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Milton Abbey, Dorset [20100506|14:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Milton Abbey tomb, detail

We spent our bank holiday in a tiny village in Dorset. Before we left Cambridge, the bloke used a good portion of an hour dismantling our bicycles so we could fit them into the car. This involved a lot of packing and re-packing and swearing, fueled by the knowledge that every minute we delayed our departure meant another twenty spent sitting on the M25, aka The Worst Motorway In Britain, during rush hour. Our four-hour journey morphed into a six-hour journey. On the positive side, this made us even more determined to use our bicycles as much as possible during the holiday.

One of the places we visited was Milton Abbey, a Benedictine church that is now part of a public school. The interior proved to be extraordinarily photogenic. I particularly liked the sculpture above, which topped a tomb inside. The postures of both figures is relaxed and natural, and it is easy to assume that the likenesses are realistic. He looks melancholic and contemplative rather than grief-stricken, as if she were asleep.

Tomb in its setting

Looking towards the back of the abbey

Stained glass, detail

The altar

Stained glass, detail

Cenotaph, detail

[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-05-06 13:47 (UTC)
Such lovely craftsmanship in each of these! They just don't make things like they used to!

Anybody famous buried/depicted here?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-06 16:38 (UTC)
I don't think anybody particularly famous is buried there, but I found this page, which says:

"In 1865 Sir George Gilbert Scott (who also designed London's Royal Albert Hall) restored the church and added the porch. Because there is no nave, the west door leads straight into the crossing. On the right the south transept has a superb 14th century window of decorated style with a stained glass by Pugin (1847). Here the simple vaulting dates to 1500, while the crossing tower has much more elaborate vaulting of the same date, similar to that of Sherborne Abbey. The north transept is also from c. 1500, and enshrines a lovely white marble monument to Caroline Damer (1775) lying on a sofa with her mourning husband (Lord Milton, the builder of the house) beside her. The table tomb was designed by Robert Adam and the effigies were executed by Carlini (see image below)."

There is also a little plaque outside the church which explains the following:

"In 1588 John Tregonwell, son of the owner of the house, aged 5, wearing petticoats - the fashion of the day - fell 60 ft from the top of the church tower. His petticoats acted as a parachute and he survived unharmed, dying at the age of 87. His picture is kept in the Lady Chapel, along with a bust of St James of Compostella, patron saint of pilgrims and of Spain."
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-05-06 17:13 (UTC)
How interesting! And LOL at his petticoats acting as a parachute - now THAT would be something to see on youtube if it had happened recently!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-06 17:19 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I believe the plaque actually said he was wearing pantaloons, not petticoats. Which possibly makes the whole thing even funnier.
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