Sunday, 30 March 2008

Valle Crucis Abbey

Valle Crucis Abbey near Llangollen, north Wales,
is set in a beautiful location.

Building work began at this site in 1201.

Unfortunately, at some point in the more recent past,
planning permission was given to the owner
of the surrounding land to allow it to be used
for camping and as a caravan park.

This makes the approach to the Abbey ruins really ugly,
but once within the Abbey,
the clever use of high stone walls blocks
most of the view of caravans.

This is probably the best preserved Abbey in Wales.

Remember you can click on the pictures
if you want to look more closely.

The front wall of the Abbey church, as seen from inside.
To give you an idea of the scale of the buildings,
see the wooden benches either
side of the door - each would seat 3-4 people.

The large fishpond, behind the Abbey,
is the last remaining monastic fishpond in Wales.
There were so many days in the year on which
meat could not be eaten,
that most religious houses had a fishpond
to supply them with fresh fish.

The main doors into the church, shown below,
are about 10 feet tall, and are set into a wonderfully
carved arched doorway.
Soft stone was used for doorways and windows,
as it was much easier to carve.
Unfortunately, this also means it weathers more quickly,
and carved detail is lost over the years

Some old carved stones have been re-used in the buildings,
as shown here in this part of the abbey, built in the 1500s.

There is a display of carved stones in the abbey ,
this is a lovely example.

Look at the detail in the hinges of the abbey church doors.

Also the detail of the keyhole and handle mounting.
(handle is only on the inside of the doors)

This is a view of the chapter house,
where all the monks gathered each day
to listen to a chapter of the bible being read.

This is quite a small room,
and probably would only hold 30 people at most,
compared to the Abbey church,
which would have had the capacity
to hold several hundred peop


Carol said...

Gorgeous photos as usual. I think the door hinge design would make a fabulous stamp. I love the details.

judge said...

this is one of the most peaceful places i've ever visited. the campsite doesn't spoil it at all. truly beautiful.