Dissolution of the monasteries

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  28 minutes

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

The dissolution of the monasteries, occasionally referred to as the suppression of the monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland, expropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). While Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-general and Vice-regent of England, is often considered the leader of the Dissolutions, he merely oversaw the project, one he had hoped to use for reform of monasteries, not closure or seizure. The Dissolution project was created by England’s Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley, and Court of Augmentations head Richard Rich. Professor George W. Bernard argues that:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.

  read more…

The Golden Hinde

1 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Jose L. Marin/cc-by-2.5

© Jose L. Marin/cc-by-2.5

Golden Hind was a galleon captained by Francis Drake in his circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. She was originally known as Pelican, but Drake renamed her mid-voyage in 1578, in honour of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose crest was a golden hind (a female red deer). Hatton was one of the principal sponsors of Drake’s world voyage. A full-sized, seaworthy reconstruction is in London, on the south bank of the Thames.   read more…

Woolacombe in Devon

13 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Adrian Pingstone

© Adrian Pingstone

Woolacombe is a seaside resort on the coast of North Devon, England, which lies at the mouth of a valley (or ‘combe’) in the parish of Mortehoe. The beach is 2 miles (3.2 km) long, sandy, gently sloping and faces the Atlantic Ocean near the western limit of the Bristol Channel. Woolacombe is a popular destination for surfing and family holidays and is part of the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The beach has been managed by Parkin Estates Ltd since the 1970s and has over the years been recognised as one of the best beaches in Europe. It won the title of Britain’s Best Beach in the “Coast Magazine Awards 2012” and was awarded the same prize of Britain’s Best Beach in 2015 by TripAdvisor, also ranking in their polls as 4th in Europe and 13th best in the world. The beach water quality is monitored regularly by the Environment Agency and was rated excellent from 2016 to 2020.   read more…

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

1 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  27 minutes

Holy Island © flickr.com - Chris Combe/cc-by-2.0

Holy Island © flickr.com – Chris Combe/cc-by-2.0

Lindisfarne, also called Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, which constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD; it was an important centre of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After the Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England, a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built on the island in 1550.   read more…

Canterbury Cathedral in England

4 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  15 minutes

© Hans Musil/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Hans Musil/cc-by-sa-4.0

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century when they were demolished to make way for the present structures. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the archbishop.   read more…

The Crown Princess

1 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Crown Princess in Cockburn Town, Grand Turk Island © CB2379/cc-by-sa-3.0

Crown Princess in Cockburn Town, Grand Turk Island © CB2379/cc-by-sa-3.0

Crown Princess is a Crown-class cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. Her maiden voyage took place on June 14, 2006, departing Red Hook, Brooklyn (New York) for Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands), and Port Canaveral (Florida).   read more…

Mayfair in London

19 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  5 minutes

Burlington Arcade © Solipsist/cc-by-sa-2.5

Burlington Arcade © Solipsist/cc-by-sa-2.5

Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in the world.   read more…

Kensington Palace Gardens in London

27 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  8 minutes

Entrance area to Kensington Palace Gardens © Oxfordian Kissuth/cc-by-sa-3.0

Entrance area to Kensington Palace Gardens © Oxfordian Kissuth/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kensington Palace Gardens is an exclusive street in Kensington, west of central London, near Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. Entered through gates at either end and guarded by sentry boxes, it was the location of the London Cage, the British government MI19 centre used during the Second World War and the Cold War. Several foreign diplomatic missions are located along it. A tree-lined avenue half a mile long studded with embassies, Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most expensive residential streets in the world, and has long been known as “Millionaires Row”, due to the huge wealth of its private residents, although in fact the majority of its current occupants are either national embassies or ambassadorial residences. As of late-2018, current market prices for a property in the street average over £35 million. It connects Notting Hill Gate with Kensington High Street. The southern section of Kensington Palace Gardens is called Palace Green.   read more…

Cotswolds in England

20 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

Broadway row © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Cotswolds is an area in south-central, West Midlands and South West England comprising the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills that rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden-coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this stone; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.   read more…

Return to TopReturn to Top