Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The King, the Queen, 300 Knights and 13 Bishops

I've had my nose to the grindstone just lately, so I gave myself a day off today.
First and best, I went to visit a friend for couple of hours.
Here is Lily, her rather beautiful dog, sometime friend and partner in crime of Rowan.
She is an English Setter, with a definitely aristocratic bearing.

On the way home I took a short detour in Gloucestershire, to Hailes Abbey and the nearby church. I'm on a 'church crawl', gathering information for a talk which I call 'Gargoyles , Ghosts and Gravestones'.
It's about our old churches and the history and inspiration to be found in them.

So hence, the strange title for this post, I know, but. .that's the list of 'A' list guests invited to a bash of medieval proportions.
I'm talking about the consecration of Hailes Abbey in 1251 .King Henry the third, his Queen, 300 hundred Knights and 13 Bishops. . . some party.
There isn't very much left of this, once famous place of pilgrimage; but the few arches and stones that remain, hold so many secrets and stories.
There are hills on three sides , birds singing and an atmosphere of complete peace.

The old pilgrims path winds it's way up the hill behind the Abbey, in places, it's cobbled stones pass under long tunnels of twisted Hazel and Hawthorn bushes.

Next to the Abbey is the lovely little church, it has a modest exterior but is full of magic inside.

Someones worn and forgotten story.

A dragon, I think.

A tile from the 13th. century.

Stained glass saints, rescued from the Abbey.

I was so thrilled to find this faded, beautiful owl. . .

and these lovely textures on the walls.


My Mother's Garden said...

Hi Annette~

Hailes Abbey looks like an interesting place with an even more intriguing history. I like the eroding arches. Nice photos!

'Gargoyles , Ghosts and Gravestones' sounds like a talk I would love to hear. Great title!

Have a beautiful day~


femminismo said...

What a tremendous "tour" you've taken us on. Love that royal dog, too. A beauty. Thank you for the sights. I enjoyed them so much and can't wait for spring in your gardens.

Hermes said...

Fascinating. Thank you. Wish I could hear your talk.

Chris said...

This place looks so beautiful just the way it is. It must have once been a grand place. I love the photo of Lily. Such pretty lady.

Linda Lunda said...

The dragon is Lovely!
Thanks for sharing this post with us!
I love it all.. the ruins.. the tilss... the staind windows from the abbey
ALL of it! It tingels my emagenation(fantsy) totaly!

Arija said...

What a lovely post Annette! Wonderful romanwsque arches and and some artist's idea of the owl and lion on the wall. I have always loved the Canterbury tales, and loved them even more in the old English, and old abbeys and cathedrals down to simple parish churches we have visited with a passion.

Thank you so much for your kind thoghts during my indisposition. Things are slowly on the mend now.

Heather said...

What a magnificent place Hailes Abbey must have been in it's heyday. The colours on the walls inside the church must have been quite bright and striking - I think I almost prefer them as they are now, keeping their secrets to themselves. Beautiful architecture and wonderful inspiration for your talk, which sounds fascinating. Wish I lived nearer and could hear it. Lily is beautiful too.

Kay said...

I just came across your site today. Gorgeous photos and lovely artwork! I'm so glad I found you.

annette emms said...

Karrita - thank you so much.As for the talk, who knows? Maybe , one day. . . x

Feminissmo -
Glad you enjoyed my ramble!As for Spring. . . I can hear it coming!x

Hermes - thanks, you are most welcome.

Chris - I agree, I love the worn and faded look,especially the wall paintings.

Linda - Glad you liked it. I love dragons too!x

Arija - Bless you , I'm so pleased that you came with me.
When I saw the owl, I thought of you, I just knew you'd like him!
Great to hear you are feeling a bit better, do take care, we missed you!x

Heather - thanks for your kind words, You're welcome anytime!x

Kay - well, what can I say? Thank you so much ! I'm pleased to meet you and I hope you'll be back!

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hi Annette! Pleased to see your new posting! I like Hailes Abbey a lot, but haven't been there for several years. What wonderful photos - I was transported back to the place. Lovely. Happy days to you. Denise

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I do love joining you on your walks. Such lovely places you visit. And Lily is a beautiful girl!

Gwen Buchanan said...

I try to imagine what it must be like to live in history...

beautiful photos.. don't work too hard!!

Karen said...

I so love to visit old places like these and to touch the walls and soak in the history.
I too love that owl!
Thanks for sharing x

lorhen82 said...

I LOVE these photos!!! You don't know how much I wish I could visit the UK and see these sites in person! Maybe you could post an audio or video of your talk. I'm sure everyone who can't be there would love to hear it! Maybe you should do video walking tours...hint, hint! ~Lori

flyinamber said...

how amazing old place!can imagine the ghosts of king and queen and their knights and bishops strolling under the arches..
wish you a nice weekend,Annette!

acornmoon said...

Lovely images,I like the dragons.

Phyllis said...


I found you through Acorn Moon.

Your photography is gorgeous. It's so much fun to "meet" other folks in another country and see some of their homeland. Your dogs are so pretty - I'm a serious animal lover.

I very much enjoyed my visit and will be back.

lynne h said...

simply amazing, annette... such beauty. the stonework, and the creatures that you find! what is the energy like here? xxoo

annette emms said...

Denise,Pamela, Gwen, Karen, flyinamber, Valerie, - thank you all so much for your comments.x

Lori - maybe you'll get here one day? As for video tours, can you imagine the fun that would be!(You need to see me with a video camera. . . I'm hopeless!!!)Bless you.x

Phyllis - it's so nice to meet you, and thank you for your sweet words.x

Lynne - hiya honey! Glad you liked the beasties. I wish i could describe properly what this place is like. Can you imagine all the hopes, dreams and prayers, through the centuries? some of that energy has to penetrate the earth and stones, i guess it's the magic again!x

Anonymous said...

These are the most amazing arches, and the big one with wall attached is absolutely beautiful - I would love to paint that - I have an affinity for old walls and stone work! I love seeing your photos.

lynne h said...

magical, then! well it sure looks it... xo

Penny said...

i love wandering with you in to places I may never see. An absolute delight.
Here we are still so dry and we can just hope for rain. No bushfires near us but we have been lucky.

Allison Ann Aller said...

I wish I lived in England so I could go to your lecture!!!

annette emms said...

Olivia - thank you , glad you liked the pictures.

Penny - I love your company!x
Allison - nice to meet you, thanks for your words!

Jo Horswill said...

Thank goodness for blogging!!!
Annette this is truly a richly evocative post. The images all amaze me. Thank you...

kitty said...

Netty my dearest friend. What joy to see all you lovey photos, they brought back so many happy memories of our days out together, our searching for Grim Ugliness and Woad. I have a lump in my throat and a slight trembling of the lip. My fondest love to you. Kitty xxxxxxx :-)

annette emms said...

Kitty - Hello my sweet friend!Thoughts of our adventures are always with me!
I hope that you and John are enjoying retirement.xxx