St William’s College – York.

My files of the late 1970’s: from an Ilford FP4 negative.

St William’s College, a Mediaeval building in York which was originally built to provide accommodation for priests attached to chantry chapels at nearby York Minster.

The college was founded in c.1465 by George Neville and the Earl of Warwick to house twenty-three priests and a provost. While the college was not a monastic establishment, it was affected by the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the college then passed into secular ownership.

The building was bought by the Province of York in 1912 for use by its convocation.

See this link for a full history of the building: York Civic trust St William’s college.

Part of Rievaulx Abbey ?

Another old negative: this one from 1987 or 88. I am reasonably sure it’s Rievaulx Abbey
North Yorkshire.

The file sheet said: Abbey – Nikon F4 with Tokina 35-70 f2.8 AIs AT-X / T-max 400. There are 22 negatives in the file sheet and all of the same place.
I remember visiting Rievaulx Abbey in the mid 1980’s and as T-max came on the market in 1986, these were probably made late 87 or 88. That’s the problem going through old negatives, I was not so careful making notes as I assumed I would remember.

Up date: found the receipt for my Nikon F4, so this dates these to no earlier than 1988. 

Rievaulx Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1131 by Walter Espec in a secluded valley on the edge of the North York Moors.

The first structures at Rievaulx were temporary timber buildings, intended to serve only until proper permanent buildings could be erected in stone. The first stone structures were begun under the first abbot, William (1132-1145), sometime after 1135.
From these modest beginnings grew one of the wealthiest monasteries of medieval England and the first northern Cistercian monastery. Rievaulx enjoyed the protection of nearby Helmsley Castle, the owners of which provided much of the abbey’s land.

The plan for Rievaulx was to follow the same layout as that of the mother abbey of the order at Citeaux, in France. This consisted of a large church with a cloister range to the south. Abbot William’s church was taken down and rebuilt on a grand scale by the third abbot, Aelred (1147-1167).

The east end of the church was later torn down and enlarged by Abbot Roger II (1223-1239). One unusual feature at Rievaulx is the orientation of the church. Most churches in Britain, certainly established in the medieval period, are oriented loosely on an east/west line. At Rievaulx the layout of the site necessitated a different approach, and the abbey church is laid out on a north/south line.

The abbey was expanded in the period 1145-1165 and again in the late 12th century. Interestingly, though Rievaulx was reckoned the most important Cistercian house in England in the late 12th century, it reached the peak of its power around 1200, and from that point on life at Rievaulx became a struggle. Part of the struggle was the monk’s own fault; an ambitious programme of rebuilding and extending the abbey buildings in the 13th century led to heavy debts.

In the 13th century, a series of epidemics ravaged the abbey’s flocks of sheep, leaving them with far lower income than expected. They did engage in minor rebuilding during the 14th century, but by then the abbey had truly fallen upon hard times.

Parts of the abbey buildings were torn down in the 15th century and by the time of it’s suppression and confiscation by Henry VIII in 1538, it supported 22 monks and 100 lay people. Compare that to the 1160s when, under Abbot Aelred, it had a population of 140 monks and more than 500 lay brothers.
Above taken from: British History on line/ Catholic Encyclopædia & Encyclopædia Britannica.

 

Whitby Abbey mid 1970’s.

Whitby Abbey made on Ilford FP4 from the mid 1970’s

Not a good negative as it was processed by a camera/film store around 1974, well before I did my own processing. But it does show the Abbey before the tourism catchment (money making) ideology took hold. All is not lost because with a little diffusion and printing on semi-matte paper, it gives a nice 8×10 print.

From that Encyclopædia in he sky:

Whitby Abbey was a 7th-century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine abbey. The abbey church was situated overlooking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, England, a centre of the medieval Northumbrian kingdom. The abbey and its possessions were confiscated by the crown under Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1545.

The first monastery was founded in 657 AD by the Anglo-Saxon era King of Northumbria, Oswy (Oswiu) as Streoneshalh (the older name for Whitby). He appointed Lady Hilda, abbess of Hartlepool Abbey and grand-niece of Edwin, the first Christian king of Northumbria, as founding abbess. The name Streoneshalh is thought to signify Fort Bay or Tower Bay, in reference to a supposed Roman settlement that previously existed on the site. This contention has never been proven and alternative theories have been proposed, such as the name meaning Streona’s settlement. Some believe that the name referred to Eadric Streona, but this is highly unlikely for chronological reasons. Streona died in 1017 so the naming of Streoneshalh would have preceded his birth by several hundred years.

The double monastery of Celtic monks and nuns was home (614–680) to the great Northumbrian poet Cædmon.

In 664 the Synod of Whitby took place at the monastery to resolve the question of whether the Northumbrian church would adopt and follow Celtic Christian traditions or adopt Roman practice, including the manner of calculating the date of Easter and form of the monastic tonsure. The decision, with the support of King Oswy, was for adopting Roman practices and the date of Easter was set.

Streoneshalch monastery was laid waste by Danes in successive raids between 867 and 870 under Ingwar and Ubba and remained desolate for more than 200 years. A locality named ‘Prestebi’ was recorded in the Domesday Survey, which may be a sign that religious life was revived in some form after the Danish raids. In Old Norse, this name means a habitation of priests.The old monastery given to Reinfrid comprised about 40 ruined monasteria vel oratoria, similar to Irish monastic ruins with numerous chapels and cells.

Reinfrid, a soldier of William the Conqueror, became a monk and traveled to Streoneshalh, which was then known as Prestebi or Hwitebi (the “white settlement” in Old Norse). He approached William de Percy for a grant of land, who gave him the ruined monastery of St. Peter with two carucates of land, to found a new monastery. Serlo de Percy, the founder’s brother, joined Reinfrid at the new monastery, which followed the Benedictine rule. Of de Percy’s building the greater part was pulled down and the monastery rebuilt on a larger scale in the 1220s.

The Benedictine abbey was thriving for centuries, as a centre of learning. This second monastery was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The Abbey was bought by Sir Richard Cholmley, It remained in the Cholmley family and their descendants, the Strickland family. The Strickland family passed it to the UK government in 1920. The ruins are now owned and maintained by English Heritage.

In December 1914, Whitby Abbey was shelled by the German battlecruisers Von der Tann and Derfflinger, which crew “were aiming for the Coastguard Station on the end of the headland.” Scarborough and Hartlepool were also attacked.The Abbey buildings sustained considerable damage during the ten-minute attack.

Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula featured a creature, described as resembling a large dog, which came ashore at the headland and climbed the 199 steps which lead up to the Whitby Abbey ruins.

 

I digress.


Reading Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England: and in book 1 “The rights of persons” I came across a quote that I thought rather pertinent for what’s going on here in UK at the moment:-

England can never be ruined except by a Parliament.

It was said by the lord treasurer William Cecil, 1ˢᵗ Baron Burghley (1520 – 1598), the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572. (From The Encyclopædia Britannica).

For those wondering why I would read such a book, curiosity got the better of me after noticing it being refereed to rather a lot just recently.

Old way marker.

Nikon F4, Nikkor 50mm f1.8 AFD lens on Ilford FP4

Not sure if this is an old Drovers’ way marker or a ‘Standing Stone’ that has been bypassed by the track.

From Wikipedia:
A drovers’ road, drove [road] or droveway is a route for moving livestock on foot from one place to another, such as to market or between summer and winter pasture Many drovers’ roads were ancient routes of unknown age; others are known to date back to medieval times

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 invoke 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.