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.

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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…

Shankill Road and Falls Road in Belfast – Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement

10 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  20 minutes

Shankill Road © geograph.org.uk - Eric Jones/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shankill Road © geograph.org.uk – Eric Jones/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shankill Road
Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are among the last remnants of the British colonial empire in Europe. Although membership of the EU has brought Northern Ireland modest prosperity, the Brexit vote narrowly ended in favor of “Leave”, meaning that Northern Ireland is set to once again become the poorhouse of Western Europe. Since then, violent conflicts between Unionists and Republicans have increased again, as was to be expected and thus jeopardize the successes achieved in resolving the conflict after the Good Friday Agreement.   read more…

Castle Ward in Northern Ireland

25 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Palladian facade © Irishdeltaforce/cc-by-sa-3.0

Palladian facade © Irishdeltaforce/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castle Ward is an 18th-century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford, in County Down, Northern Ireland, in the townland of the same name. It overlooks Strangford Lough and is 7 miles from Downpatrick and 1.5 miles from Strangford. Castle Ward is open to the public and includes 332 hectares (820 acres) of landscaped gardens, a fortified tower house, Victorian laundry, theatre, restaurant, shop, saw mill and a working corn mill. It has a shore on Strangford Lough. From 1985 to 2010 it has also hosted Castleward Opera, an annual summer opera festival.   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…

Holyhead in Wales

22 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk - Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk – Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Holyhead is a town in Wales and a major Irish Sea port serving Ireland. It is also a community and the largest town in the Isle of Anglesey county, with a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. Holyhead is on Holy Island, which is separated from Anglesey by the narrow Cymyran Strait and was originally connected to Anglesey via the Four Mile Bridge. In the mid-19th century, Lord Stanley, a local philanthropist, funded the building of a larger causeway, known locally as “The Cobb”, it now carries the A5 and the railway line. The A55 dual carriageway runs parallel to the Cobb on a modern causeway.   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…

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…

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