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Weekend 493.3

This weekend I travelled to Bury St Edmunds. The Abbey of St Edmund was once the fourth largest Benedictine Abbey in Europe¹ before the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1500s. The cathedral is beautiful but imbued with a certain sense of sadness (although the hot sausage sandwich from the Pilgrims’ Kitchen assuaged some of that sadness). I’m not going to elaborate now since my immersion in the subject matter continues -and- any conclusions would be premature.

The Stripping of the Altars has been a bit of a companion, and whilst this work is a hefty academic tome, I’m mightily impressed with some its beautiful prose.

“…they make sense only in a community which placed a special value on the religious dimension of community, and believed that the prayers of the parish assembled precisely as a parish, either in fact or in the person of its representatives, its priest and wardens, were more powerful than the sum of its component parts.”

This afternoon I’m taking a break from this weighty subject and visiting a special exhibit of watercolors and engravings by J. M. W. Turner.

“In his early youth he [Turner] trained as a draughtsman in several architects’ offices, and set out on his career as a recorder of old buildings, abbeys, castle and all the favourite topics of the Romantic Picturesque.²”

“In his teens and early twenties, Turner made a number of sketching tours around the British Isles, visiting dramatic and romantic scenery, often the sites of medieval ruins. Here his feeling for the poetry of landscape developed, experienced through the atmospheres of mist, sunlight, rain and rainbows, resulting in magnificent watercolours…” Ibid.

(1) The Great Cloister, Cassiobury
(1a) View of the Archbishop’s Palace, Lambeth

(2) Landmark Arts Centre Printmaking Festival

(3) My Easter #RAILADVENTURE in Bury St Edmunds (Abbey Louisa Rose)

(4) Joseph Haydn: The Seasons – Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Salzburg 2013, HD 1080p)

¹If Henry VIII had not had the abbey dissolved the abbey church would have become an enormous cathedral or minster and Bury St Edmunds by now would be a city probably larger than York, Durham or Lincoln.

²J.M.W. Turner, R.A. the artist and his house a Twickenham

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