05 August 2009

Bayham and Scotney Revisited

I forgot my camera the last time we went to Bayham and Scotney, but I remembered this time. Talk about the perfect summer day, it was just beautiful. First to Scotney.

A view across the moat towards a ruined doorway and the house. The water looked very inviting and swimmable today, unlike the middle of winter when St Richard Blount escaped across it.

Here's one of the house from the bridge across the moat. It has to be the most fairytale building in the most fairytale setting I have ever been to (and of course, at this time of year the horrible rhododendrons are merely looming and brooding greenery).

Once inside the house, you climb the stairs and on the highest landing there is a cupboard in the wall, behind which is this hiding space.

As I had nothing for scale, you'll have to take my word for it that the snug space beneath the wire grill is very small indeed.

There is a lovely shady walk around the moat, and here's a view from the other side of the house.

And so to the Norbertine Bayham Abbey. We again had the place entirely to ourselves and like Scotney, it's so photogenic you could get carried away, as I did: the camera died on me!
It's an extraordinarily peaceful and poignant place to visit. It's very Romantic and Gothic in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century poetic way - there are two babies from the family who came to own it buried in the chapel off the quire (something I find quite incomprehensible), and some added buttresses to the cloister. It's very beautiful. But it makes me uneasy, because it's not actually a 'gothic ruin', nor is it the amusing folly at the bottom of the garden which it became.

Towards the Abbey church and cloister from the Kent (north) gate. The high wall in the centre is the nave, and to the far left the north transept. On the right, the low wall is all that remains of what was probably a guest house or the abbot's quarters.

The nave is long and narrow. The High Altar has a very large tree growing in the wall just behind it.

A view across from the south, with the warming house on the far right, the parlour and slype in the centre and the undercroft to the left. Through the slype and ahead is the cloister, and the high wall of the nave.

I have a couple more photos of Bayham which I might add in a bit. If you're in the area, have a visit, it's lovely.

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