Not long ago, my friend and fellow blogger Nigel Borrington did a post on Kilcooley Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey in County Tipperary, Ireland. Nigel is an artist and professional photographer whose images of the Irish landscape and knowledge of its history are not to be missed. Please do yourself a favor and check out his blog!
I really loved Nigel’s Kilcooley post as I had visited England and France this past spring and found the religious structures incredibly beautiful and fascinating in their history – especially the lesser known churches that dot the English countryside. Although Westminster is the most famous of England’s abbeys, I found the simplicity of the small churches to be just as intriguing. They are remote and peaceful; austere yet humble. You can stand in the nave of canons priory, for example, and imagine this place in the thirteenth century – the monks communing in silence as they prayed, read, fished, meditated, held services.
It’s high summer in the Midwest. The sun is blazing down and the air is thick with humidity. I thought it would be nice, then, to revisit the cool spring afternoon of the English countryside.
The light was low on the day we visited, and these are mobile phone images, so please excuse the poor quality.
I want to thank Nigel for his encouragement and support. He answers my questions with patience and wisdom. He is generous and kind with his feedback of not just my blog but other fellow bloggers on WordPress as well. So thank you, Nigel!
Like most first-time visitors to Europe, I was astounded by the architectural artistry of the buildings and monuments I saw in London and Paris. The sheer magnitude, importance, and historical significance – not to mention sweeping beauty – of both cities was almost overwhelming.
How to take it all in? I finally settled on trying to capture as many images as I could without pausing to worry whether or not I could squeeze the entire structure of Notre Dame, for example, into one photograph. This meant focusing on scenery while also hurrying to get the shot (I kept my traveling companions waiting
more than once often by lingering in odd places or halting in the middle of a busy crowd to take a picture. My husband generously played middle man between our hosts and me, making sure they paused while I caught up and also keeping me in sight so we didn’t separate into the throngs of tube passengers or street crowds.)
I became fascinated with small details. Doors, doorknobs, windows, postal boxes – all were, in one way or another, just as intriguing as the magnificent monuments that have been photographed millions of times by people more talented than I.
This post is a result of that mindset. I’ve edited it down to fourteen images. There are church doors, cathedral doors, castle doors, fashion-house-on-the-champs-d’elysees doors, restaurant doors, hotel doors, even one deceased Door. Somewhere in here is also an unintended, self-portrait-reflection-in-a-door.
I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
This lovely village church dates back to the late 10th century and, like everything in England, is rich with character and history. You can read about it here: http://chaldonchurch.co.uk/history-chaldon-church
This beautiful church sits on the grounds of Westminster Abbey and was consecrated in 1523. It’s also been the church of the House of Commons since 1614. The church is still used regularly for worship and musical recitals. There are five photos in this post, so thank you very much for viewing them all. You’ll know you’re at the end when you see the little magpie!
I couldn’t stop staring at the bright geometrics of this astounding (and temporary!) structure. The cardinal red looks hyper realistic in the surrounding landscape of grey, muted colors.
You can read about it here: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/london/the_shed_national_theatre.htm
Southwark Cathedral is on the River Thames near London Bridge. The site has been home to a church for over 1,000 years. One thousand years. It’s a magnificent structure. You can read about its history here: http://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/visit/history-and-architecture.
Scroll to the bottom of the next photo and notice the royal blue irises against the dark stone of the cathedral.
This next shot is a sculpture above one of the entrances. Every detail is a work of art.
Finally, one more doorway surrounded by gorgeous gothic architecture.
Thank you for viewing all of the images!