Friday, November 6

PFF: Glastonbury Abbey

Thanks to Henry VIII, Glastonbury Abbey became
a ruin after being sold and nearly dismantled in the
aftermath of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

But even in tatters, its remaining "bones" retain enough
of their former majesty to take one's breath away.

The one remaining wall of the Nave is at the right.
The people are standing in the entrance to the Choir.
Structures that were once parts of an even larger whole.
This was taken from behind the remains of the Lady Chapel.
(Photo made by the author in June 2003)

Here's a marvelous video of the Abbey grounds,
with labels that explain what you're seeing:

After a few moments imagining how much more awesome
these stately structures must've been before being so
unceremoniously taken apart, awe turns to anger
that such splendor was destroyed in order for
a mere mortal to discard one wife and
wed another more to his liking.

Other posts in the Glastonbury Series:
Abbey Tea Rooms (Tuesday Tea Things)
Round Glastonbury (Wordless Wednesday)
Glastonbury Unplugged (Thursday Drive)

Happy PFF!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Marie's Postcard Friendship Friday


Marie Reed said...

This is fascinating. Your feeding my youtube addiction though. I have a serious problem:) I stayed up till 3 last night watching the Lion in Winter with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. Every REALLY is on youtube!

JamaGenie said...

The Lion in Winter is on Youtube? Drats! I didn't need to know that! I should be in bed (6 hour time dif remember) because I have plumbers coming in the morning.

Sheila said...

We have many ruins in the UK and I believe they have a beauty of their own. There were so many monasteries in those days, I think it's safe to assume that they wouldn't have all survived the following nearly 600 years intact. I'd almost prefer to see the ruins than an unsympathetic conversion.

JamaGenie said...

Sheila, I was told (in 2003) that it would cost 30 million pounds to rebuild/restore GB Abbey, and the money was available. But the idea was rejected because the Abbey's real worth, charm, whatever, is as a ruin. So you aren't the only one who prefers ruins. I do too.

I should add I was equally awestruck by Westminster Abbey, which of course has been altered many times over the years. But that was a gradual "conversion". No way could a rebuilt Glastonbury Abbey emerge with its original ambiance - modern building and fire codes would take precedence over historical integrity.

gaelikaa said...

Lovely post! My sentiments exactly. But the truth is there was a lot more to it than the divorce business. The Roman Church had a lot of power which the European political leaders were anxious to break. I am a devout Roman Catholic, but I am aware of this! Things just sort of came together as they sometimes do!

Postcardy said...

Very impressive. I never have been to England and had never heard of Glastonbury Abbey before.

JamaGenie said...

Postcardy, Glastonbury is thought to be the mythical Avalon, and the Abbey is reportedly where King Arthur and Guinevere are buried. So you may not have heard of Glastonbury Abbey, but are probably familiar with the stories set in the area around it. A magical place!

A Plethora of Postcards said...

Looks like an amazing place to wander around and wonder.

Beth Niquette said...

Beautiful postcard of this mysterious place. I have always been fascinated by the stories surrounding these ruins.

Happy PFF!


oh, beautiful images! and so wonderful of you to share with all of us! i've not yet visited my family's home there - and those in scotland, ireland and france - but plan to - in the meantime, i must rely upon the kindness of spirits such as yours for touches of home!
have a beautiful day!

AnitaNH said...

The ruins must be even more beautiful by moonlight. Happy PFF.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I've really been enjoying this series of posts but what I wanted to say - as a fellow blogger - is that I really like the way you've developed this theme across several different memes.
Very elegant!
Evelyn in Montreal

JamaGenie said...

Thanks, Evelyn! Using several memes seemed the way to go, since I had way too many photos for a single post. Yet to come are Glastonbury Tor, Chalice Well, and a lesser known sacred well whose name escapes me now.

JamaGenie said...

CORRECTION: it's not a well, but a mound - Bride's Mound, west of town at the foot of Wearyall Hill.

Ocean Girl said...

I love ruins and especially ruins that I know of the story behind it.

I remember during our trip to Beijing after watching the movie, the Last Emperor, I was disappointed to find the Forbidden City full of tourists (I was one of them and I came with a bus load of them) and also to find all the intricate drawings and paints on the wall were new.

Thank you for sharing the pictures, video and the facts and stories.

Frieda Babbley said...

Imagine if history like this were lost. Imagine if we could know more. Brought to mind that war has destroyed so many stories. Gorgeous video. I love the music it's put to.

bettyl said...

I would so love to be able to explore all the ancient building ruins around the world. Thanks for sharing with us.