Silent Sunday….. So off to Church

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Brecon Cathedral, Powys, Wales

The small but important Welsh Market Town of Brecon (pop approx. 8500), lying in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons, supports a very much wider agricultural community in this part of rural Powys.

Since 1920 it has also been the home of Brecon Cathedral.

The Cathedral is on an enclosed circular hill, so is quite peaceful and secluded in its own grounds.  There has of course been a church on this location for many centuries.  The original church of Saint John, a Norman construction was built in 1093.  It is also thought to have been built on the site of a much earlier Celtic Church.  St. Johns was rebuilt in the gothic style in 1215, also blessed with a new name of Holy Rood (Holy Cross) but for many centuries it suffered troubles.  The Dissolution of the Monasteries was of course the worst.

However despite it many troubles the church was renovated and eventually made the Cathedral we see today.

I described the Cathedral as peaceful and there is no better place to feel that peace than to stand in the centre of the Nave with its stone pillars and arched ceilings

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The Nave, Brecon Cathedral

27th May

(C) David Oakes 2018



Wordless Wednesday….Another Favourite Place


Location:- Hamburg, Germany.

A City that in an exciting and skilful way has blended the old with the new, culture with history and manages to blend the newest commercial skills with the traditional Maritime Heritage… very much a thriving City of many contrasts


21st March

(C) David Oakes 2018

Calm…before the Beast from the East arrives


Blue sky, not a cloud to be seen this Sunday.  A warm glow to the early morning sun…but an oh! so cold breeze adding an extra chill factor to an already cold day.  The forecast is that this week is going to get a whole lot colder with heavy snow in some places, all thanks to what they are calling the Beast from the East.

Determined to make the most of what could be the best day for sometime we headed off to the woods at Calke Abbey.  The sun tried its best to take away the chill and as the  day progressed that early mornings warm glow vanished to be replaces by a cold stark light with long shadows. Yep….it was a February light through the woods….


The estate buildings around Calke Abbey consists of traditional Red Brick buildings and on this sunny February morning caught the glow of the sun.


Holme Farm typical of the of those across the estate.

But it is the Stable Block that always acts as a magnet for me.  It has style, yet is still functional, it was also the focal point for much of the estates daily activities. Standing empty today it is far from a ghostly shell but a powerful reminder of days gone bye when horsepower really meant Horse Power….





Just two little asides to Calke Estate.  

Full marks for providing some of the best Rest Rooms around…even the Gentlemen’s Rest Room is graced with seasonal flowers from the estate….


They also provide a great Children’s Play area, swings, slides and climbing frame. But it is the remains, the skeleton of an old tree that always proves to be the preferred Play Area…the best climbing frame by far.  Surprisingly today it had no adventurers…


And don’t ask me what that metal contraption attached to the top is all about……I don’t know and there is nothing to tell us what this ‘piece of art’ represents. As Rolls Royce Aero Engine are built not that far away it has been suggested that it represents the shape of an engine…..odd, but no doubt someone’s pride of achievement.

A great sunny day…we will see what the week brings.

26th February

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday…. So Off to Church


West Door, Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire

These magnificent ruins stand proud on the headland towering above the Fishing Village of Whitby.  Founded in 657AD by Hild of Whitby a Christian Saint and credited with advancing the cause of Christianity across Yorkshire and surrounds.  Why here in such an exposed location, well maybe as this was earlier in time a Roman Site had something to do with it.

Whitby Abbey was originally a Christian Monastery but late became a Benedictine Abbey. Like so many religious establishments Whitby did not escape the destructions caused by King Henry VIII and his Dissolution of the Monasteries policies.

Despite only these dramatic ruins remaining, a visit still overpowers you with its size and detailed architecture.  It is a place to ponder on the skills of the builders, the rich colours of the stone, the resilience of the Brethren who once lived here and the cruel eviction in the Dissolutions.  You can still enjoy peace and tranquillity that exist today despite being one of Yorkshire most visited Tourist attractions.  No tour of Yorkshire is complete without a visit.



11th February

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday….So Off to Church


Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire

A winters day in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire.  Some years since we last visited… But the evocative mood of a late winters afternoon standing on the banks of a swift flowing River Wharf gazing across to the ruins of this 12century Augustinian Monastery still lingers on.  It was certainly cold but we left with a warm feeling.

(Bolton Abbey is part of the Duke of Devonshire’s Estate whom have their seat of residence at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire)

4th January

(C) David Oakes 2018