Cathedrals and abbeys, especially those located in Britain, are one of my little known but abiding passions -- and an area of expertise, where I will be happy to talk to you about Galilee Porches or why Rievaulx isn't oriented East-West like one would expect it to be.

I find British cathedrals and abbeys incredibly romantic in multiple dimensions and hope one day to write a book on the romance of British cathedrals.

Cathedrals makes my spirits soar and ignites my imagination.  They are a never failing source of inspiration.  Abbeys, in particular Fountains, has an amazingly soothing effect on the psyche.  I have been acquainted with Fountains since 1983 thanks to my many visits to Harrogate when I worked for ITT.  [The nave of Fountains seen through the woods from outside Studley Park.]

In 1988, my flight to London from Boston was diverted to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne because of a 'pea souper'.  I was actually going to Harrogate again, so I got off at Newcastle and rented a car rather than waiting to be flown back to London.  On my way, I passed a sign to Fountains.  Couldn't resist.  It was about 3:30 in November.  I went to buy a ticket.  They said they would be closing soon.  I still went in.  A moist mist was slowing coming down.  I was the only one there.  I had the whole park to myself.  The mist muffled all sound.  It was quiet.  Just me and the ruins.  I was hooked.  800 years ago Cistercian monks would have known that same feeling of serenity, isolation and oneness with nature.

Ken Follett’s masterpiece, ‘Pillars of the Earth’ made an indelible impression on me. I would also highly recommend Edward Rutherfurd’s mesmerizing ‘Sarum’ – that will give you some abiding insights into what Salisbury Cathedral, with its 404’ sky piercing spire [right], is all about.  Salisbury, just down the road from Stonehenge, dates back to 1220.  Given its timeless majesty it is not surprising that it was one of John Constable's favorite subjects.  In one of his paintings he framed it with a rainbow.  Inside you will find the oldest existing clock in the U.K. (and reputedly the earliest remaining mechanical clock in the world).

 

You can contact me at: anu@guruge.com or 603-455-0901 [New Hampshire, U.S.A.]

 

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Unless otherwise stated, all photographs used on this page would have been taken by me and will be subject to my copyright

 

© Anura Guruge, 2005