Bolton Abbey Nave.

Sue Smith

Prescot, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Shot at Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, UK. This looking down the ruins of the nave.

Camera Nikon D300 on tripod.
Took nine exposures and used Photomatix to create HDR image.
Didn’t really like the first blend so selected three exposures to run through Photomatix again.
The exposures I finally used were -3, 00, +2. Yes, I know not equal but I wanted a dark broody look to the finished image.
Finally ran through CS4 to finish off.

Bolton Abbey, located on the banks of the River Wharfe near the village of Bolton-in-Wharfedale, was founded in 1154 by Augustinian monks from nearby Embsay. The weather proved too harsh in the hills of Embsay and, after two years, the monks needed a new home. The area the monks found was shielded from much of the weather by the surrounding hills. The land was donated by Lady Alice de Romille of Skipton Castle. The monks’ main source of income came from produce, tithes, rent from farms, and lead mines. They used this money to hire masons to build their abbey. In 1170, the nave of the abbey church was converted into a parish church.

The monks spent their days in prayer and worship. Their days began at 2:00 a.m. and did not end until dusk. The monks also contributed to the life of nearby Bolton-in-Wharfedale by preaching, teaching, running hospitals, and giving shelter to visitors.

The abbey survived bouts of poverty, roving bands of Scots, and severe weather and continued to thrive, but in 1539, it faced destruction from Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. The monks were dispersed, construction of the West Tower halted, the roof torn off, and the furnishings were stripped. Much of the estate was sold to the Clifford family, who owned Skipton Castle. The Cliffords later passed the estate on to the Cavendishes, Dukes of Devonshire.

The prior of the church, Prior Richard Moone, however convinced King Henry to leave the parish church intact for worshippers. A wall was built to seal off the eastern side of the nave and worship continued in the new form. During the 19th century, Devonshire family commissioned major improvements to the church. In 1853, August Pugin designed new stained glass windows. In 1867, architect George Street restored the pews, the font, and the sanctuary. In 1880, the east wall was rebuilt. During the 1970s, Canon Maurice Slaughter oversaw a series of repairs to the church and the West Tower was given a roof and floor. In 2004, Bolton Abbey celebrated its 850th anniversary. Today the Parish Church of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert is home to a thriving congregation.


MCN: C2SEX-HSNEM-RJTNV

Artwork Comments

  • Anna Shaw
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