Monday 2 May 2016
More yew, more ancient stone
Photos from a bank holiday weekend visit to Tewkesbury Abbey. There's been a place of worship in this area since the mid-seventh century, with the current building begun in 1102. In the Middle Ages it was one of the richest abbeys in the country. During the Wars of the Roses in 1471, Richard IV forced his way into the Abbey to attack defeated Lancastrians who were sheltering there.
At the time of the dissolution of the monastries in 1539 the last abbot handed the abbey over to Henry VIII's commissioners. The local people insisted that it was their parish church and that as such they had a right to keep it. It was saved from destruction and they were allowed to buy it from the Crown. It is now the second largest parish church in the country and really quite magnificent.
I like to try and picture people from bygone times in the abbey. Monks walking quietly over the stone floors. Battle and bloodshed. Local people coming here over hundreds of years to seek solace.
Outside there are yew trees, clipped into satisfying dumpy ovals. They were in beautiful condition and so neatly shaped. A pair of peregrines nest on the abbey tower, although to date they haven't raised any chicks successfully. Maybe this year.
We dodged the rain and had a wander round the town as well. Found a wonderful antiquarian and secondhand bookshop in an ancient building with high ceilings, chandeliers, old rugs on the ground and a chain of different rooms to explore. There were books everywhere, with floor to ceiling shelves and piles on tables and the floor and steps. There were hundreds of old maps so I picked up a couple more for turning into stationery.
When the sun came out we headed somewhere greener where little legs could run off the energy that accumulates after an afternoon of trying to be quiet.
Here in cyberspace I still haven't solved my technical problem. So I still get an email every time I comment on a blog telling me my email can't be sent. Very frustrating. I shall give it some more thought later.
Wishing all a good bank holiday. I shall be drawing and writing with the littlest boy and doing kitchen things and watching the laundry pile grow bigger and bigger in the absence of a functioning washing machine. Sun is promised later so I shall drag them all out for a canter round when inside gets to be too much.