Monday, 9 September 2013

Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight

Over my time on the Isle of Wight I took Charlie several times to Quarr Abbey however once Sharon and I left him behind on this occasion because we decided to take the  guided tour of the present Abbey.  On the way to Quarr we passed the original Abbey and these photos below are of it.  
 
 
Quarr Abbey was part of the Cistercian Order and was founded in 1132 by Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon, fourth Lord of the Isle of Wight. The founder was buried in the Abbey in 1155 and his remains, along with those of a royal princess, Cecily of York (d. 1507), second daughter of King Edward IV of England and godmother of Henry VIII, still lie on the site of the medieval monastery, as do other important personages. Arreton Manor was part of the abbey from the 12th century until 1525.
 
 
The name Quarr comes from 'quarry', because there used to be a stone quarry in the neighbourhood. The original title of the monastery was the Abbey of our Lady of the Quarry.   Stone from the quarry was used in the Middle Ages for both ecclesiastical and military buildings, for example for parts of the Tower of London.
 

They are just starting to renovate the old abbey which will
take a considerable time.
 
 
This part of the hedge was cut down and a seat put in front of it so that people could sit there and look at the ruins with the sea beyond.
 
 
We were met by this Monk who started the tour outside Quarr at the statue of St Benedict, (c. 480 – c.550). 
Over the next photos I will tell you a little about the history of Quarr between photographs, however if you want to know more in greater detail,
clink this link  below. 

 
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, the land was acquired by a Southampton merchant, George Mills who demolished most of the abbey. Its stone was used for fortifications at the nearby towns of Cowes and Yarmouth. One of the three abbey bells is preserved in the belfry of the nearby Anglican parish church, originally built by the monks of Quarr Abbey for their lay dependants. Salvaged stone was also used to build Quarr Abbey House
 

 
 
 
The monks of Solesmes, under their abbot, Dom Paul Delatte, came to Appuldurcome House, near Ventnor in 1901. They were voluntary exiles from the unjust laws against religious life in France. The year before their lease on Appuldurcome was due to run out, 1907, the monks bought Quarr Abbey House, next door to the ruins of the ancient Quarr Abbey.

 
 
 This was a  used Wasp's nest just outside the entrance to the Abbey.
 
 
This is the entrance and Queen Victoria had been a frequent visitor to Quarr Abbey House, and her daughter, Princess Beatrice, had spent her honeymoon there following her marriage to Prince Henry of Battenburg. One of the monks of Solesmes, Dom Paul Bellot, who was an architect, was commissioned to design a monastery and church.

 
 
The Benedictin Monk contintued the history.   
 
A small advance party of monks came to Quarr Abbey House to make preparations. Soon, the first part of the monastery, including the refectory, was built and the rest of the community of Solesmes came across from Appuldurcome, the younger ones on foot. The wooden church from Appuldurcome was reassembled at Quarr for temporary use.


 
The first monks arrived at Quarr Abbey House from Appuldurcome on 25 June 1907 to prepare the grounds and the beginnings of a kitchen garden.
They also put up fencing round the property, established a chicken farm, and planted an orchard.
 
 
One of the monks, Dom Paul Bellot, aged 31, was an architect. He designed and draughted plans for the new abbey, incorporating and extending Quarr Abbey House, some distance from the ruins of the medieval monastery. 300 workers from the Isle of Wight, accustomed to building only dwelling-houses, raised a building whose design and workmanship is admired by all who visit the Abbey.
 
The building of the refectory and three sides of the cloister began in 1907 and was completed inside one year. The rest of the monks came from Appuldurcome and, in April 1911, work began on the Abbey church which was quickly completed and consecrated on 12 October 1912. It was built with tall pointed towers of glowing Flemish brick, adding a touch of Byzantium to the skyline. 
 
 
 
Walking up to the Altar
 
 The Guest House was finished in 1914, and the first guest was the French philosopher, Jacques Maritain.
  
 
During the First World War, the Guest House was used for the convalescence of wounded soldiers. Princess Beatrice came to visit them as Governor of the Isle of Wight. Robert Graves stayed there for a short time and recalls the fact in "Goodbye to All That."
 
 
Abbot Paul Delatte retired in 1921, after ruling his community for over thirty years. Dom Germain Cozien was elected in his place and with the situation in France improved, decided to take his community back there. Their return was completed by September 1922, but the community always looked back on their time in the Isle of Wight as one during which they came close to God through a relative absence of distractions.
 
 
 
 
In 1922, after World War I, the community of Solesmes returned to France. A small community of monks was left at Quarr which, from being a priory of Solesmes, became in 1937 an independent abbey, with English monks recruited to the community. The last French monk, Fr. Peter de Curzon, who arrived in 1945, died in 2006
However, not all of the monks went back to France: twenty-five, with Dom Emile Bouvet as superior, remained to carry on monastic life at Quarr, dependent on Solesmes. Lay brothers were a great support. Gradually Englishmen came to be monks: the first such profession was in 1930, and the first ordination in 1936.
 
 
Dom Emile Bouvet died in 1937, and Dom Gabriel Tissot became abbot in that year. He shepherded the community through the Second World War, when the Island’s emergency food supply was stored in its cellar, and saw it gradually becoming more English.
 
 
Following his retirement in 1964, the first English Abbot of Quarr was elected: Dom Aelred Sillem. He guided the community through the changes of the Second Vatican Council. In his time, the position of high altar was changed and a pyx hung over it as a tabernacle.  He was at the same time devoted to the Solesmes tradition, and able to see the community through the process of becoming more English.

 

Following his death, Dom Leo Avery was elected abbot. With an engineering background, he was able to take charge of the measures to stabilise the church. After only four years, to the great distress of the community,
Abbot Leo died of a brain tumour.

  
 
In 1996 Dom Cuthbert Johnson was elected abbot. Under his leadership, monastic craft was developed, and the bindery was opened. He did much to open up the monastery to visitors, establishing the tea shop and gardens. He also reordered the abbey church, and initiated and oversaw the development of the new guest wing.
 
 
He retired in 2008, and Dom Finbar Kealy was appointed Prior Administrator. Although much has happened since the first monks of the community came to the Isle of Wight, the purpose of the community is still the same:
to seek and praise God.
 
 
This shot was taken from the vegetable garden looking over
part of a walled garden. 
 
 
 
 
 
These next few shots were taken during an evening walk
as you can see the light has changed. 
 
 
 
 
I hoped you enjoyed knowing about this wonderful abbey and tomorrow I wil tell you about the Nature that I found at the abbey.
 
Thank you for visiting.
In case my reply button does not work today,
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS

30 comments:

  1. This a beautiful and interesting building.
    I'm amazed at your work rate....Don't you every sleep?
    I have really enjoyed your holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adrian Yes I do sleep!! Yes it is a lot of work but if people are interested, then that makes it all worthwhile. I am very glad you enjoyed my posts from my holidays and many thanks for your comments. Today, I have not had time to look at anyone's post and I am taking a group up to Belfast to see Carmen which is video linked by Sydney, Australia. I do have another life however it is difficult fitting everything in!

      Delete
  2. Such a marvelous post Margaret, lots of history in these old places and your photos and learning about the abbey and its history, just great! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise I am delighted you enjoyed the history and architecture in this post and I think you will also like the one for tomorrow as it on Nature at Quarr. Thanks for comment. Can I ask you, do you read my replies? Please be honest.

      Delete
  3. so impressive!! That is the largest wasp's nest I've ever seen...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn Yes I thought you would like this post. it is indedd impressive. Thanks you for your comments. Can you tell me (honestly) do you read the replies?

      Delete
  4. Hi Margaret.. I am amazed at the work that went into these marvelous old structure!!
    There is a lot of history here, and some great architecture
    Fantastic photo's you have shared they speak volumes to the past!!
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Grace Yes I have to agree and to think that the abbey was built in 1 year!! Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks you for your comments. Can you tell me (honestly) do you read the replies?

      Delete
  5. Splendid building Margaret, and there is a wasp nest in there as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Bob Glad you liked the building and thanks for comment.

      Delete
  6. it is an impressive fortress. the church's pointed arches are really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Tex Many thanks for comment and glad you enjoyed the fortress.

      Delete
  7. This must have been a fascinating tour - such a beautiful place with so much history! Here in the states, we think 1700 is old, so these beautiful old European buildings always amaze me a bit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Karen Many thanks for comment and glad you enjoyed all the history.

      Delete
  8. WOW! The architecture is incredibly wonderful! And I also love the ruins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI EG Many thanks for comment and glad you enjoyed the architecture.

      Delete
  9. Oh Margaret!!!
    I am delighted with your photo and fasting.
    They are very beautiful.
    I love to visit churches. Abbey, built of stone looks very beautiful.
    Greetings.
    Lucia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lujca Many thanks for comment and glad you enjoyed the Abbey post

      Delete
  10. It is absolutely HUGE, and what history!! And another thing...a real monk took you on tour!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an amazing place. I am in awe. While our country is old, the original inhabitants were not builders so our history is shown in smaller and more subtle scenes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful place! I walked the Camino de Santiago a few years ago and was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed spending time alone in a quiet, empty church. I could definitely find some peace in that one!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great tour! Thanks for all the photos and information--it's quite interesting.

    And, no, I don't come back to read replies. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for the fascinating history of this abbey. Your photos are beautiful. While I enjoyed the photos of the present abbey, I also like pictures of the ruins of the original abbey.

    ReplyDelete
  15. HI Individual Reply button stuck again!!

    Thanks to Ginny, EC, Christian, Betty L and George for all your comments and I am so glad you all enjoyed the history of this abbey along with the photogrpahs.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, what the remarkable tour and destination! the Interior and exterior areas of buildings looking glorious. such a great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI ER Glad you liked the post and thanks for comment.

      Delete
  17. Very interesting post and some lovely photos. We didn't go inside the abbey when we visited so its fascinating to see the interior too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI RR Normally you are not ermitted any further than the steps you saw the Monk standing on, so it was quite special that we were allowed to go where the Monks worship. Glad you liked the post and thanks for comments

      Delete
  18. The beautiful architecture just takes my breath away.

    ReplyDelete
  19. HI Linda Thanks you for comment and I am glad you enjoyed adn the wonderful architacture of this building.

    ReplyDelete