Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day 8 of 16

Didn't finish any crafty projects yesterday it was a gorgeous day so I visited a near by ruin, Thornton Abbey.   It is a fascinating site very peaceful, sheep grazing farm fields all around and quiet county roads.  


There is a very small, 11 space car park and a picnic area outside you then walk up this path to the entrance which must have been designed to make you feel very small.


Reaching this imposing arch with statue filled niches above.  The imposing Christian themed figures look down on you.   800/900 years ago when the site was constructed and the stonework was fresh and new they must have been magnificent.


One of the small ground floor gatehouse rooms is now the little shop where you pay your admission fee.   Lovely lady there explains that you can explore the Gate House, yes this is a gatehouse, but to be careful of changing levels and uneven floors.    If you walk across the filed to the Abbey remains please shut the gate so the sheep to do get out.



It is an odd and interesting place to explore, the guide books explains that its use is not really understood lacking kitchens, and rooms, it was not a dwelling.   There are two upper floors each with a vast main area that my whole house would rattle in.   This is the one on the 2nd floor, empty except for some stone pillar base remains and those 2 fire extinguishes by the entrance.  Along the length of the building either side of these are passageways lined with archers narrow windows and ending in small spaces but mostly it was dark passageways to no where.  You gain entry from some wooden stairs and along one of these passage ways reaching the first floor great room which explains the history of the place, lots of interesting facts and examples of stonework found on the site.


The second floor is reached by these narrow stone spiral stairs, the picture is the underside looking up.   The stairs lead higher to the roof but there is a looked door at the top.    The exit is down these stairs, very glad to reach the bottom.


Across the field of sheep to the Abbey remains, just 2 sections of wall stands but the outline of this great building is marked out in its remains on the ground, and the grave slabs of men buried there.   Walking round and imagining the community walking in there same places in their long habits and wooden foot ware.   Found myself thinking of other sites I know, Nettly Abbey also a ruin but with more walls standing.  Corfe Castle and its bloody history, the Keep at Christchurch and others but non so remote from the modern world as this one.   Well Stonehenge is but that place pre-dates this one by 3000 years.

Wonderful place to visit and catch the sun a little.   Interesting place to try and sketch, but I'm not ready to share that with you.

Today the sun has gone back in and as it is the week-end everywhere will be busy so a day to stay at home me thinks.

2 comments:

  1. Looks like a wonderfully serene place!

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  2. Never heard of this place Zoe but it looks wonderful and I am pleased that you got out and about and enjoyed the day.
    Love Chrissie x

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