Roche Abbey: Of trees & stone

Since I’d already visited the ruins of Roche Abbey last year, my daughter and I took a walk around the perimeter, enjoying sights of water and woodland and wildflowers (documented in this previous post).

Once within sight of the abbey itself, the camera angles were necessarily compromised by fences, distance, intermittent clouds in a late afternoon and some shooting between light and dark features which gave too many white skies.

These were all frustrations for the photographer but as visitor I am awed by the remains of what was once a moderate but magnificent edifice.
Founded in the 12th century as a monastery of the Cistercian order, Roche Abbey was once home to 50 monks and 100 lay brothers.”

The various rooms are quite clearly defined, and many of the functional places sat over or besides the canalised Maltby Beck

Despite the monastery being suppressed in 1538, and most of the buildings dismantled, the soaring early Gothic transepts of this Cistercian monastery still survive to their original height and are ranked in importance with the finest early Gothic architecture in Britain. ” English Heritage

Of trees and stone an intermingled scene,
The shady precipice and rocky green.
Nature behold, to please and to surprise,
Swell into bastions, or in columns rise:

Enter with reverence her hallowed gate,
And trace the glorious relics of her state;
The meeting arches, pillared walks admire,
Or, musing, hearken to the silenced choir.
Encircling groves diffuse a solemn grace,
And dimly fill th’ historic window’s place;”

A Voyage to Tintern Abbey ~ Sneyd Davies ~ 1745