26 August, 2013

Mount Grace Priory and the Lady Chapel

The path up the hill to the Lady Chapel from this Charterhouse of Yorkshire was quite covered by the most adorable tiny frogs, just about the size of a penny. Far too quick for me to photograph, I just hope I didn't tread on any. They were certainly abundant. The Lady chapel had been converted into use as a Roman Catholic church and was a long way above the priory - but I needed the exercise. The priory itself was given to the National Trust to be cared for by the nation by the Pennyman family who also gave their home, Ormesby Hall to the nation to be cared for by the National Trust. This is the right thing to do. The interpretation has improved a lot since I were a lad with the 17th century manor house owned by Sir Lowthian Bell brought into use as a museum of the priory. It shows the rooms decorated in the fashionable William Morris Style that was done when Sir Lowthian bought it.
The carthusian monastery was sold at the dissolution of the monasteries to one of the priory's benefactors whose parents were buried in the church. This is why the church is quite well preserved today as it was not quarried for stone until much later. Sir Lowhian also restorred parts of the priory including one of the monk's cells. Carthusians lived solitary lives in gtoups having their food passed to them through L shaped hatches. Each cell was like a mini monastery with its own garden, cloister, oratory, living room, workroom and bedroom. The monks seemed to have quite a good life in the fairly prosperous middle ages. They went into the church on festival days.
The pictures show the priory ruins and the reconstructed monk's cell.

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