snapping an impossible job. It could have been something mundane like leaves on the steps or a burglary.

I usually like to have a couple or three visits to places like this as the first one is taken up with admiring bits of this and that and trying to keep ones bearings. Then on the second visit I can plan a time frame and get the snaps I want to fit in with a bit of chat for a post. A third visit I can Take a few strobes and re-do scenes that need a bit of a shove.

The abbey was founded in 1136 and as it was so close to the English border kept getting raided, knocked down, set on fire. The remains are of building work from the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. I’ll try and remember what all the bits are called but church architecture is quite complex.

_MG_0861      The grassy bit behind the remains of the wall is the Nave. The big open window with the little doorway is the screen. It would have been filled with a wooden carving. The arches to the right are private chapels.

_MG_0862Wealthy people could be interred in them.

_MG_0864         This is the choir and the big window at the end is the east window.

_MG_0863           There are two of these passages one to the north of the choir and the other to the south.

_MG_0865         I don’t know what they are called but they are a beautiful bit of work. How the hell or heaven anyone can create a vaulted ceiling like this is just unimaginable. The infill is stone so all of those pieces must be tapered. Brilliant.

_MG_0867           The presbytery and the north transept.

_MG_0868          The east window.

_MG_0870           And a detail of it.

I think I got most of the bits correct. I have lots more photographs but they can wait for another day. The carving here is wonderful. Much of it was damaged after the reformation of the churches as the Protestants didn’t want folk worshiping Catholic statues. It’s a pity as the ones that are left are beautiful. Well worth appreciating if not worshipping.

As I left a charming lady asked if I had enjoyed my visit.  I did. Very few health and safety signs. No bright orange barriers. The National Trust ought to visit Melrose Abbey. This is how heritage ought to be displayed.

44 comments:

  1. Great Cathredal or Abbey images Adrian. Those christians are a bit naughty.

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    1. It was just a church Bob. They still are but beginning to unite. I suspect inspired by naughty Moslems.

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  2. Adrian,
    The first ruin I saw in Scotland was Melrose, long ago. Your photos of it remind me, however, of my two walks along the river path, part of St. Cuthbert's Way, from Jedburgh to another ruin, Dryburgh Abbey, where I was surprised to discover that images stored in childhood memories were of real place. I was caught off-guard by my sense of familiarity of the place and the realisation of how completely I grew up on planes lightyears away from Canadian prairie home. This is the gift of illustrated children's books. I wonder - how much that might be the experience of others, as well. Take care, McGregor

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    1. McGregor, St Cuthbert was abbot here before he settled at Lindisfarne. All our abbeys took a real hammering under Cromwell. Many were evil but I'm sure there must have been good ones. Kings of both Scotland and England also pillaged them. Medieval Britain was a rough old place.

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  3. Nicely shown Adrian




    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

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    1. Cloudia, it's hard in flat light to make it look as impressive as it is.

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    2. This looks like a fabulous abbey and is still is pretty good condition. Thanks for the many views you took of it. Very interesting.

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    3. Margaret, it's absolutely persisting it down now.
      I was impressed. It is worth another look for the details, I got some but not all. The vaulting is worth another look. I'll take the strobes in and get sharp snaps. I assume it would have been plastered and painted. What a sight that must have been.

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  4. You did a lot of walking! My eighth grade history teacher was enamored of British abbeys and I got a good grade by making a big report of several of them. Cannot remember a word I wrote, and I recall writing pages and pages of flying buttresses and transitions and stuff..
    In spite of the overcast you pulled out the detail. Nice.

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    1. Joanne, it's not far to walk. A bit of sunshine would be nice.

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  5. The detail had to have been amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    Amazing that societies that barely fed their people could spend the resources for these kinds of edifices.

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    1. R.Mac, the monasteries were very wealthy.

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  6. Those vaulted ceilings are a work of art, you have shown this building well.

    peter

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    1. Peter, they are wonderful I could spend an hour just wondering how they built them.

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  7. Great pics Adrian. BTW ~ your mate Davo is speaking to the Australian parliament today. Will try to locate some video for you and send :)

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    1. Carol, you can keep him if you want.

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  8. To fight over this and destroy parts of it was nuts. a tremendous amount of work was done to produce a very beautiful building. So the old boys were biased enough to disagree on religious terms and so they smashed the other guy's stuff.

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    1. Red, they were after the money I suspect.

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  9. Beautiful photos. Interesting to think that with all our technological advances we couldn't create such a building today - we don't have the society, craftsman, motivation. Long term vision.

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    1. Jean, I suspect we could still create this but we just don't have the will to do so.

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  10. It floors me to think of something this old preserved as well as this despite what it endured. Thanks for bringing us along to see this beautiful architecture.

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    1. Hilary, we are very fortunate in that we have dozens of these abbeys. They vary in condition but most are worth looking at.

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  11. Marvellous workmanship. The very old buildings are all grand and speak of the exquisite taste and style that is unparalleled.

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    1. Ruby, they do and what is more they are available in many countries. Not Australia or America but certainly in China, India, Europe and Russia.

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  12. I'm so envious! So old, so beautiful.

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    1. Pauline we are very lucky. There are dozens if not hundreds to choose from.

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  13. It's a fascinating place with many photo ops.

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    1. John, It is wonderful. I will try and get back. I am too overwhelmed to do it justice on a first visit.

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  14. I was carried away in my imagination to the Pevensee children arriving in Narnia the second time and finding the ruins of Cair Paravel....an absolutely beautiful place, Melrose is (now I'm sounding like Yoda).

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    1. Bob, asI've said before we are spoilt in the UK. This is one of the better ruins. North Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Borders are littered with them

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  15. Fascinating building, I could spend ages looking up at a place like this. Sounds weird but I wish more ruins were left like this instead of being restored

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    1. Douglas, this has been stabilised. There is access to the tower but the stairs are a bit narrow for me, camera and the dogs. I'll see if I can work something out.

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  16. I never cease to be amazed at the achievements of the masons and everyone else involved in such projects so many centuries ago. I think it's pretty amazing these days with all the equipment we now have.

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    1. Graham, the head masons certainly were the rocket scientists of their day. I know some buildings did fall down but they certainly knew a thing or two. The technicalities they overcame are impressive but they also exhibit flair and imagination.

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  17. Aún estando en ruinas sigue estando hermosa y llamando la atención. Me gusta.
    Un abrazo.

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  18. Laura, tantas batallas que ha visto. Es hermoso.

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  19. Those arches as well as the rest of the remains are a photographer's dream. I really like all of your shots, and would love to roam there with my camera too.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Mersad, I am stopping a few more days so I will go back if I get any light.

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  20. Great stuff. I love to wander round those old churches, abbeys, etc.. I think the parts which cross the main aisle are known as transepts.

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    1. John they are. It's the ones that run parallel with the nave or choir I can't identify. I have had a quick look on Google but I'm hoping to go back so will see if they have put a little plaque on them.

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  21. Nice set of shots and commentary, think I've only ever been in here once when I was small, must pay it a visit though it's always seems heaving with people going in any time I've been near the place in the last 20 years. It's good to see that there are some public buildings open in November.

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    1. Jay, wet days in winter have much to recommend them.

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