Of course when there is such a garden as the one at Mount Grace you have to get the macro lens in full swing on the camera, it would be rude not to. 🙂 My 60mm macro does quite a good job I think.
And this ends my outing to the priory, a lovely day for me to remember and fun to be out with Sophie. Hope my WPeeps have had a good weekend, am off to Scotland to work tomorrow, hope to get a few views through the camera 🙂
More from my trip to Mount Grace Priory- after it’s dissolution it fell into ruins, but the priory guest house was left to form the nucleus of a residential house. It passed through many hands and I’ll spare you that part of the history and all the names through the 200 years, but then Sir Isaac Lothian Bell bought the estate in 1898, and with his trusty architect MacDonald Pointer began sympathetic work on the house using traditional materials and techniques in the spirit of the Arts & Crafts movement, this was completed in 1901. The house passed through the family but their fortunes dwindled between the wars, and when Sir Maurice Bell, the last of the Bells to live there, died in 1944, the priory was given to the treasury in lieu of death duties. The National Trust then took over the estate, but the house still had a tenant in it so they concentrated on the priory and it’s grounds. The last tenant, Miss Kathleen Cooper Abbs drowned in 1974 at the age of 73 attempting to swim around Saltburn pier to raise money for local churches! The Ministry of works then began work on restoring the house and it reopened in 2010.
There are some rooms in the house with old artefacts from the priory and also replica’s of some manuscripts the monks made, the originals are in the British Library.
The grounds were lovely, lots of flowers and stuff to see so I will leave them for another post.
Today we’ll have a look at bits and bobs around the grounds of the priory.
The Inner court was occupied on 3 sides by service buildings. This is where they baked bread and brewed beer.
The Gatehouse is the oldest building in the Inner Court built in about 1400, the gates though are modern. It did have an upper storey but that was dismantled during renovations to the guest house next to it.
There is a beauty of a Yew tree (think it’s a Yew) in the Inner Court..
and I could walk right inside it
In the North East Corner of the Great Cloister we found the well house. The water runs from here and fed a central water tower via lead pipes and then on to each Monks cell! Medieval plumbing rocks! They had a few springs and well houses back in the day, some to flush the outdoor loos in each Monks Garden (see previous post) and some for the rest of the priory service buildings etc.
In one of the gardens we found these stones which must be part of the demolished bits.
another interesting tree..
Looking up at the Priory is this modern statue of the Madonna & Child by Malcolm Brocklesby…
The inscription reads “This Madonna is not the meek and subservient figure portrayed in many renaissance works, but a determined and intelligent young woman who understands the wonder and the importance of her calling; she is also aware of the suffering that this will entail. The figure of the Madonna is integral with that of the Cross, which is an inescapable part of her existence, and the way in which she holds the Christ Child high suggests the subsequent Ascension rather than the immediate prospect of a sacrificial death.” Which is fine I guess. Art and all that 🙂
Some poppies in the grounds near the gatehouse..
So that’s it for today. No expeditions this weekend, but have been adding to the SX70 project which you can access from the menu if you are interested in polaroid shenanigans.
Also one of my flickr contacts is now doing a blog here on wordpress, his portrait and light painting works are great, he’s a really good photographer and you can find him at Flatworldsedge. Tell him I sent you 🙂
Mount Grace Priory has a reconstructed cell which was quite fascinating as it was so big! I always thought of Monks cells as little rooms in a dormitory with a bed and washbowl and that’s about it. Maybe other types of Monks did but Carthusian Monks lived a very solitary existence as their whole purpose was total withdrawal from the world to serve god by personal devotion and privation. Food and drink were brought to them by lay brothers and passed through a hatch beside the door, without any communication. The cell was rebuilt by Sir Lothian Bell between 1901 & 1905, then refurbished by English Heritage in the late 1980’s, the garden & galleries based on archaeological evidence and plants available in 16th century. It’s furnishings are based on Carthusian illustrations made at the time, or surviving examples. Documents and excavations show the trades the monks followed, there is evidence of a weaver, bookbinder and book copyists.
The cell provided for all their needs, had space to meditate, read & work.
A place for manual work is upstairs,
and also a garden to tend.
That’ll do for today’s post, more from The Priory next time 🙂
Mount Grace lay on the medieval road from York to Durham. (my posts re: York start HERE) It is the best preserved of the ten Carthusian Monasteries in England. Founded in 1398 by Thomas de Holland, Duke of Surrey & nephew to King Richard 2nd and then refounded in 1415 by Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset and later Duke of Exeter, it was the last monastery established in Yorkshire before the Reformation (the part of our history where Henry VIII & Thomas Cromwell had them all pulled down). Unlike other monks who lived communally the Carthusians lived as hermits. They worked, meditated and said daily prayers in solitude in their own cells, meeting each other only for daily Matins and Vespers, and at the convent mass.
The priory was closed in 1539 at the Suppression of the Monasteries, it’s monks were given pensions, and most of the buildings dismantled. In the 17th century the north guest house was converted into a comfortable residence and at the end of the 19th century the industrialist Sir Lothian Bell extended the house in the Arts & Crafts style and began repairing the Priory ruins.
On visiting we were able to see the layout of the priory including a reconstructed and furnished Monks cell and the house that occupies the shell of the priory’s original guest house. I went with Sophie and as you can see it started out a grey day but we did get some blue skies towards the end of our visit. The extensive gardens were beautiful too, so lots of photo’ s to get through, and I’ll split them into a few posts. This set of shots is just the main Priory itself.