Monday, 30 July 2012

Bolton Abbey

'And thus in joyous mood they hie
To Bolton's mouldering Priory.'

On the drive back from Malham last week, Gav and I stopped off at Bolton Abbey: an estate in North Yorkshire which is home to the twelfth century ruins of Bolton Priory. I will never pass up the opportunity to visit a medieval ruin, as they're one of my favourite things ever ♥ Bolton Priory has been a ruin for quite some time, and was apparently much loved by a whole bunch of Romantic-era painters and writers, including Wordsworth. 

I used to hate Wordsworth with the passion of a thousand suns when I had to study him at school, because he was just so wholeheartedly enthusiastic about nature and I found it incredibly dull. Now that I'm one of those losers frolicking around the countryside and old ruins beaming like an idiot because everything is just so beautiful and perfect and awesome, he feels a bit like a kindred spirit (albeit that he's far more eloquent.) Silly teenage Alice. She worried too much about liking things the incorrect amount. Now I just let it all out!

The surrounding 12,000 hectares of scenery are beautiful. We didn't even make a decent dent in this, as we were pitifully limping around after walking too far the day before. Weaklings.

'That sumptuous pile, with all its peers
Too harshly hath been doomed to taste
The bitterness of wrong and waste'

'Its courts are ravaged; but the tower
Is standing with a voice of power,-
That ancient voice which wont to call
To mass or some high festival'

'Lie silent in your graves, ye dead!
Lie quiet in your churchyard bed!
Ye living, tend your holy cares
Ye multitude, pursue your prayers.'

In the 14th century, Bolton Priory was sacked by Scottish raiders, causing severe structural damage and temporary abandonment of the site. Luckily, Gavin wasn't here to raid and/or pillage (and besides, I had my eye on him.) He's a very well behaved Scottish raider. :P

When we were having lunch, there were a few very inquisitive birds that came hunting for crumbs, and I managed to get a few shots of this little one. He's a Chaffinch, I think, which is from the Old English ceaffinc, and they were named for their habit of eating waste grain on farms.  Literally, a Chaff Finch. Turns out they also like ciabatta. ;)

alice xox

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