Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas – Wales.

Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas, within the Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons National Park south east Wales.

An Augustinian Priory until the dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII.

As can be seen from the J.M.W Turner picture below, between 1794 & 2019 the site has reduced in size considerably.

(From Tate Images & Google)
The artist J.M.W Turner’s 1794 painting of Llanthony Priory

In the early 1100s a Norman nobleman, Walter de Lacy, took shelter from a rainstorm in a ruined chapel. Inspired by its remoteness and serenity, he decided to build a church. Others were soon drawn there, finding it a place for solitary prayer, and by 1118 a group of monks from England converted it to Llanthony Priory.

Llanthony’s isolation placed the Priory in a vulnerable position, not helped by the local inhabitants resenting the English monks occupying Welsh land. They repeatedly attacked the building; it was also targeted by thieves, so by 1135 the monks were forced to retreat over the border to Gloucester where they founded Llanthony Secunda. Between 1186 and 1217, again probably around 1325 building work took place allowing the Priory to become fully functional again and on Palm Sunday, April 4, 1327, Edward II visited. Its regained status was not to last, in the early 15th century it was attacked yet again, this time by the Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr as part of his campaign to recapture Welsh land from the English. This started a period of decline and the Priory finally closed in 1538 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII.

St Michaels Church Clapton in Gordano Somerset.

The above image shows an example of Witch markings or hexfoils found on the entrance to St Michaels Church Clapton in Gordano Somerset.

People would scratch specific symbols as an act of devotion or to evoke good luck – these symbols would often take the form of a daisy wheel, or hexfoil, a pattern with endless lines. hopefully to confuse and entrap evil spirits.

Similar patterns can be found on doors in a lot of the abandoned villages I visited in Oman and used for exactly the same reason: they would invoke good luck and well-being for the family or ward off evil or malevolent spirits (Jinn).

Those found in Britain come from a time when a belief in witches and superstition was part of everyday life. People constantly sought protection from evil spirits that might entrap them or cause harm to family or livestock.
They are found in churches, Chapels, cottages along with agricultural buildings and were used from medieval times right upto the 18th century. The oldest so far found in UK (as far as I know) are mid 13th century examples on door frames at Donington le Heath Manor House in Leicestershire.

The Church of St Michael Clapton in Gordano, Somerset, England, dates from the 13th century, although the 12th-century tympanum (semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, door or window)  is the oldest visible part of the church, the majority of the building is from the 13th century.

Unfortunately I was unable to visit the inside, I needed to request a key from the custodians as it is no longer a fully active church; a return visit is a must.

Whitby – Mid 1970’s No8.

Zenit B with Helios 44 58mm f/2, M42 screw mount lens: Ilford FP4.

All the images so far, came from negatives that I have not looked at for over 40 years. Made with a non-metered Russian made Zenit B using the ‘sunny 16 rule, on Ilford’s FP4 which they introduced in 1968 as a replacement for their FP3; produced from 1942 – 1968. As I did not process my own films in those days, they were taken to local camera shops for development & printing on postcard size paper.

As a matter of interest: The statue of Captain James Cook (1728-1779)  can just be seen on the upper right of the first image, his ships ‘Resolution’ and ‘Endeavour’ were built in Whitby.

Jousting – Castle Howard.

An enjoyable afternoon watching jousting.

Jousting is a martial game between two horsemen wielding lances with blunted tips. Each participant trying hard to strike the opponent while riding towards him at high speed. The objective being to break the lance on the opponent’s shield or unhorse him.

We were very luck because although the weather was somewhat overcast, there was no rain, even though the going was rather soft from the previous days rain, it did not seem to upset the horses or riders.

 

Castle Howard – Nth Yorkshire.

Castle Howard between rain showers, its been a very wet May.

From that well-known encyclopædia:-

Building of Castle Howard began in 1699 and took over 100 years to complete to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. The site was that of the ruined Henderskelfe Castle, which had come into the Howard family in 1566 through the marriage of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk to Elizabeth Leyburne, widow of Thomas, 4th Baron Dacre. For the Duke of Norfolk’s son Lord William Howard had married his step-sister Elizabeth Dacre, the daughter of the 4th Baron Dacre who brought with her the sizeable estates of Henderskelfe and Naworth Castle as well.
The house is surrounded by a large estate which, at the time of the 7th Earl of Carlisle, covered over 13,000 acres and included the villages of Welburn, Bulmer, Slingsby, Terrington and Coneysthorpe.The estate was served by its own railway station, Castle Howard, from 1845 to the 1950s.

Abandoned buildings – Castle Howard Estate No3.

The third section of the abandoned buildings on the Castle Howard Estate.

As can be seen from the dull & overcast sky; the weather has not been kind, but it is nice being able to get away and spend some time in the area. Infact will probably spend the next couple of months going back & fore as there is a lot going on for spring and early summer. The Castle Howard house, grounds, gardens & several events are not to be missed.

Stanton Drew – Stone circles Somerset No2.

Before sunrise & in the opposite direction from the earlier post I made.

This from wikipedia & English Heritage.
Geophysical work by English Heritage in 1997 revealed a surrounding ditch and nine concentric rings of postholes within the stone circle. More than four hundred pits, 1 metre (3ft 3in) across and at 2.5 metres (8ft 2in) intervals, stood in rings at the site. The ditch is 135 metres (443ft) in diameter and about 7 metres (23ft) wide. A 40 metres (130ft) wide entrance was visible on the north-east side. No surrounding bank has been identified although the site awaits excavation.

The geophysical work transformed the traditional view of Stanton Drew as being a surface monument and the Great Circle is now seen as being one of the largest and most impressive Neolithic monuments to have been built. Analogous with the circles of postholes at sites at Woodhenge, Durrington Walls and The Sanctuary, it is thought that the pits would have held posts which would have either been freestanding or lintelled as they could not have supported a roof at that size. The postholes in nine concentric rings held posts up to 1 metre (3.3ft) in diameter indicating the use of ancient trees which were sacred to the druids.

Nearby and to the north-east is a smaller ring of eight stones in the centre of which the geophysical work identified four further pits. A third ring of twelve stones, measuring 43 metres (141 t) wide, stands to the south-west.

The Cove.
A fluxgate gradiometer survey in July 2009 investigated standing stones in the garden of the Druids Arms public house known as The Cove, which showed that the stones date from nearly a thousand years before the stone circles. The conclusion from the study was that these upright stones are likely to have been the portals or façade of a chambered tomb.
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/siteassets/home/visit/places-to-visit/stanton-drew-circles-and-cove/stanton_drew_circles_and_cove_research_2.jpg?maxwidth=1080&mode=none&scale=downscale&quality=60&anchor=&WebsiteVersion=20190116