February 2015 – Commagny Priory

It’s been a while hasn’t it? In February found me back in Moulins-Engilbert. The Boy was having a ‘writer’s retreat’, while I had a retreat. Last summer I decided that I was going to take up a new hobby, visiting Cluny Abbeydaughter houses‘.  Given that there are 181 or so, this will take a while.
The Benedictine Saint- Hilaire Priory in Commagny, isn’t a ‘Sites Clunisien’, as the community was probably attached directly to Rome. Although I couldn’t add it to my ‘I-SPY’ list, hey it’s a nice Romanesque church, so why not.

The church is XIIth century, and the priory house (which is a private residence nowadays) was built in 1336.

The day I visited was absolutely freezing, so I didn’t linger inside for long.

The roof was absolutely beautiful, rather like an upside down Viking longboat.

The light was beautiful that day.
I adored the stairs. They look like an enormous pencil sharpening.


I must pop back again as apparently there’s a holy well, mentioned in ‘The Golden Bough‘ no less. I don’t think The Weeping Cross would forgive me if I didn’t track it down.

Dorset 2011 – St Catherine’s Chapel

On a whim we stopped in Abbotsbury (a place of pilgrimage for P J Harvey fans). While Sarah and the girls went to the Children’s Farm, my Pa and I climbed up to St Catherine’s chapel (this meant that I missed miniature goat racing, but you can’t have it all).
[I’m not sure what the Benedictines would have thought about their tithe barn being full of marauding toddlers, but that’s another story.]
The chapel was built as a pilgrin chapel in the 15th century. It’s a striking nautical landmark, and ever since he first saw it from the sea he’s wanted to visit it.
Sadly, the day was very hazy, so the view wasn’t that great. It was lovely seeing the village nestled in the valley.
For a pilgrimage chapel, the climb isn’t that steep.
It’s a beautiful building…
…and it seems right that it stands alone.
The beautiful vaulting made my soul soar.
The atmosphere is wonderful…
…and I’m so glad that it’s still used for services.
I realise that this will sound a bit ‘up my own arse’, but it was very hard to leave.
Chesil Beach and The Fleet looked beautiful in the haze – how lovely must it be on a clear day?