Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
High above the North Sea, on what is known as the East Cliffs, are the magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey. Its foundation date back to the 7th century and was an important Christian strong hold in Yorkshire and the North of England. It late became a Benedictine Abbey. Like just about all other monasteries across the UK, Whitby was confiscated and destroyed by order of King Henry VIII under his Dissolution of Monasteries act of 1536.
Today these ruins have lost none of the drama that the original will have created, you are still overwhelmed by size and craftsmanship of the Abbey…..they continue to exude a spiritual feel and are rather magical.
No doubt the size and prominence above the North Sea acts as welcome landmark for sailors today as it must have done over the past 1400 years.
It is possibly no surprise that it is also one of my Favourite Places 🙂
(C) David Oakes 2019
Saint Nicholas, The Parish Church of Kimmeridge, Dorset
The Dorset Coast of England faces out towards the English Chanel. It is a rugged coastline with valleys sweeping down to the sea, it is within many of these that tiny villages and hamlets have existed for centuries.
Kimmeridge is just one of them, found at the end of a winding road that leads you to the Bay.
Hiding away as you enter the village is the Parish Church of Saint Nicholas. I say hiding as it is totally surrounded by trees. I also suspect that the many thousands of visitors to the bay never ever spot this little village gem.
It may be hidden, but not from the locals who obviously take great pride in maintaining there place of worship.
Saint Nicholas has a long history. Parts of the structure date back to the 12th century, though like most religious buildings the site was probably used for religious worship before then. The Porch was added in the 13th century and the Outside Bellcote later still in the 15th century. But time took is toll and much of the main body of the church was rebuilt in 1872.
It may be a very small church but is no less important to the village today….. and as we know small is often beautiful. Its location adding to the peace and solitude and a space to think.
As for Kimmeridge Bay itself… well it is one of the important gems along Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast. The Bay itself is a beauty spot in its own right, add to it Fossil and Geological Trails. The Kimmeridge Collection of Jurassic Fossils and skeletons, a Marine Centre plus Underwater Trails in the clear waters of the Bay and you realise just why the Bay is such a Tourist magnet…. if none of those interest you…. the just enjoy the scenery
(C) David Oakes 2018
Christ the King, Almada, Portugal
The 28meter high statue of Christ stands on the top of a 82 meter tower. It overlooks the River Tagus and the City of Lisbon.
It was conceived and designed as a dramatic statement. The statement was, I am told, to give Thanks to God for keeping Portugal safe and apart from the destructions of WWII. Construction started in 1952 and completed in 1959. Whilst the statue itself may be artistically attractive the tower itself is simple poured concrete, always unforgiving to the eye.
Within the base of the Tower things are very different. Here is the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace, bold in colour and modern artistic flair, refreshing and calming, a place for peaceful contemplation..
Auster on the outside but warm and welcoming inside, quite a contrast and very much a big surprise for visitors and Pilgrims of which there are many.
(C) David Oakes 2018