Buckfast Abbey

 

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.

abb1Benedictine 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.

abb10What an achievement.

abb2Impressive doors.

Once inside, initially I was distinctly underwhelmed, until I stopped comparing it to the Cathedral in Exeter. abb9The vaulting is different but interesting.

abb3
A beautiful screen.

And some pretty chapels.

abb6
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, glass

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!

 

Vintage Ashburton

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!

A Seascape Framed

A seascape for Paula,

seascape

Paula says,

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.

Traces of the past

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.

uffculme-1-01
Paula is always happy to have people join in with her challenge, pop over and see her!

Wildside, the Bit in the Middle

Last week I posted about a quick visit to Buckland Abbey and hinted that I went somewhere else, between munch stops there. As well as Buckland, just two miles away is the beautiful Garden House, a long time favourite of mine. It was created by Keith Wiley, and considered one of the most innovative gardens in Britain. Keith left the Garden House behind twelve years ago, but he didn’t go very far, Wildside, along with Buckland and the Garden House form a trio of must see gardens, within three miles.

With his wife, artist Ros Wiley, Keith has taken a few acres of field and transformed it into a paradise filled with plants from close to home and around the world. The garden has a naturalistic style, and aims to allow plants to thrive as they would in the wild. They began by developing the lower garden.

It looks so mature, you’d never believe it’s only been twelve years.

The upper garden and the transitional areas are still being worked on, but of course a garden is never finished anyway.

I’m afraid it was a rainy day, I was holding my camera and an umbrella and both wobbled around, so my photos don’t do the garden justice. I’ll just have to go back again!

The garden is only open a few days each year, and they have a few plants for sale. My eyes feasted on a little Molly the Witch peony, I brought it home and hope I can keep it alive. Keith and Ros were there and happy to chat, I asked how many people they have helping them. The answer, none, they’ve done it all on their own, a remarkable feat.

I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area at the right time, and I intend to watch the future developments of this glorious floral canvas.

Weekly Photo Challenge, Opposites

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.

warren2Now, 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.

warren1Does this second photo help or hinder? I promise you that nature and manmade are definitely opposites here!

Pimm's o'Clock
Pimm’s o’clock

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.

 

Orchid Alley

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.

bu1Just 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.