Abbey Gateway, Reading, England


The Abbey Gateway, Reading
1904-1908
Publisher: Knight Brothers (British Mirror Series)

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The Abbey Gateway was originally the inner gateway of Reading Abbey, which today is a large, mostly ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. The gateway adjoins Reading Crown Court and Forbury Gardens and is one of only two abbey buildings that have survived intact, the other being the Hospitium of St John the Baptist. It is a grade I listed building, and includes a porters lodge on the ground floor and a large open room above the gate. The gateway marked the division between the area of the abbey open to the public and the section accessible only to monks, with the abbot’s lodging just inside the gateway. The gateway thus became the meeting place between the abbot, who commanded considerable powers within the town, and the people of the town.
Wikipedia.


“Reading Abbey gateway”, by Rev. Thomas James Judkin, 1788-1871 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Abbey Gateway divided the monks’ private living quarters from the more public areas of the abbey. In the 1560s, Queen Elizabeth I turned the abbot’s house, which stood just through the gateway, into a royal palace. After Elizabeth’s death, the palace fell out of use and eventually new houses were built alongside the gateway. In the 18th century one of them was home to the Reading Ladies’ Boarding School, which used the gateway as a classroom. From 1785-86 a particularly talented pupil studied here: the future novelist Jane Austen. In 1861 the Gateway collapsed in a storm, shortly after funds had been raised for vital conservation. Instead the Gate had to be substantially rebuilt. This work was completed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a Victorian architect known for his Gothic Revival work.
Abbey Quarter

Netley Abbey, Netley, England


Southampton – Netley Abbey
Publisher: J. Baker. The Camp Stores, Hazeley Down, Winchester

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Netley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite royal patronage, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars nor churchmen, and its nearly 300-year history was quiet. The monks were best known to their neighbours for the generous hospitality they offered to travellers on land and sea. In 1536, Netley Abbey was seized by Henry VIII of England during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the buildings granted to William Paulet, a wealthy Tudor politician, who converted them into a mansion. The abbey was used as a country house until the beginning of the eighteenth century, after which it was abandoned and partially demolished for building materials.
Wikipedia

Sir William Paulet’s mansion was occupied until 1704, when the owner sold it for building materials. The abbey was only saved when a demolition worker was killed, causing work to cease. When this house was abandoned, however, and the neglected site became overgrown with trees and ivy, it came to be celebrated as a romantic ruin. As the ‘Romantic Movement’ grew in strength, many authors and artists visited the abbey to find inspiration. Set among the wild, wooded slopes above Southampton Water, overgrown Netley appeared to be the perfect medieval ruin. John Constable came to paint here, and writers such as Thomas Gray enthused about the abbey.
English Heritage

Jumièges Abbey, Jumièges, France


Ancienne ABBAYE DE JUMIEGES. – Entrée de l’Abbaye. – ND
Entrance to the Abbey
c.1910
Publisher: Neurdein et Cie

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Website.

Wikipedia.

The abbey was founded in 634 by St. Philibert, who had been the companion of Sts. Ouen and Wandrille at the Merovingian court. Philibert became first abbot but was later on, through the jealousy of certain enemies, obliged to leave Jumièges, and afterwards founded another monastery at Noirmoûtier, where he died about 685. Under the second abbot, St. Achard, Jumièges flourished exceedingly and numbered within its walls nearly a thousand monks. Enjoying the patronage of the dukes of Normandy, the abbey became a great centre of religion and learning, its schools producing, amongst many other scholars, the national historian, William of Jumièges. It reached the zenith of its fame about the eleventh century, and was regarded as a model of perfection for all the monasteries of the province. It was renowned especially for its charity to the poor, being popularly called “Jumièges l’Aumônier”. In the ninth century it was pillaged and burnt to the ground by the Normans, but was rebuilt on a grander scale by William, Duke of Normandy, surnamed Longue-Epée. The church was enlarged in 1256, and again restored in 1573. The abbots of Jumièges took part in all the great affairs of the Church and nation; one of them, Robert, became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1040; many others became bishops in France, and some were also raised to the cardinalitial dignity. The fortunes of the abbey suffered somewhat through the English invasion of the fifteenth century, but it recovered and maintained its prosperity and high position until the whole province was devastated by the Huguenots and the Wars of Religion. In 1649, during the abbacy of Francis III, Jumièges was taken over by the Maurist Congregation, under which rule some of its former grandeur was resuscitated. The French Revolution, however, closed its career as a monastery, and only its majestic ruins now remain to show what it was in the days of its splendour.
Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)


Ancienne ABBAYE DE JUMIEGES. – Nef de ‘Eglise Notre-Dame, vue prise du Choeur.. – ND
Nave of the Notre-Dame Church, from the Choir
c.1910
Publisher: Neurdein et Cie

Cellarium, Fountains Abbey, Ripon, England


Fountains Abbey, Cellarium
c.1910

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UNESCO World Heritage listing

Founded in the 10th century, the ornate religious complex known as Fountains Abbey remained in active use for over 400 years and miraculously continues to stand in much its original form despite being denounced in the 1500’s.
Atlas Obscura

The original abbey church was built of wood and “was probably” two storeys high; it was, however, quickly replaced in stone. The church was damaged in the attack on the abbey in 1146 and was rebuilt, in a larger scale, on the same site. Building work was completed c. 1170. This structure, completed around 1170, was 300 ft (91 m) long and had 11 bays in the side aisles. A lantern tower was added at the crossing of the church in the late 12th century. The presbytery at the eastern end of the church was much altered in the 13th century.] The church’s greatly lengthened choir, commenced by Abbot John of York, 1203–11 and carried on by his successor, terminates, like that of Durham Cathedral, in an eastern transept, the work of Abbot John of Kent, 1220–47. The 160-foot-tall (49 m) tower, which was added not long before the dissolution, by Abbot Huby, 1494–1526, is in an unusual position at the northern end of the north transept and bears Huby’s motto: Soli Deo Honor et Gloria. The sacristry adjoined the south transept.

The cloister, which had arcading of black marble from Nidderdale and white sandstone, is in the centre of the precinct and to the south of the church. The three-aisled chapter-house and parlour open from the eastern walk of the cloister and the refectory, with the kitchen and buttery attached, and are at right angles to its southern walk. Parallel with the western walk is an immense, vaulted substructure serving as cellars and store-rooms, which supported the dormitory of the conversi (lay brothers) above. This building extended across the river and at its south-west corner were the latrines, built above the swiftly flowing stream. The monks’ dormitory was in its usual position above the chapter-house, to the south of the transept.
Wikipedia.

Kitchen, Grande Chartreuse Monastery, France


Intérieur du Convent de la Grande-Chartreuse. – La Cuisine (état actuel)
c.1920

Google Maps.

Musee de Grande Chartreuse (other rooms)

Grande Chartreuse is the head monastery of the Carthusian religious order. It is located in the Chartreuse Mountains, north of the city of Grenoble, in the commune of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (Isère), France. Originally, the château belonged to the See of Grenoble. In 1084, Saint Hugh gave it to hermit Saint Bruno and his followers who founded the Carthusian Order. The recipe of the alcoholic beverage Chartreuse is said to have been given to the monks of Grande Chartreuse in 1605[1] by the French Marshal François Annibal d’Estrées. For over a century, the monks worked on perfecting the 130-ingredient recipe. In 1764, the monks expanded their distillery for the first time to meet the demand of their popular Elixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse. The distillery has then been moved several times in more remote areas because it represents a major explosion hazard for the surrounding habitations.

The château went through many severe casualties, reconstructions and renovations. The building standing today (2020) was erected in 1688. In 1789, following the French Revolution, the monks were expelled from the monastery, and waited until 1838 to be reauthorized on the premises. Following the establishment of the Association Law of 1901 and its interpretation that effectively banned religious associations en masse, many notable religious institutions across France, including Grand Chartreuse, were closed by the French government.
Wikipedia.

Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England


Glastonbury Abbey – Judges Ltd
Publisher: Judges Ltd

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Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Investigations 1904–79 (online book)

The abbey holds a special place in English identity and popular culture. In the middle ages it was reputed to be the burial place of the legendary King Arthur and his queen Guinevere, and was regarded as the site of the earliest church in Britain, thought to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea. According to the Gospels, Joseph was the man who had donated his own tomb for the body of Christ following the crucifixion.
Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology

“The First Christian Church in Britain.”

The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th. It was destroyed by a major fire in 1184, but subsequently rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey controlled large tracts of the surrounding land and was instrumental in major drainage projects on the Somerset Levels. The abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting (Whyting), was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on Glastonbury Tor in 1539.
Wikipedia

When the monastic buildings were destroyed in the fire of 1184, the medieval monks needed to find a new place to worship. There is evidence that the 12th century nave was renovated and used for this purpose for almost 30 years, until some of the work was completed on the new church. The monks reconsecrated the Great Church and began services there on Christmas Day, 1213, most likely before it was entirely completed.
Glastonbury Abbey


Choir & Site of High Altar, Glastonbury Abbey
c.1920
Same publisher as “Abbot’s Kitchen” card at bottom

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Bolton Abbey and Stepping Stones, Skipton, England


Bolton Abbey and Stepping Stones.
Postmarked: 1909
Publisher: Valentine

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Synonymous with Bolton Abbey, the stepping stones were the crossing point for the lay workers at the Priory.
Bolton Abbey

The monastery was founded at Embsay in 1120. Led by a prior, Bolton Abbey was technically a priory, despite its name. It was founded in 1154 by the Augustinian order, on the banks of the River Wharfe. The land at Bolton, as well as other resources, were given to the order by Lady Alice de Romille of Skipton Castle in 1154. In the early 14th century Scottish raiders caused the temporary abandonment of the site and serious structural damage to the priory. The seal of the priory featured the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child and the phrase sigillum sancte Marie de Bolton. The nave of the abbey church was in use as a parish church from about 1170 onwards, and survived the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Building work was still going on at the abbey when the Dissolution of the Monasteries resulted in the termination of the priory in January 1540. The east end remains in ruins. A tower, begun in 1520, was left half-standing, and its base was later given a bell-turret and converted into an entrance porch. Most of the remaining church is in the Gothic style of architecture, but more work was done in the Victorian era, including windows by August Pugin. It still functions as a church today, holding services on Sundays and religious holidays.
Wikipedia.

Established in the 12th century, the Priory community grew and prospered, attracting wealthy patrons, enabling investment in local farms and mills which in turn funded the development of the Priory. The Priory was added to over the centuries, and even had to be temporarily abandoned in the early 14th century when Scottish raiders threatened, and some damage was done to the priory. Restoration and building work were still underway until 1539 when King Henry VIII seized the assets of monasteries across the land.
Dales Discoveries

Abbot’s Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, England

Postcards of Glastonbury Abbey


Abbot’s Kitchen & Refectory, Glastonbury
c.1920

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In the 14th century, as the head of the second wealthiest abbey in Britain (behind Westminster Abbey), the Abbot of Glastonbury lived in considerable splendour and wielded tremendous power. The main surviving example of this power and wealth is to be found in the Abbot’s Kitchen – part of the magnificent Abbot’s house begun by John de Breynton (1334-42).
Glastonbury Abbey

To the south-west of the cloister, a separate complex of rooms provided grand accommodation for the abbot and his guests. Today, the standing buildings consist of the kitchen and one corner of the giant hall, begun after 1322 and completed by 1342. They formed parts of a palatial residence of three ranges, arranged around a central walled garden.
Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology (includes digital reconstruction)

The Abbot’s Kitchen is a mediaeval octagonal building that served as the kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. It is a Grade I listed building. The abbot’s kitchen has been described as “one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe”. The stone-built construction dates from the 14th century and is one of a very few surviving mediaeval kitchens in the world.

Historically, the Abbot of Glastonbury lived well, as demonstrated by the abbot’s kitchen, with four large fireplaces at its corners. The kitchen was part of the opulent abbot’s house, begun under Abbot John de Breynton (1334–1342). It is one of the best preserved medieval kitchens in Europe and the only substantial monastic building surviving at Glastonbury Abbey. The abbot’s kitchen has been the only building at Glastonbury Abbey to survive intact. Later it was used as a Quaker meeting house.
Wikipedia.

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Selby Abbey, Selby, Yorkshire


Tower & South Transept, Selby Abbey

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It is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.

On 31 May 1256, the Abbey was bestowed with the grant of a Mitre by Pope Alexander IV and from this date was a “Mitred Abbey”. This privilege fell in abeyance a number of times, but on 11 April 1308, Archbishop William Greenfield confirmed the grant, and Selby remained a “Mitred Abbey” until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Archbishop Walter Giffard visited the monastery in 1275 by commission, and several monks and the Abbot were charged with a list of faults including loose living, (many complaints referred to misconduct with married women). In 1279 Archbishop William de Wickwane made a visitation, and found fault with the Abbot as he did not observe the rule of St Benedict, was not singing mass, preaching or teaching, and seldom attending chapter. Things had not improved much in 1306 when Archbishop William Greenfield visited and similar visitations in later years resulted in similar findings.

The community rebuilt the choir in the early fourteenth century, but in 1340, a fire destroyed the Chapter House, Dormitory, Treasury and part of the church. The damage was repaired and the decorated windows in the south aisle of the Nave were installed. In 1380-1 there was the abbot and twenty-five monks. In 1393 Pope Boniface IX granted an indulgence to pilgrims who contributed to the conservation of the chapel of the Holy Cross in the Abbey.

The fifteenth century saw more alterations to the Abbey. The perpendicular windows in the North Transept and at the west end of the nave were added and the Sedilia in the Sanctuary was added. One of the final additions was the Lathom Chapel, dedicated to St Catherine, east of the North Transept, in 1465.
Wikipedia.

Website

Certosa di Pavia, Lombardy, Italy


Certosa di Pavia – Lavabo del piccolo chiostro ed affresco del Bergognone.

On the back (in French, English & German):
CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY OF PAVIA: Place for washing in the small cloister and fresco by Bergognone.

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The Certosa di Pavia is a monastery and complex in Lombardy, northern Italy, situated near a small town of the same name in the Province of Pavia, 8 km north of Pavia. Built in 1396-1495, it was once located on the border of a large hunting park belonging to the Visconti family of Milan, of which today only scattered parts remain. It is one of the largest monasteries in Italy.
Wikipedia.