Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why isn't it called a Monkery?

Buildwas Abbey Ruins

I am not a religious person, but still like the history of it all. I am in awe of just how old the ruins are. The first time I paid a visit was in 2004 and I just snapped pictures from outside a fence. This time I walked inside the walls, as it is open until the end of September. Being inside the still standing sandstone left me wondering what the building was like in 1135 when the floor and roof was intact. Looking up reveals the blue sky and the green grass under feet was most likely wonderful tiles. Inside were a small order of monks numbering from 6-12 at any given time. They made their living collecting tolls to pass on a bridge they built across the Severn river. Being relatively close to Wales the walls could tell of a few attacks from the Welsh. Including an abduction of the monks by Welsh border raiders in 1350. In spite of the attacks, for the most part things were relatively peaceful. Imagine the foundations of their quiet life shaken by a monk called Thomas Tong murdering the abbot!

Please notice the thickness of the walls in the top right picture in the collage below.

Buildwas Abbey near Ironbridge, England was built as a cruciform, Savignac monastry that merged with the Cisterian order. In 1536 "I'm Henry the VIII, I am" dissolved such things as monastries including Buildwas (It's a king thing.) The area was granted to Lord Powys.

Here is a sort of virtual tour:

Where the hired workers stayed....

Well, it's a Crypt....It was a bit creepy to be in there. Sacristy where religious type props were kept and the Chapter House were they held meetings.

Sedilia were there were once ceremonial seats near an alter.
A nature walk around the perimeter of the abbey grounds.

The nature walk takes one to what was once the abbot's house and is now a private clubhouse with beautiful grounds and a place to bowl.

....And here we are back to the abbey. We can see it here through the brush along the nature trail.
I can't wait to make some HDR images from what is left on my camera!!!


  1. Very cool! I saw some pre-Incan ruins a few days ago...Hard to imagine just how old those are!!

  2. Wow ! The photos are wonderful.
    I have always wanted to visit places like that.
    The stones must resonate with the history and the people who lived there !
    I love history and archeology.

    Did you see this ?

    What an amazing find...I would love to see it and read what they discover about it.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Marcie ! :o)