November 25, 2010

1 Brimham Rocks

 There's not too much to say, Brimham Rocks is an area filled with natural rock formations.  It's only about 10 minutes from our house, and happens to be Sloan's favorite place on earth, so we go there frequently.   The area has enough trails to get hopelessly lost, which is where Max comes in (he's remarkable at finding his way back to the car).  There's flat paths through heather and ferns as well as meandering trails through the massive rocks- most of which are climbable with fantastic views over Nidderdale.    We headed there on Thanksgiving Day, and we were one of two cars there due to the massive snowfall.   These pictures are only from the main central area, to give you a taste!

November 14, 2010

0 Scarborough (Take Two) and Whitby Abbey

We took my mom to Scarborough, since it's a great city to visit with a cool castle.  Again, we had a cold, blustery day- we'll have to go one day next summer just to enjoy the beach! 

The architecture here (these terraced houses are the closest to the beach in this area, just down the street from the castle) reminds me of San Francisco.  The difference is, as I commented to Paul, in San Francisco they'd say "These houses are 100 years old!!" and in Scarborough "These houses are only 100 years old!!"  (I don't actually know how old these particular houses are.)

Since we'd already seen the castle (previous post) Paul, Sloan, Max, and I spent most of the time just walking the grounds looking at the views.

Anne Bronte's grave in St. Mary's Church graveyard.

After strolling along the harbor in Scarborough and stopping for some fish and chips, we headed over to Whitby.  Unfortunately we got there with only about 45 minutes of daylight left, so we didn't explore the town any, but here's a view from near the Abbey.

The harbor/ocean view from near the Abbey.

And... Whitby Abbey!  These ruins date mostly from the 13th century.

Looking towards the presbytery over the pond.

The inside of the presbytery.

Presbytery wall.

Lovely little sitting area.

Detail near the West front.

Unfortunately we had an abrupt end to our visit to Whitby, as Sloan decided to tempt fate and give us all heart attacks.  Paul was looking over a wall into the courtyard of Whitby Abbey House, a grand home built by the Cholmleys during the 1600s, and now used as the museum/entrance point to the ruins.  The wall Paul was looking over was about three feet on the Abbey side, but had a fourteen foot drop to the courtyard on the opposite side.  Sloan, who Paul had on a 16ft retractable leash with her harness (thankfully!), decided to run over and, without pausing, leap over the wall.   From her scrapes we believe she landed first on her rear feet, as the courtyard was covered in tiny, smooth rocks and she had some scratches and cuts between her toes, then she fell to her knees, evidenced by deeper scratches on both of those.  No broken bones, no torn ligaments, no cracked teeth... we all felt very fortunate.  However, because of the panic set in (even Max was panicked!) we decided to go ahead and leave, and in case she exhibited signs of internal injuries we wanted to be able to get her to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.  She's fine, although we now are careful to take precautions at ALL sites- she's far too much of a daredevil!!

November 12, 2010

0 The Border Abbeys Part II; Dryburgh (and Kelso)

As we were driving over to Dryburgh Abbey we drove over a hill and came upon a gorgeous view.  Unfortunately I didn't have all my camera gear, just my camera, so there's some sun spots for you, but I've learned that when you're living at 53° (and even Norther on this trip!) the winter sun is LOW.  Anyway, it was a gorgeous stop, which explains why there is a layby with a walking path there.

Our third stop on the Border Abbey Tour was Dryburgh Abbey.  It was the most secluded of the 4, being the only one outside of a town.  Most of what remains of the Abbey was built in the early 13th century, with a good bit remaining from the rebuild following English attacks in both 1322 and 1385, the latter being devastating.  
The North Transept from near the the west door of the church. 

This sword/cross stands amongst the grave markers in the area that was once just outside the nave wall.  The inscription says "This cross of sacrifice is identical with those which stand above the dead of Lord Haig's armies in France and Flanders."  Both Field Marshal Earl Haig and Sir Walter Scott are buried at the Abbey.

Sloan atop the corner tower of the presbytery.  Paul was under her, holding her harness with two hands!

Yeah... so we may have broken a little rule here.  She's a nut. 

A bookshelf nook in the east cloister wall.   The plaque says "Book cupboard, fitted with doors and shelves (note grooves for shelves)".  Clever masons.

The east processional door.  Apparently it was removed to a mansion near Kelso for a period of time, but was reinstated at the Abbey in 1894. 

More rule breaking.  In their defense, Sloan and Max just wanted to experience history by sitting in the same spots in the Chapter House that monks sat in 900 years ago.  They're method scholars.

Rose window in the South Range.   Part of why this Abbey is so important to historians is that while little remains of the nave and church, many of the outbuildings and living areas are prominent, giving us an idea of the everyday life of the monks.

The gatehouse (with Sloan!) and a view of the South Range behind.

David Steuart Erskine, eleventh Earl of Buchan, was greatly responsible for the preservation of the ruins.  He purchased the estate in 1786 and greatly supported the rights of ruins.  Despite this mindset, he did some "improvements" he felt appropriate.  One of these is the obelisk on the south end of the abbey. 

Hugh de Moreville, constable of Scotland and good friend to David I of England, founded the Abbey.  I'm not sure if he's represented on both sides of the obelisk or if one side is someone else. 

Check out his foxy 'stache!  No wonder he was so successful, who can resist that?!?!

Tibetan Cherry tree growing along the path.  Nothing important that I know of, just a really pretty tree even without leaves. 

Kelso Abbey was unfortunately closed on the day we were there, but it's a fairly sparse ruin in the middle of the town, so we walked around it.  It was dusk by the time we were there, so you get a couple of blurry pictures.  Note how tall it is: 5 storeys!!

A picture of the inner detail.  Sorry I don't really have any more info, since there wasn't a guide book for Kelso.

Going to another country and seeing four abbeys is a long day!! She was sooooo tuckered out!  

0 The Border Abbeys Part I; Jedburgh and Melrose

 We took my mom to Scotland!  Really, just to the Borders.  Paul and I skipped this area on our Scotland Trip, so we headed up with my mom.   There are four Border Abbeys: Jedburgh, Melrose, Dryburgh, and Kelso.  

Our first stop was Jedburgh. View of the nave, transepts, and tower from the kitchen ruins.  This area was started in the late 12th century.

Tomb in the East End.  

 Door to the North Transept, which was later used as the Ker family's burial place.  The tombs and memorials date back to the early 16the century.

 Lions and.... oh, stags. Not unicorns.

 The most content effigy I've ever seen.

Doorway into the nave restored in the late 1800s. 

You didn't think we left them behind this time, did you?!?!?!

Details of the doorway.

 The west end of the nave.

East End of the nave from the west tower.

Guess what I like?  ARCHES!

Side view of the nave from across the river.

Our next stop was Melrose.  The current ruins were built in the late 14th century after the original 12th century church was destroyed by the English army.  This view is from the nave looking at the screen (leftish center) with the South aisle along the right side.  

I like the window trefoil-y design.

The north transept, from the ground and the stair climb up.

Stone benches lining the cloister.

The lintel over the commendator's house- the initials are James Douglas (commendator) and his wife, Mary Ker.  Medieval graffiti!!
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