I’m sharing with you one of my favorite places in the UK and Ireland. I’d like to paint a picture of a large ruined gothic church nestled next to the river Wye in a green valley. The sun has yet to break through and the mist is rising from the river, and you are watching this stately, large ruin appear in front of you. It may be fall and there is a little chill in the morning air but being here at Tintern Abbey makes it all worthwhile.
Originally built in 1131 these old stones hold a fascination for me, every time I visit, I walk the grounds and feel the history of the place, the people working in the fields, the monks in their church and a closeness with nature.
The leadership of the order said that “none of our houses is to be built in cities, in
castles or villages; but in places remote from the conversation of men. Let there be no towers of stone for bells, nor of wood of an immoderate height, which are unsuited to the simplicity of the order” and in all the Cistercian sites that I have visited they have been true to this mandate.
In my next post I will speak to another of these ruins that was very close to where I used to live.
Image attribution – Saffron Blaze, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons