Stepping Across Stones

Trying to find a way back into the world

stepping stones BOLTON ABBEY Amidst the turmoil of modern living, of flashing lights, ubiquitous call centres, commutes and information overload, England still has spaces that offer tranquility and solitude. Bolton Abbey is one such place. Bolton Priory Like a spinster from a lost generation, most of the Abbey itself has fallen into disrepair, with clouds and the odd slant of sunlight filling its empty arches. The dilapidated doorway, however, opens into a warm and sheltered interior, filled with incense and recorded soft chants. The monks who chose to settle here must have had an eye for beauty and antennae for peace, and it’s hard to imagine a more restful place for those buried beneath the stone. The 12th century Priory overlooks the Wharfe River, surrounded by the greenery of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s a setting that would delight the hearts of landscape painters, with its clear water, string of hopeful stepping stones and forests rising up on either side. Perhaps the fine mists of rain have frightened the others away (locals tell me that the car park overflows in summer) but right now the Abbey’s meadows are almost deserted. Almost. Two women and their golden retriever. One man fishing, waist-deep in the water, his movements slow like the current. We are alone with our thoughts, but we are not lonely. Walking back from the Priory Crossing the stones

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5 Responses to Stepping Across Stones

  1. Melanie Haiken December 15, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Many of my journeys are spent looking for insirational spots that are conducive to contemplation; Bolton Abbey sounds like just such a place. Thanks for alerting me and I’ll add it to my list when next I visit England for

  2. Abi December 16, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    You’re welcome

  3. ralph February 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I love your images .. breath taking .. please continue your work :)

    • Abi February 19, 2010 at 9:01 am #

      Thank you for the encouragement!

  4. Martin Williamson January 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Lovely words and pictures! Bolton Abbey is just over the hill from us – we spend a lot of time walking there and I have drawn and painted the tranquil ruins many times.
    Thanks for sharing.

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