In May 2018, on our weekend in Southampton when the Archive was closed, Kristine Hughes Patrone and I took a welcome break from our research and traveled on the ferry from Southampton Docks to Hythe, on the edge of the New Forest.
We passed by the big cruise ships as well as all sorts of watercraft on a perfectly sunny warm day. As we found out later in the year it was the glorious spring before the hot and dry summer in England this year.
Above, a Wikipedia picture of the famous Motor Museum at Beaulieu which attracts thousands of visitors. You can tell from the fact I took not even one picture of a car I was much more interested in the ruined Abbey and the stately home.
The remains of the Abbey over large portions of the estate clearly show how large and prosperous the Cistercian Order had grown over the years from its establishment in 1204 in the reign of King John (1167-1216). It grew from thirty monks to hundreds who conducted their sacred duties in its precincts.
A model of the Abbey as it was after the 13th century, showing the large high-roofed church, chapter house, the cloisters and dormitories.
The picturesque ruins give only a hint of their original splendor.
Above, the choir entrance to the church from the cloister.
A collection of architectural remnants from the demolished buildings.
Above, the Domus Conversorum, once the quarters of the lay brothers who performed the practical tasks of maintaining the Abbey, cooking, and farming. Thus the choir brothers could devote their lives to prayer serving God.
Above, the Abbey Church in the former refrectory, which serves the parish of Beaulieu.
Below, horses of the New Forest, roaming freely, but refusing to turn around and greet us.
he refused to turn around and pose for me
The forested areas were lovely, but the horses obviously preferred the grasslands.
Next week, the Beaulieu Palace House.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author