Friday, 20 March 2009


A couple of weeks ago, myself and Mr Cat (who booked the weekend away in double quick time before I had time to display any signs of wavering) made the relatively short journey from Winchester to Tintern. On Friday, after work, it still only took a couple of hours. Why do I forget that it's possible to do these things, and still be back in time for when small cat is dropped off by his father on a Sunday? Tsk!

Lots of nice arches and stuff

Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that I've decided NOT to give everyone a history lesson, as is my wont. I have to admit I'm struggling though. Tintern was one of the religious institutions dissolved by Henry VIII in the 1530's...

Phwoarr! Look at that view!

...and your useless blogging host took this here course called "Papists and Puritans in 16th Century England" as a wee history student. So you can understand why I'm fit to EXPLODE!

More nice arches

But since I bore even myself on this topic, I won't overdo it too much. Save to say that the Abbey is located in a beautiful spot, and we got there as it opened on Sunday morning, with the sun shining. And it looked glorious. Although it is difficult to escape a certain sense of sadness that such a thing came to pass, that a whole way of life - yes, sometimes corrupt, but no, not always - and such an intrinsic part of the social and cultural fabric of the country, could be destroyed in such a short time. It was nothing short of catastrophic and possibly one of the most significant historical events on these islands. STOP NOW, WOMAN!

If you want to go to Tintern, it's worth the visit. You also have Raglan and Chepstow castle within easy driving distance. We went there on St David's day, and entry was free, which was rather nice. We ate the night before in the Royal George, just opposite the Abbey (which is lit up at night and looks rather eerie). Our meal was very civilized and pleasant and Mr Cat was most impressed by his lamb shank. It did make him walk a bit funny though - kerboom tish!

If you want to read something palatable about this period of history, but don't want a big old stuffy history book with cobwebs all over it, and dust and wafer thin pages which fall to bits as soon as you look at them, then I have just the thing!

Murder, mystery, suspense, and the dissolution of the monasteries - what more could you need. And he's a very good historical novelist, so hopefully you won't be disappointed.


alice c said...

Oh! Oh! I have read it and I loved it!! It made me want to go and BURY myself in a History Degree and read obsessively about abbeys and suchlike.

Limecat said...

Dark Fire, Sovereign, and Revelation (which I finished this morning) are all equally good. I don't want him to stop writing historical novels. Not ever!

The Coffee Lady said...

you can REMEMBER what you learned as a student?