Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Where Shall We Go On Our Journey Today - Crowland Abbey

It's been a while since Mumsy and I have been on a little journey out and about together.  So, after many, many months of driving past Crowland and promising Mumsy that I will take her there one day, yesterday was THE day.  No, not the best of days in the low January light but I think the low light added to this atmospheric place.  So, once again, you know the drill (even though it hasn't happened for a while!).  Grab a comfortable chair, a cup of tea and come along on a little journey through this interesting town.

We started at Crowland Abbey, (Croyland Abbey) full of history and visible evidence of its dissolution in 1539.  The nave and aisles continued to be used as the parish church.  It is thought that the main damage was caused by the fortification by the Royalists in 1643.  The building was taken by Cromwell in May 1643.
The grey open skies were all that was visible above us in the medieval nave.
And looking back towards the front of the building you could imagine how magnificent the windows and doors would have been.
From the front there is some stonework still remaining.  Some probably damaged by hatred but others by the Fenland weather.
Even though damaged the work is still beautiful to see.
Here you can see the extent of the damage.  Practically half is missing, but still visually stunning.
So, shall we have a look inside?  Just by the door there was a tiny gate.  I love these little secret wonders.
Inside was quite dark and VERY cold but what struck me as we came in the door were the bell ringers' ropes hanging like a beautiful spider's web above your head.
Then the Parish Church set out all before you.
To the left the Book of Common Prayer awaits the next service, all neatly stacked away.
To the right, a Norman Font.
As we made our way down the nave I noticed the chairs, so sweet with their document holders on the back.
This chest is 15th century and just felt so fantastic to see.  Apparently in Victorian times, the three locks were put on so that the Rector and the two Church Wardens would be present when opening.  I suppose you couldn't trust anyone back in those days!
Above our heads at the altar was something very strange...a Green Man!  The Green Man is a Pagan symbol of fertility so it was weird that this should be in a church.  The information said that the roof was in place in 1427 which would suggest that the altar was not in place at this time.
Looking back at the Church shows what a special place this is.
We continued outside to look at the ornate cemetery and walked under the ruins.
Now I'm a little bit nervous when stepping on gravestones and graves, I find it disrespectful so I was mortified when I realised what I was walking on as I went towards the cemetery.
Some were difficult to read, but with the footfall, their permanent reminders of the person who had passed were going to be lost forever.  I found this quite sad.  However, I wanted to go to the Victorian part of the cemetery with their ornate words and carvings.
So, as we both went into our own worlds of thoughts, Mumsy and I separated briefly to read and imagine the lives of the people held here.
Here a marker shows where the choir used to come up to.
The variations of the graves were beautiful to look at and read, as well as look at the different mosses and leaf fall surrounding the stones.
We spent so much time around here, totally immersed in a wonderful period of human history but there was more to see in town.  Thatched cottages!  Oh how I miss my Sweetbriar Cottage!  However mine was a little bit more weather proofed than this one, but doesn't it still look beautiful?  So much character!  I know the amount of work that the inhabitants have to do that is ongoing.  Thatched cottages are gorgeous but a money pit to whoever inhabits them!
Thatched tea room.  I love the look of The Old Copper Kettle and will make a return visit one day.  Can you see the thatched tea cup and saucer above the front eyebrow window?
The Abbey Hotel.
On our walk around the town we saw this sign...well, I had to take a shot didn't I?!  I don't think that it has any connection to the Thames, but it's a reminder of home!
And then this wonderful gem of a sign.
The sign is placed on this gem.  It is called Trinity Bridge and there is some fantastic facts and figures about this monument here.
The bridge dates back to about 1360 but the original wooden bridge would have been built about 716AD.
Can you see the ware from the amount of people who have climbed the stairs and walked across this bridge when water was running beneath it.
Now only people walk beneath it but you can attempt to climb its steep stones (I would suggest a dry day!)
As a treat we decided to have an impromptu picnic at the fishing lakes which is a short drive away.
Yes, fish and chips to enjoy on a cold, damp, grey, windy day on a picnic table!  They were delicious!  Even though people drove past us thinking we were mad!
So, Crowland was a sure hit and well worth waiting to see.  It is full of history and surprisingly quiet during a Saturday but it has some lovely shops, eating places and historical things to see.
Phew!  Well done if you are still with me.  I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and welcome to some new followers, it's lovely to have you along.

I'm going to have my own cup of tea now and catch up on some blog reading.

Have a lovely week.

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  1. What a beautiful church and town. You had a great day out by the looks of things. I have the same thing as you about walking over graves, I always try and edge between them or around them - which is hard sometimes isn't it. If I have to step on one, I try and make sure that it is the feet end, as that seems less awful (but still horrid!!!). Glad you enjoyed your visit though. xx

  2. Thank you I so enjoyed your tour. I'm not one to walk on graves either and would of had the heebie jeebies too. Beautiful old history in your visit. Love Leanne

  3. Dear Chel
    I loved this wander around Crowland - I used to live in Stamford, but never actually got out to visit there. What beautiful photos, full of atmosphere. I find looking round graveyards so interesting, not just for the social history but also for the peace and serenity that always seems to be there. Thank you for sharing your visit.
    Best wishes

  4. What an interesting place!

    The green man made laugh out loud!

    It was a shame it was grey & damp there, in Cheshire we have had brilliant sunshine - strange weather!

  5. Oh, wow. What a beautiful abbey and the town is so adorable. I absolutely love going along on trips like this through blogging. Old churches are one of my passions. I once took a college course in church architecture, from an art-history perspective, and it was one of my favorite courses I ever took. I still remember a lot from it and I love that you know the proper names of the different parts of the church structure too. It's good stuff to know, I think. :)

  6. Such a beautiful place. I'd love to walk across the bridge. A trip to you part of the UK would definitely be planned with help from your blog posts.

  7. That's a gorgeous place, by the look of it. And I'm with you about walking on graves and memorials. I try very hard not to do it and those worn stones would have saddened me too.

  8. What a fantastic place to visit. Thanks for taking us along on the journey!


  9. Thank you for the tour, it's not a place I knew about before but it sounds delightful. I love that old bridge!
    And I can definitely agree with your experience of the thatched cottage money pit!

  10. Chel, this tour was just amazing. I still am in awe of the ancient history in Britain compared to our less than 300 year history here in Canada. The cathedral ruins look ghostly in your first photos and I was surprised that half of the building is used for worship today. I always enjoy old graveyards but haven't walked in one this old! The thatch cottages are interesting and have such story book character to them. Thanks so much for the lovely tour. Oh, the bridge is fascinating since there is now no water under it. Have a great week Chel.

  11. Lovely! Thanks for taking us with you, Chel. :o)

  12. Lovely photos! I enjoyed the visit too!

  13. I'm just in awe that you live near anything so beautifully ancient, and timeworn. The thought of buildings with so much history is almost overwhelming when you realize that we live in a young country. Here we think a building from the turn of the 1900's is old. Obviously a trip to England is in my future, along with a camera.


  14. I love to travel along with your blog and your pictures and your writings are marvelous. Thank you...

  15. I'm glad you pointed out the thatched teacup and saucer. I would have totally missed it. What a whimsical touch. The church is achingly beautiful. Those lofty arches still reach up to the heavens, witness to the lives of men and women who built and worshipped there long ago. I'm longing to visit England one day. Medieval history fascinates me.

  16. What a fun day out with your mum! Crowland Abbey looks like an amazing place...love those cemetery photos. The green of the moss is so vibrant! The thatched roof of the tea room is so charming. I love the teacup and saucer! And...those fish and chips look divine! I would love a basket of that right now. Have a lovely week my friend....Blessings, Vicky

  17. Hi Chel, wow what a great tour and thanks for taking us on it! I really enjoyed this and I would have loved to have been there with you and your mum. I love all of that history with the church and the graves. I loved the tea house with the teacup on the roof too! Yes, the fish and chips look so good and one of my favorites. I do miss England so much. Wishing you a wonderful week and don't work too hard. Take care.
    Julie from across the pond

  18. Hi Chel, Thank you for the fantastic tour in Crowland Abbey! What a magnificient place - both centuries ago as well as today ... This is a place I wish to visit - our boys and my hubby are also interested in history and architecture, so it would be a great place to see :) How lovely that you and your mum had a day together ... Oh I miss my mom - she (and the rest of my family) lives in Finland. I had a week with her in May, we celebrated her 70th birthday - I'm looking forward to next summer, when we'll be 3 weeks with my family (I hope they'll come and visit us before :)
    Have a lovely week,

  19. Hi Chel, I so much enjoyed this post. One of my guilty pleasures is watching Midsomer Murders because of all the beautiful cottages, churches, and country landscapes they have there. But it was just as interesting to read your blog post and see these wonderful photos. Thank you for this tour.

    Olga in California

  20. Love all your photos! What an interesting place. We don't have anything anywhere near as old in the US. Thanks for giving us a tour.

  21. This was a wonderful tour.The landscapes, buildings, monuments, well...everything seems from an enchanted era. The picnic made perfect sense to me. Thank-you !

  22. Chel,
    What a fantastic tour of the beautiful church and surrounding area! I love the building architecture and all the details; it must have been truly awesome sight back in the day! The worn cemetery was sad and it's too bad that some names will be lost forever due to the age and weather. The Trinity Bridge is pretty cool and to think it has survived all these centuries is really amazing! Thanks again for the tour - visiting England is on my Bucket List!

    Las Vegas, NV

  23. I would definitely love to spend time walking around the old cemetery. What history....thinking of all of these people from olden times and how they lived their lives. Love seeing the old structures and buildings. So different from anything I ever see where I live. Enjoy your day my friend! Hope the sun comes out and brightens your day! Hugs1

  24. I enjoyed walking with you very much. I adore that little tearoom with the thatched teacup! And now, I feel like having fish and chips!

  25. Chel, Thank you so much for the beautiful tour. I really enjoyed seeing all the architecture and learning the history. The thatched roofs are awesome!! England is spectacular!!

  26. Now that is a place I would love to visit sometime, You should visit my other blog "My Grave Place" you might have someting in common with me. Thanks for visiting my blog

  27. Beautiful historic place. I can imagine how grand it would have looked then with whatever remains I can see now.

  28. Chel, I really enjoyed my visit o your blog and the walk around the ruins of this once magnificent church and historic cemetery! Your photos are wonderful. Seeing the fish and chips made me hungry :)

  29. Wow - amazing place, great shots and I just adore that ancient bridge.

  30. Oh my, I wish to visit here one day and I will definitely have a cup of tea. Thanks for sharing Chel. :-)

  31. Very interesting place. Nice photos

  32. How blessed you are to get to experience such history -- completely lovely, at that. Gorgeous photos. Sounds like you had a great day exploring.

  33. Fascinating and unusual, both the bridge and the abbey. I know that Lincs is reputed to have some wonderful old buildings but I don't know the county very well. I really must go.

  34. Oh and I meant to say, yes, I did interview your amazing grandad.( I have written a bit about him as a response to your comment on my blog. ) small world indeed :)

  35. Such majesty and glory and history and beauty - I am overwhelmed. I loved every single step of the tour - thank you so much for showing the fabulous things we can never hope to see in person.

  36. Gorgeous! I loved virtually tagging along with you. I just wish I was there taking photos too :) Cemeteries are a huge fascination to me, the more ornate the headstone the better.

  37. My Gosh, now THIS is why I love your Country, there is no other place in the World that looks like the streets and towns of the UK, this was a beautiful post... completely gorgeous photos!
    Much love,

  38. Thanks for sharing, Chel! I love the houses and especially the trinity bridge photos :-). Have a nice evening!


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