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!

 

The Beginning and End of a Garden Day

Last Sunday my friend picked me up to take me for a birthday trip. It was a very grey day, and the direction we took meant that the forecast rain was inevitable. It was quite odd to be in the passenger seat, Sue isn’t an enthusiastic driver so I’m usually behind the wheel even in her car. This is the road across Dartmoor.

Dartmoor roadIt doesn’t look promising does it?

Our actual destination doesn’t have any café facilities, and it was already 11.45 so we stopped off at Buckland, for coffee and halfsies on a piece of Bakewell tart.

beamsThe restaurant at Buckland has the most interesting old beams.

bucklandNational trust plant centres are always tempting but I knew there would be more interesting choices later on.

Now just play nicely together for a little while, because I’m not taking you where I went just yet, there are too many photos and I have to try to choose some okay ones from the endless blurred rainy day ones.

Three hours have passed and we’re back at Buckland, too late for a hot lunch or sandwich, but starving, thank goodness for a cheese and onion pasty! Then it’s outside for a stroll. It’s still grey but here are some cheerful stars.

dah1and a pretty garden wall and fence.

over the fence

with a very formal Elizabethan garden.

gardenThe last time I visited Buckland Abbey it was April and there wasn’t much to see in the garden at all. This time I mainly saw purple, pink and magenta.

Even around the corner in the border to the side of the Abbey.

border

Thank you Buckland for providing the contrast in the middle of my day!

Curves inside and out

Cheri at the Daily Post has chosen the theme of curves for this weeks photo challenge. I have a friend who likes straight lines in imagery, but I’ll always choose the curves and swirls we find in nature, in any design or art.

I took this first photo a few weeks ago at Coldharbour Mill, in east Devon. It was leaning against a wall at the back of a courtyard and I had to capture it.

curvesa1Next, there’s a humpy hedge behind these curvy evergreens. Apparently when it was a baby hedge, there was a very harsh winter and it was weighed down by snow. The gardeners tried to repair it, but failed and knowing they’d lost the battle, they decided to allow it to grow it’s own curvy way.

curve2

A few weeks ago I posted a black and white version of some William Morris wallpaper,

curvy

There were several comments about the original colours, so here it is, colours, curves and even a well placed ceramic plate.