Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hailes Abbey

Joining Inspired Sunday by reaching back into treasury of old photos from past journeys.  These come from our walking tour in the Cotswolds in June 2014 described starting here.

On the Winchcombe to Broadway section of our walk we visited Hailes Abbey arriving just at opening time. Text below in italics comes from material provided by our tour, author unknown.

In the decade from 1536 to 1547, just about every English religious institution that was not a parish church was either closed or destroyed. This was the Dissolution.  Henry VIII's draconian method of forcing the monasteries to give up their enormous wealth.

Hailes monastery, which owned 13,000 acres and 8000 sheep, making it one of the most powerful Cistercian monasteries in the country, was a particular target for reformers.

In 1270 Edmund Earl of Cornwall, the son of its founder, had given the monastery a phial supposed to contain the blood of Christ.

According to Hugh Latimer of Worcester who had been with working with Thomas Cromwell, the king's Commissioner responsible for seeing to the  closure of monasteries, and who is reputed to have surveyed the destruction of the monastery ... he spent an afternoon in 1529 looking at the 'blood', concluding that it was nothing more than and 'unctuous gum and compound of many things'.

Once the valuables had been removed, local people took what was left. The monastery lands were disposed of in a typical manner.  First they were confiscated by the Crown and then sold to a  speculator who sold the land in lots. 

The monks were dispersed - a few managed to to secure positions as part of the parish clergy, whilst others took up posts with the cathedrals at Bristol and Gloucester.  Others returned to the laity.

Below are some of the artifacts found that would have been part of the Abbey.

Hailes Church, all that remains of Hailes village, predates the abbey and survived the Dissolution perhaps because it had been a parish church.

We did not enter the church as there was a service set to start.