Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Kelso Abbey and an ex-Prime Minister

Very sorry about the noisy traffic but that's life nowadays, wherever you live!

Kelso Abbey would have been ab fab in days of yore. Started in 1128 Kelso Abbey was one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture. Finally finishedin 1243 , it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St John. It was one of the largest Abbeys in Scotland.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Abbot of Kelso was granted the right to wear a mitre, which gave him a precedence higher than any other Scottish abbot.

Two kings, James III and James IV, were crowned in the Abbey, and Prince Henry, son of David I, was buried there in 1152.

There's another Abbey in Melrose, about 12 miles from where we live in Mellerstain. I may try some videos there one day. The heart of Robert the Bruce, brought back from the crusades, is buried in the precincts of Melrose Abbey. Melrose Abbey is about 500 years older than Kelso Abbey. Built to last, were they not!

The video below is just a short look at the recent statue of Lord Alec Douglas Home (pronounced Hume), one time prime minister of England. He was the 14th Earl of Home and his estate is The Hirsel, in Coldstream. He renounced his peerage to become PM for about one year, (October 1963-October 1964). He died in October 1995, aged 92.

Coldstream is the home of the Coldstream Guards, formed in 1650 and is the oldest regiment in the regular British army. Coldstream is a true 'Border town', separated from England by the river Tweed, with England on the south side of the river and Coldstream on the north. It has been 'in the wars' over the years, having been twice demolished during the 'border wars'. However, it is still going strong - and very peacefully now, thank goodness!

Music: Avé Maria


willow said...

What a perfectly lovely September afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed this. So fun to hear your charming accent, Philip.

We're having a gray, rainy, warm and humid day in central Ohio.

Brenda said...

Beautiful tour that you took us on Philip. I wonder if you are a tour guide, since I am new to reading your blog, I haven't gone back to read some of your old posts. You should be if you are not. You tell stories in a very pleasing way. Looking forward to the next one!

Argent said...

The warm autumn sunshine, beautiful views, soothing music and your honeyed tones - who could ask for more! The abbey must have magnificent in its heydey.

DUTA said...

Both the abbey and the statue are vey impressive.

The statue of Lord Douglas Home is in a lovely green surroundings; The pink color of its piedestal blends quite nicely with the other colors around.

The Bug said...

Very nice! I'm jealous of the beautiful day - as Willow says its humid & dreary here in Ohio...

I know it was my imagination - or perhaps it's just past my bedtime, but the statue of Lord Home seemed to be walking toward me at times. Hope I don't dream about it!

P.S. re my blog - you are a t-total nut. Certifiable! And therefore would actually have met my criteria to make it to date number 2. Ha!

stregata said...

Philip, thank you for your comment. Sorry, I don't know what kind of berries are in the picture. I only know they are not edible.

lovelyprism said...

This is fabulous! I love old architecture.

the walking man said...

Philip, you give the impression that an Abbey is more than just a grand there ore to them?

Loved the hand cut stone work, I would like to be able to do that.

Shadow said...

too much of this kind of history is getting lost. the beautiful architekture being replaced by modern buildings, glass and chrome. this is NICE!

Anonymous said...

We just don't have this depth of history in North America. The cultures that came before Europeans didn't leave many things we can still experience today.

willow said...

Philip, I took your advice and added a little disclaimer to the foot of my post! :)

Land of shimp said...

Philip, do you head out and visit these places to give us a tour? I always feel that way, as if it's a trip especially arranged for us here. It's such a lovely feeling.

The Abbey must have been so beautiful, and it's so easy to imagine it teeming with life. I sometimes get overwhelmed by the thought of that when viewing places with such history behind them. Just the sheer numbers of people. all with their separate lives and concerns, that have been through a place. It's kind of an encapsulation of the feeling of the world as a whole. So many lives being lived. When something stands for that long it's impossible not to think of the incredible passage, and progress of time.

Places like that always make me think of what it would be like to run into someone from the first day the place was completed. How we'd baffle each other, and possibly alarm each other.

You're providing a time machine for my imagination, Philip. Thank you so much.

PhilipH said...

Willow: Nice to see you; I love your silhouette type photography.

Brenda: Hello and welcome. I used to take people around Mellerstain House, just pointing out some of the special bits but I am now fully retired from that. I still like to speak to visitors when I stroll around the house or gardens.

Hi Argent, the silver lady. There are many Abbeys of great age in the UK, and I do like seeing them.

Duta: Alec Douglas Home had to renounce the peerage to become PM. He was too decent a bloke to be a politician, in my opinion. I've met his wife a few times as she is a frequent visitor to Mellerstain.

Bug: Thanks, and I'm relieved you haven't ditched me, nutty as I am!

Stregata: Very nice to see you here. Your photos really impress me.

The Lovelyprism: Good evening ma'am. Thank you for your kind comment. You're a toff!
(That's a compliment BTW!)

Mark: Most Abbeys are just history now. Henry VIII had a real go at 'em! Churches I love too, but I am not religious in any way shape or form. I just like their beauty.

Shadow: I agree entirely with you regarding the loss of such historical building.

Jason: It takes time! Visitors to some of our stately homes and gardens often ask how we get the lawns so smooth and green. The answer is: plant the grass then feed it and mow it and roller it for 200 years and it comes right.

Willow: thanks for adding that rider to your hilarious videos! I was worried that viewers might have concerns for the little people!;-)

Alane: as usual you hit upon the same thoughts I have. Those who built these old abbeys; those who inhabited them; what was life all about then? If only these old walls could speak, eh?

A human kind of human said...

"The heart of Robert the Bruce, brought back from the crusades, is buried in the precincts of Melrose Abbey." Just wondering how the heck did they manage to get it back to Melrose from the crusades!