There will be photos. Lots of photos. If you aren't into seeing lots of pictures of ancient ecclesiastical ruins - and a few pictures of me - look away now. Seriously, flee, escape, run for the hills. And then you won't see this ruin because it's in the valley. If you do like pictures of ruins and want to see selfies of someone then scroll down and see them.
|The River Wear at Finchale Abbey|
This is Finchale Abbey or Priory. Very seriously: If you are in the area, visit it. If you're in a car it'll cost you three pounds to get the car out of the car park. But that's the only cost for visiting. If you're on foot it'll cost you nothing at all. Visit it. Do.
The site is owned by English Heritage, who have this to say about it on their website:
On the banks of the River Wear, in a beautiful wooded setting, stand the extensive remains of Finchale Priory. It was founded in 1196 on the site of the hermitage of St Godric, a retired sailor and merchant, who settled here after a life of adventure and travel. The priory was an outpost of Durham Cathedral and functioned as a holiday retreat for the monks of Durham until its suppression in 1538.
The story of Finchale can be read in its surviving remains, from St Godric's original church and tomb through the 13th century priory and its later rebuilding.
This, on the edge of the priory was a happy place to choose for lunch and I sat with sausage rolls and ginger cake from a Chester-le-Street bakery, and my trusty bottle of tap water.
I live quite the luxurious life!
It's me, sitting down having lunch.
I'd been hoping for a bench somewhere along the path so I could sit. And then the road section of the walk happened and I didn't want a bench.
Being able to sit in calmness at Finchale made me very glad that I hadn't found a bench. Lunch at Finchale was a much, much better option.
Hey, it's me again.
People stare at me a lot. But just recently I find that I really like the way I look. It's a joy to like the way you look and be content with your appearance.
It's still new to me. That joy is an experience that I never had for most of my life.
I sang in this room. Loudly. Not caring too much that someone might come in and find me in voice.
It was a priory so I sang as seemed appropriate - the Kyrie:
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
I think the last time I sang the Kyrie was at the Easter Vigil mass I went to in the centre of Gateshead last year when I found myself in the church choir for the evening even though I don't go to the church. That was a fun night but I haven't been to a Mass since then.
I know that's a lot of pictures of Finchale. I apologise for so many pictures and so little text. Or maybe you prefer it that way. If you do prefer it, you're in luck! Because tomorrow there will be another post. And it will be filled with more pictures of Finchale. I liked it there a lot and I liked just being able to walk in an wander and enjoy the place - that it was free to enter. I like free places. I can afford to see them. And this one was definitely worth the admission fee!