May 31st, 2010

Fishy Circumstances

Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey was the richest monastery in Essex before the dissolution. It had Thomas Tallis as its organist at one point. It was a pilgrimage church. It was where Harold II was buried. After the dissolution, two-thirds of it was knocked down, leaving only enough for a parish church. Its bones are Norman, but with plenty of add-ons and revisions to mark the passing of subsequent centuries.

You might think, from this photograph, that this is a Memorial Day post. Literally, it is (at least in the U.S.), and seasonally, it is. Of course, poppies are in bloom this time of year. But if I spent my afternoon remembering any particular battle, it was the Battle of Hastings, in which Harold was killed, in October of 1066.

Poppies growing on a wall, assembled from parts of the destroyed extended abbey.

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