bethnoir: (BlixaNick Sofa)
[personal profile] bethnoir
but none the worse for it. Today we went to Tintern for a walk by the beautiful River Severn, with views across to Tintern Abbey, listening to the geese honking at each other and saying hello to the very few other walkers we came across.

Perhaps they've cut down some trees, but for the first time today, I noticed a church tower surrounded by greenery on the other side of the river. It looked ruined and I immediately wanted to go and visit it. Through the clouds and burst of sunlight we travelled up an overgrown path, damp cobbles, the hedges full of juicy blackberries until we reached the top of the hill. A man was spraying the weeds, but we went in and were amazed.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin was originally medieval, but fell into disrepair after the sacking of the monasteries, rebuilt in 1866, it burnt down in 1977 and now just the graveyard is used. It has no roof, the grand Victorian memorials are buried in waist high grass, inside, the floor tiles are still there and window frames, but the pews are replaced with ferns, lords and ladies and moss. Saplings instead of columns, nature has reclaimed the sacred space. A white dove sat upon the tower, it was so perfect I thought I might have dreamt it. My love affair with the border country between Wales and England continues. Here's a photo, a moment later it was in sunshine, but I like the shadows...
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