Abbey Part 2

1 : Introduction
2 : Motor Museum
3 : SOE Exhibit
4 : Gardens
5 : Beaulieu Abbey
6 : Palace House
7 : James Bond Exhibit

'Plan' of the Abbey Church (above). The position of the nave is the grey path on the right. The gravel areas represent the position of the roof supporting pillars and wall foundations.

The following edited account with acknowledgement to the Beaulieu Abbey Audio Commentary :

"The Abbey Church was the most important building on the site and the first to be built. It took 42 years to complete, almost a lifetime in the 13th century.

"In its day, this church was one of the biggest in England, roughly equivalent to the size of a (present day) cathedral. Today, you can only really appreciate its size by the outlines in gravel on the grass-covered space where the pillars and walls of the church once stood.

"Imagine the huge aisled nave, the soaring pillars with their coloured shafts of Purbeck marble, the magnificent vaulted ceiling high above, and the elegant pointed windows. Beneath your feet would have been red and yellow patterned tiles.

"And there would have been silence ... broken only by occasional chanting and prayer."

The following edited account also with acknowledgement to the Beaulieu Abbey Audio Commentary :

"Now try to imagine the Cloister as it would have been. The four walkways that surrounded it are still visible today. Once they would have been covered with a lean-to roof supported along the walls by stone blocks called corbels.

"Here, the monks could study, read or sit in contemplation on the stone benches beneath the carrels (alcoves) on the north wall.

"The Cloister would have been a place of great tranquillity, the peace broken only by the bells announcing one of the nine offices, or services, of the day, and occasional footsteps as the monks went about their business."

The Chapter House of Beaulieu Abbey (above and below) with the Vestry seen on the left of the latter picture.

The Vestry (second picture below) is now used as a private burial ground for the Montagu family. Two generations of the family have been laid to rest behind these gates: Henry, 1st Lord Montagu, and his wife, and John, 2nd Lord Montagu, and his two wives.

On the right-hand wall are memorial inscriptions to other family members.

The night stairs which led from the monk's dormitory over the chapter house into the south transept of the abbey church (right).

A doorway to the Abbey Church (below)

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