Monday, 5 May 2014

The Ruins

No bush, no beating. This is Tintern Abbey. Hope you are all appreciating this new no-nonsense mode of delivery thus far. I'd rank it among the absolute top places to visit if you are anywhere remotely near the Wye area. The site fell despairingly into desolation after being dislodged by the Dissolution - please say that aloud several times. 

Don't worry, no dullifying with facts from now on! Even Tintern's celebrated visitors - Turner, Wordsworth - were in favour of producing loose, oneiric representations of the real thing, tentative at best in terms of capturing structural or factual detail in poetry and painting. Detail is there if you want it - a beady-eyed reader will discern the remaining shards of medieval glass in the window in that last photo - but where Tintern compels, captivates and completely wins is perspective. The gaping voids of windows frame the Welsh landscape behind them. Shift your gaze, and the landscape hangs like tapestries inside the Abbey, decorating it better than any stained glass. Take a few steps in any direction - the tapestries have refashioned themselves into new pictures. Look up, and a brain-teaser of roofless arches appears. No wonder fans of the picturesque flocked here like butterflies to lilac flowers. 

Tintern is best visited during the late afternoon, a few hours before dusk, as the light can really transform the experience. If you've time, there is also the walk to the Devil's Pulpit... Symond's Yat rock, Puzzlewood and Goodrich Castle are all a short drive away. 

Dress, vintage
Waxed cotton jacket, Barbour (similar)
Navy cardigan, The White Company (similar)
Chelsea boots, c/o Dr Martens (similar)
Socks, Sockshop

1 comment:

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