. . . just because I like it!
I regularly drive past the sign for Buckfast Abbey, a place I hadn’t visited since I was a child fifty years ago. A return visit was long overdue.
Benedictine monks first arrived there in the early 11th century, but the monastery was destroyed in 1539, during Henry V111th’s dissolution. In 1882 a group of French Benedictine monks settled there and a slow rebuild began.
This is what happened next.
What an achievement.
Once inside, initially I was distinctly underwhelmed, until I stopped comparing it to the Cathedral in Exeter. The vaulting is different but interesting.
A beautiful screen.
And some pretty chapels.
Buckfast is a peaceful place, the part that filled me with joy was an amazing stained glass area, where photography was not allowed. I’d go back just to see that again. I did manage to buy a postcard of part of it,
But you will get a better idea here.
Now, once I went outside to the gardens, I really started to enjoy Buckfast. There’s a lavender garden, but it was past it’s best, as well as a sensory and a physic garden.
So this is Buckfast, a tranquil place to spend and hour or two. They have a restaurant and gift shop, as well as a conference centre. Visiting, and parking is free, so if you’re driving along the Devon Expressway why not call in?
I’m tempted to link to Jo’s Monday walk, because I didn’t sit down for a couple of hours even if i didn’t walk very far, and I don’t think she’ll tell me off!
So just now I was talking about Ashburton and it’s abundance of vintage shops, and it seemed rude not to show you.
And there were more!
Ashburton centre really only has two streets, but they are full of charm, here are some views.
So who’s a fan of vintage? if you are then you’d be in heaven in Ashburton. I’m not, it’s too twee for my taste. Having said that, I wouldn’t say no to an old typewriter or some cameras!
If you’re three years old and the beaches near home are grotty shingle, when you feel sand between your toes for the first time, it can be quite overwhelming, you have to pause and take it all in.
Especially if you’ve just met a life sized dinosaur and been on a train for the first time ever.
But when you’re one and a half, it’s still a bit mesmerising, but if daddy’s there to throw you up to the sky,
then everything is really good fun!
If you want to participate in Thursday’s Special challenge, link to this post and leave me links to your entries in the comment section bellow. Yesterday I started a poll where you can vote for your favourite “shadow” entry. The poll will be opened till next Wednesday, 17 August. For further themes and events please consult the Scheduled challenges page.
Paula’s back with her black and white Sunday challenge, and ‘Traces of the past’, will be a regular theme as it’s so popular – I love it!
I found these figures in a little church, St Mary the Virgin, in the village of Uffculme, Devon. The church was probably founded in Saxon times, but first gets mentioned in a charter of 1136. The figures are in 17th century costume.
Paula is always happy to have people join in with her challenge, pop over and see her!
Hey WordPress guys, could you come up with an easy prompt once in a while please? Only joking, know it’s a challenge.
Opposites. Well Exmouth, my closest beach, is opposite the nature reserve across the estuary at Dawlish Warren. Here is the nature reserve at low tide, in winter when its a rest stop for migrating birds, as well as a permanent home to a variety of birds.
Now, the depth of field makes this look different from the reality. The grassy sand dunes are on the south west of the Exe, while the yellow apartment blocks are on the north east, with a mile of water in between.
Does this second photo help or hinder? I promise you that nature and manmade are definitely opposites here!
Looking down from the balcony of my favourite Pimm’s hostelry, the sand spit on the opposite side of the estuary is Dawlish Warren nature reserve.
I called into Buckland Abbey today for tea and cake – Bakewell tart if you’re wondering and while I sat avoiding the mizzle, my friend went outside. After a few minutes she came back in, all excited, ‘Gilly, Gilly you have to come see now!’
This is what she’d found.
Just past the Elizabethan garden, there’s a little path with a patch grass to the right.
Definitely two, maybe three varieties of orchid, a delight to see. I’d left my camera in the car so these are phone pics, click for a better view.
. . . Exmouth last night
Via Topsham Quay, looking back down to the estuary.
and back up towards Exeter.
The grey sky and heavy rain of the afternoon cleared away for a lovely evening.
Overbecks is a small National Trust property at Sharpitor, overlooking Salcombe in the South Hams. The house is Edwardian with a surrounding garden of about seven acres. It is named after it’s last private owner, Otto Overbecks. The house has a small museum, a collection of rather bizarre objects, some of which I’ll try to show you in a few days. The drive down to Overbecks isn’t one that I’d bother with for the house, but the garden is a sub tropical delight, surrounded by woodlands. To get there take the A381 as far as the hill leading down into Salcombe, and then pray that you don’t meet any vehicles along the way. The road goes down steeply with sharp bends big gaps between passing places, cars parked anywhere they can, before it climbs back up around hairpin bends that give you white knuckles. This is coming from a Devon lass, who fearlessly drives narrow, winding lanes in the dark. Of course you might get lucky and not meet a soul! Parking is limited, but we were lucky, so we climbed the last quarter mile up the hill.
Where this view waited.
But we won’t go down the steps to the lower garden yet, we’ve had a long drive and need some refreshments. This is the view from the café.
There’s one of several lawned areas up on the high garden. I failed to capture the true magenta colour of the gladioli’s, never mind, I can see it in my mind’s eye, and you can see how bright the sun was.
which of course had Datura’s as well. I should make the effort to call them Brugmansia, but is doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely does it?
I could sit there all day, but there are lots more lovely plants to see, so off I stroll.
Up another flight of steps,
to the highest point and the best view.
Some more exotica on the way down for ice cream, Salcombe Dairy Honeycombe, it would be rude not to.
I still didn’t get to sit in here!
So it’s back down the lane, past the Acer glade.
I probably only strolled a mile and a half around Overbecks, but I think Jo would like it there and happily share the walk. If you come to Devon and like the idea of visiting Overbecks, I’d go on a weekday during school term, the last couple miles of road should be a lot easier.