Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fleeting Dance Of The Water Ladies?

This water fountain at Mulgrave Castle in Lythe seems to be attempting to mimic the stance of her stone companion. The gardens of the castle are open once a year to the public with the proceeds going to charity. Beautiful as they are in their grandeur, the gardens somehow have an austere, lonely ambience about them. Perhaps this otherwise secret garden just needs more beholders of its beauty? After weeks of hot sunny weather we had a thunderstorm on Saturday night with a heavy downpour. You could all but hear the grass and trees gulping down the cool pools of rainwater. So the gardens were able to put on their Sunday best, and a dazzling feast of richest green greeted the visitor. Same time next year ladies?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An Enduring Habit

Apologies for the lengthy absence. Its all to do with football and holidays - hopefully I'm back on track now.!
Monks certainly knew how to pick a spot. The locations of most Abbeys seem to be in idyllic settings- and Rievaulx Abbey near Helmsley is no different in this respect. The beauty of Rievaulx is in the detail which has survived the centuries, dissolutions and the apathy of our ancient forebears. Floor tiles are still visible in many parts, as are fonts which would have contained Holy water. The communal latrine still conjures bizarre images of the brethren hoisting their habits as they discuss the scriptures and the latest fashions in bald spots. Indeed, the latrine is perched twenty feet or so above a channeled stream with still runs freely today. One thing which drew my interest was the altar stone in the presbytery. On it are some inscriptions. If one assumes that it would have been sacreligeous for the Cistercians to defile the stone in such way - then it can be safely deducted that this graffitti occured sometime between the dissolution and the present day. It is reasonably easy to pick out 'JF' - done it seems in a kind of fluted style. Below this seems to be the words 'W (S?) Atkins'
Perhaps you see it differently? - any suggestions would be most welcome. I expect the answers will never be found, but to 'JF' and the elusive 'Mr (or Mrs) Atkins' - you haven't quite got away with it yet! Amen