Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Malmesbury Abbey

I have been promising pictures of Malmesbury for a wee while now but I had no idea where my camera was so I pestered Chris last night to download his photographs...and here they are....well, some of them anyway......I thought I would start with Malmesbury Abbey since it kinda dominates the landscape.




There is a rather lovely story about this Abbey concerning Eilmer the flying Monk (I just love the idea of a flying Monk!!). He was born in 980AD and is best remembered for making a flight from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey in 1010 when he was a young monk there. Apparently he fastened wings to his arms and his feet and then launched himself from the top of the tower. According to the story he managed to cover a distance of around 200 metres (which is pretty darn good really!!) before the Abbot told him to stop being so silly whereupon he panicked and came crashing down breaking both legs. The limping Eilmer became a distinguished scholar and was a familiar sight around Malmesbury.


Another wee bit of history for you....The Abbey used to have a large tower and spire which collapsed in a storm around 1500 and a west tower which fell around 1550....as a result of these two collapses there is less than half of the original building standing today. (But it still looks fab.....as you can see!!)

The Abbey Gardens (which we've not visited yet because they are closed to the public at the moment) are home to the famous Naked Gardeners (I kid you not!!). You can visit any day (when it's open obviously!!) but you need to be aware that they have special 'Clothes Optional' Day's (Ha, you'd certainly see more than you bargained for if you went on one of them!!). Apparently there is no pressure to dress or undress (Thank god for that!!) but they give those who wish to do so the opportunity to look round the gardens without their clothes on. Purchasing a ticket on these days enters you into an agreement to respect everyone else's freedom of choice without comment!! I want to see the Gardens but I think I might pass on the whole naked thing....although it would be rather funny to take guests there without telling them just to see the look on their faces!!! (Does that make me a bad person??). Aaarrrggg.....I now have nasty images in my head.....people bending over to smell flowers....

Aherm, moving swiftly on.....There are a set of stairs that lead from the gardens up to the actual Abbey which have commemorative placques detailing the history of the place....I find that kind of thing fasinating (as those of you that read Only In Thailand will know). They start at 500 BC it says 'An Iron Age community occuptied the Hillfort here' and go right up to the Millenium.



The really nice thing about the Abbey is that it's still used today and not just for worship. Last week they opened their door and turned it into a skate park for the local kids...put down a false floor and everything :-)

24 comments:

  1. Naked gardening? Flying monks! You have all the fun!

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  2. I know...it's bonkers isn't it :-)

    C x

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  3. "Aaarrrggg.....I now have nasty images in my head.....people bending over to smell flowers...."

    LOL!

    I love Malmesbury Abbey, but I'm no sk8 bh0y.

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  4. TAF - Don't tell me that that thought hadn't crossed your mind!!!

    C x

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  5. When we wre house hunting in Gloucestershire over 30 years ago we stayed at The Old Bell next to Malmesbury Abbery. Upon drawing back the bedroom curtains in the morning we saw three nuns walking in single file with spades in their hands!!

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  6. Just be grateful they weren't naked nuns...

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  7. I don't know if it is Blogger still bloggering up - but I couldn't see any images. I liked the words though - it sounds like you have really settled back into UK living.

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  8. p.s. - oh, they are there now - and they look fabulous - I'd quite forgotten there was snow.

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  9. Lindsay - Oooohhhh, The Old Bell looks lovely!! We've not been inside it but we've been past it a few times and had a peer at the menu....I think we may go there for our wedding anniversary :-)

    I wonder what the nuns were doing with the spades...perhaps that was before the naked gardeners took over!!

    Anon - LOL!!!

    C x

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  10. French Fancy - You sneaked in there!!! Blogger has been awful the last few days...I don't know what's going on!! I've had comments vanish, people's posts disappearing on me and, like you said, photo's being absent!!! *slaps blogger on the hand* Bad Blogger!!!

    We're enjoying getting settled in...living is just as random as it was in Thailand but just in a different way (Hmmmm....Do you think that says something about Chris and I??)

    C x

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  11. I love looking around old buildings, and now you can go and look at some old relics too. Now personally I think we look better with some clobber on. But if the gardeners want to do their weeding in the buff good on them!

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  12. Lovely shots of the Abbey. I've just stumbled across your blog and read with interest about your move to Malmesbury. Its a great place. I've got some shots of the Abbey in the snow on my blog, from probably the same day - and view point! Hope you continue to enjoy the "village". Kevin

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  13. I too love the idea of a flying monk! Great photos.

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  14. Blu - I love doing that too!! I find history fascinating and quite often wish that buildings could talk...just think of the stories they would be able to tell!!!

    Taking my clothes off in public is not my cup of tea but each to their own eh....

    Malmesbury Photography - Welcome and thank you for leaving a comment :-). We've definately made the right move...Malmesbury is fab and everyone we've met is so friendly!! Hey...you never know....perhaps we'll bump into you one night in The Smoking Dog!!

    Helen - Monks away...hehehe :-)

    C x

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  15. Me again...I've been looking over my blog and saw that I have neglected to list you all this time. Yikes! mea culpa! Sorry. All fixed now, though :-(

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  16. So glad you're enjoying the places around your new home, C&C, and thanks for sharing.
    xxPat

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  17. Sue - I hadn't even noticed that I wasn't on there so please don't give it a second thought :-) (but thanks for adding me now :-))

    Pat - We really like the place...all we need to do now is to get out and about a bit more and meet folk. There is an art group I'm planning to join but it will need to wait till I come back from Scotland.

    C x

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  18. Where do you find these places lol Naked gardening? That involves a lot of crouching and bending over. Urggghh!!

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  19. You know what? I think that is probably the colest place I've ever heard about. Steeped in history, stunningly beautiful but trendy enough to allow for naked gardeners (so glad you didn't take or post phots)and also turns into a sakte park on accasion? Cooooool! Must come visit you at some point as there seem to be so many interesting things up your way. Not the least of which are you both!

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  20. Great pictures, and how fascinating. I'm still stunned at naked gardeners. Surely they could get stung in rather untoward places? Ouch.

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  21. Popped over from Sue Guiney's blog - love the story of the flying monk - and the wickedness of thought that proposes taking visitors to Malmesbury Gardens on a no clothes day - tee hee! :-)

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  22. Naked gardeners? Whatever next??

    Lovely pics. I love the history of this country.

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  23. Award time Carol - at my place

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  24. Lily - I know...Eeeewwww!!!

    DJ - It is a very cool place and you are welcome to visit any time you like honey!!

    Debs - Hahahaha....I'd not thought about that (was too traumatised at the thought of people bending over!!)

    Absolute Vanilla - Welcome and thanks for leaving a comment :-). LOL....if we ever do take someone without telling them I promise to post a picture of the look on their face!!

    Tam - I know....I was gobsmaked when I read about them....then stunned when I read about the clothes optional days!!

    French Fancy - Ooooohhhh an award....I shall be right over :-)

    C x

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