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Borderlands transformed by BricksandStones Borderlands transformed by BricksandStones

This is the view of the interior of the ruined Cistercian abbey in Tintern in Wales, United Kingdom. This abbey was founded in 1131 and was only the second Cistercian monastery in the whole of Britain and the first one in Wales. In the medieval period Cistercian monks were often given abandoned or uncultivated land from secular benefactors so that they could make it fertile and profitable with their good knowledge of irrigation systems, water channels and mill constructions and industry. The types of land often offered to the monastic order included swamps, marshes or arid terrains and borderlands devastated by war. Tintern was one such marshy borderland located in the Welsh Marches between the kingdom of England and Wales. The Cistercian monks quickly transformed the once depopulated wetlands into a prosperous centre of agriculture and industry as well as religion and learning. Monasticism flourished here for more than 400 years until the abbey was destroyed and the monks expelled during the dissolution of monasteries when England cut its religious ties with Rome and the rest of Europe.  After that, Tintern was largely forgotten, becoming the abandoned land it once was. Even after they were gone however, the Cistercian managed to contribute to the beauty of this land. In the 18th C. the ruins of their monastery attracted the attention of Romantic travelers and artists, and eventually became famous as one of the most popular tourist locations in Wales. Thus, Tintern was transformed once again as one of the most picturesque countryside locations in Wales.

The way this church looks today has little to do with its medieval appearance, originally the nave was segregated by walls and screens which separated its different parts for the use of different groups of monks. These walls were demolished to make the church more attractive to visitors but you can still see their remaining fragments at the edges of the columns.  Some writers complain that the ruin resembles more a type of a fairytale Disneyland than a medieval abbey but I think that with a bit of good will, the modern beauty of Tintern Abbey can still be seen as a contribution of medieval monks who, after all, managed to transform this borderland location into a beautiful corner of Wales even after they were expelled from it during the Renaissance.  

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:iconyusefth:
yusefth Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014   Digital Artist
This is very beatiful!  ^-^ 
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
I am glad you think so Yusefth - thank you for the comment! I appreciate it :)
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:iconmarty4110:
Marty4110 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Very fine image!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
I am glad you think so! Thank you! Tintern is such a beautiful place that in a good weather it is relatively easy to make a good photo there - even for an amateur like me. I really appreciate that this photo caught your attention - thank you for the comment and sorry for taking so long to reply (again)! 
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:iconpeterpateman:
peterpateman Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful! :clap:
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
A complement from a talented photographer like you is always appreciated :) (from anyone really :) ) Thank you for commenting - I appreciate it!
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:iconpeterpateman:
peterpateman Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're most welcome! =D
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:iconsmallsofthamish:
smallsofthamish Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
I am going to have to find this abbey; it's beautiful and your capture does it great justice. 
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
It is certainly worth checking out! If you ever decide to go there, check out Chepstow castle. It is very close and it is the oldest stone castle in Wales, it is beautifully situated on a rock above the river and still preserves some nice Norman arches and remains of frescoes. Thank you very much for taking your time to comment - I appreciate it!
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:iconsmallsofthamish:
smallsofthamish Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014
You're welcome and thanks for the info. Both are a lot more accessible than I thought: our son lives close to the Severn Bridge, on the English side. It would take about 20 minutes to get there!! Something to bear in mind for a day out when we next visit. :D
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:iconclayghost34:
clayghost34 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
It's beautiful even in its ruined state.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
I am glad you think so! Thank you very much for viewing and taking your time to write the comment! I appreciate it :) also I am sorry for taking so long to reply!
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:iconartamusica:
artamusica Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, I've been here. I just love the the grassy "carpet" and the fact that the structure is open to the sky. I feel much closer to heaven by having nature within these old walls. It's a stunning combination and you have captured it beautiful. Just love the little daisies in the lawn here.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
I also like ruined abbeys though I cant escape the feeling how artificial their look is... its almost like visiting a film set :) They are obviously beautiful and it is great they can be preserved in this form - the grass in the central nave and aisles is indeed one of my favorite elements as well :) Did you get to see chepstow as well during your visit? Thank you for the comment. I really appreciate that you still visit my gallery sometimes :) Also, sorry for taking so long to respond, I recently moved flats and had little time for DA... but anyway thank you once again! 
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:iconartamusica:
artamusica Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
No problem on the delayed replies as I, myself have been rather under a work crunch. Two weeks of running a music camp with over 60 kids. :D I survived yet another one. No, I never got to Chepstow when I was at Tintern, but I did get to Salisbury, the ruins in Coventry, and up to Chester. This was all over twenty years ago. So it was really nice to see your photo of Tintern. HOpe the move went well and you are all settled in now!
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:iconeldr-fire:
Eldr-Fire Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful photo! Thanks for the beautiful history too.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Thank you for taking your time to look at it, read the description and comment :) I really appreciate it! When I lived in Durham I though I will never get to see Chepstow and Tintern but when I moved south I finally got the chance :) I only regret tat I did not get to visit northern wales with its beautiful castles... maybe in the future :) Thanks again and sorry for late response! How you have been doing for the last few weeks? Everything ok?
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:iconeldr-fire:
Eldr-Fire Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem! I have read Wordsworth's poem about this place many times so I really like seeing such a beautiful photograph of it accompanied by the history. My dad (a medieval religious historian) cares a lot about Cistercian abbeys, and I hadn't realised that this was one. More reason to go! And thanks, I've been doing pretty well--a little stressed but overall things are going well! :)
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:iconlupa-rutila:
Lupa-Rutila Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014
As always-beautiful photo and interesting story :) I love the light, the composition-the frame of arch and columns, blue sky and flowers make wonderful whole. Great focus on all the layers of walls and shadows :)
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Wow, thank you very much for such a detailed comment! I really appreciate it! Also, I am very sorry for taking so long to reply - I recently moved flats and had little time for DA but I will try to catch up now :) I am very glad you like this photo - when I visit a popular tourist site I always feel anxious that I will not be able to make any decent photos because of either the weather, lack of talent or crowds of other tourists but Tintern was good to me - the weather was good and there were not tat many people there so even with my limited talent the photos are not bad - it is a beautiful place - very close to the chepstow castle and river.... Thank you once again - I appreciate that you still care to view my gallery sometimes :)
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:iconlupa-rutila:
Lupa-Rutila Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
Absolutely no problem and my pleasure :) The photo is beautiful and Your explanations are interesting :)
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:icongolulu:
GoLulu Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Outstanding photography. :) :D
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Thank you very much! I am glad you like this :) Also, I am sorry for taking more than 3 weeks to reply... I recently moved flats and had little time for DA... but I will try to catch up now, thank you very much once again and again - sorry for the dely in responding!
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:iconcalimer00:
calimer00 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014
Just love it - at a first glance I thought it´s Whitby, but then...
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Hi Calimero! Thank you for taking your time to comment and I am sorry for taking so long to reply! I recently moved flats and became a bit detached from DA. Still, I am glad you like this and to be honest, most ruined abbeys in England look similar :) They can be vaguely classified between large, well preserved ones (like Whitby, Tintern, or Fountains, Rievaulx, Melrose), medium (like Egglestone, Finchale or Glastonbury) and small (Strata Florida or Lanercost). At least these are the ones that come to my mind though obviouly there are more (let me know if you know about some interesting ones :) ) . Thank you once again and I once again apologise for late reply! 
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:iconladymarg:
LadyMarg Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Matko, jakie to jest śliczne!!! :)
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Hej! Dziekuje za komentarz i przepraszam ze odpowiadam tak pozno - ostatnio mialem przeprowadzke i jakos trudno bylo mi sie zebrac na aktywnosc na DA. Ale teraz nadrabiam :) Milo mi ze Ci sie podoba - Tintern to piekne miejsce chociaz tak naprwade nie ma nic wspolnego z historia Walijczykow - takie prawdziwe walijskie opactwa to na przyklad Strata Florida ale one sa glebiej, w polnocnej Walii i trudniej tam dotrzec - Tintern to tak naprawde angielskie opactwo zwiazane z Angliaa przez cala swoja historie. Tak czy siak jeszcze raz przeraszam za pozna odpowiedz i dzekuje za komentarz!
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:iconsilvertop:
SilverTop Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The light and composition are wonderful... this is a beautiful capture!
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Hi Marsha! Thank you very much for the comment and I apologise for taking so long to reply - I moved flats recently and had little time for DA... Still, I am very glad you like this, Cistercian abbeys are often beautiful and Tintern is a wonderful place for photography. Even an amateur photographer can make a decent photo there, thank you once again for taking your time to comment - I appreciate it!
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:iconsilvertop:
SilverTop Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome... it is a wonderful photo!
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:iconsilvertop:
SilverTop Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome!  :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconmarrciano:
marrciano Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
"urokliwe" miejsce  no i ujęcie  bardzo fajne
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Bardzo sie ciesze ze Pan tak uwaza! Dziekuje za komentarz i przepraszam za pozna odpowiedz - ostatnio mialem przeprowadzke i nie mialem czasu na DA... Dziekuje jeszcze raz, Tintern jest tak bardzo pieknym miejscem e dosyc latwo zrobic tam nienajgorsze zdjecie
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing. The green grass "carpet" covered with all those daisies really gives it an ethereal mood. Funny really how an act of destruction could in fact create something so beautiful. Though I would have preferred if it remained intact...
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Hi Akitku! Thank you for the comment and I am really sorry for taking so long to reply! Almost a month! I am glad you say you would prefer if the abbey would remain intact because I also thought so when I visited Tintern - the destruction of cloisters is an especially great loss, judging from the excavated pieces of tracery they must have looked amazing! Also, it is a shame about the broken stained glass windows... Still, it is a beautiful medieval ruin and I am glad you like the grass inside! It looked really cool, English grass seems somehow different from the continental grass :) Thank you again for commenting, I appreciate it!
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:iconmaximsellevellor:
MaximSellevellor Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Very atmosferic
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
I am glad you think so :) Thank you very much for the comment and sorry for taking so long to reply! It is hardly as atmosferic as the darker 'gothic' photos of your gallery but still, I appreciate it caught your attention :) Thanks again!
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:iconmaximsellevellor:
MaximSellevellor Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
And thank you! :) (Smile) You have many strong photos, I very much like to reconsider they.
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:iconestachos:
estachos Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014
znowu genialne zdjęcie i fantastyczny opis...
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Milo mi ze Ci sie podoba :) Dziekuje za komentarz i przepraszam za tak pozno odpowiadam - ostatnio zmienilem mieszkanie i mialem malo czasu na DA. Tak czy siak jeszcze raz dziekuje, Tintern jest na tyle pieknym miejscem ze naprawde latwo zrobic tam ladne zdjecie :) 
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:iconestachos:
estachos Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
nie znam się zupełnie na architekturze, ale od takiej nie mogę oderwać oczu :)
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:iconloverofbeauty:
loverofbeauty Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
Have you ever heard of an author named Elizabeth Chadwick? She's written numerous books set in the early days of the Plantagenet Dynasty in England, and Tintern is featured as a location in at least one of her works (I've only read a few of them), The Scarlet Lion

If you're into historical fiction, her writing style is amazing and I would definitely recommend you check out her works.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Hi Jesse, thank you very much for the comment and I apologise for taking so long to reply (almost a month - I am really sorry!). I recently moved flat and had little time for DA... To be honest before reading your post I never heard about E. Chadwick but now that you mentioned it I ordered Scarlet Lion on amazon (its only about 8 L). The book arrived yesterday and now I will have some time to read it. I see this is a second book about William Marshal bu I hope its not a problem. It starts very well and I may try to read some of her other works (The Marsh King's Daughter sounds interesting :) ) Once again thanks for the comment :) 
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:iconloverofbeauty:
loverofbeauty Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014
Well, The Scarlet Lion is actually the second half of her work detailing the life of William Marshal (who also appears in her other books). The first one is The Greatest Knight. She says that they can be read independently of each other, but I always like to read things in chronological order regardless. 
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovely colours and composition here. With its original walls torn down, it looks more like a garden. I like how it currently looks, at least superficially, as if it's being taken back by nature. But of course, in reality, its walls were torn down with the intention of making it appealing to visitors. The grass almost looks like a "natural carpet."
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014
Hi Ermek! Thank you very much for the comment and I apologize for taking so long to reply! I am really glad you like this and that its modern look is appealing to you :) English gardens, particularly grass, can be really beautiful. I think it might be because there is so much rain there and because grass is mowed so regularly for decades in England... I quite liked the flowers as well - they looked a bit like snowflakes but anyway, thank you very much once again for taking your time to comment - I appreciate it!
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:iconcharcoalfeather:
charcoalfeather Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem at all!
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:iconnausetsouth:
NausetSouth Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
Great image. When I looked at it, I thought it was Valle Crucis Abbey, also a ruined Cistercian abbey and one that I visited many years ago. I see now that it is distinct. But it is interesting how I produces the same mood.
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:iconbricksandstones:
BricksandStones Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014
Thank you for the comment Bryan. I envy you your trip of Valle Crucis - I have seen photos of this abbey online and it looks very nice, if I saw correctly one of the monastic structures there still preserves its Gothic vault. North Wales, together with parts of Scotland (Iona, St. Andrews) are those places in Britain which unfortunately I never managed to visit and I do not think I will in the near future (my studies are almost finished and I hope to go back to Poland once I submit my thesis). Another abbey in Wales which I would like to visit one day is Strata Florida - this is mainly because I read that it played such an important role in the shaping of Welsh identity. The castles of northern Wales and Bangor cathedral are also interesting, have you been there for long? I agree that ruined abbeys in Britain create a very specific atmosphere, apart from Tintern I have seen Whitby, Glastonbury, Fountains, Egglestone, Lindisfarneu  and few others and they were all had the same atmosphere about them. Lindisfarne is especially nice. Anyway, thank you once again for commenting, I really appreciate it!
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:iconlormet-images:
Lormet-Images Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
This is a great photo my friend! Very interesting history of the place, thanks so much for the information. :)
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June 19, 2014
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