I was going through some old SD cards and I found this photo, which I took in 2012:
It’s been edited so I must have done it on one of the photo editors on my laptop, and it brought back a flood of memories.
This is Waverley Abbey, near Farnham in Surrey. It’s the first monastery in England founded by the Cistercian order, and was first constructed in 1128. This picture is of the ruins of the lay brother’s quarters, which must have been seriously impressive before it fell into ruin. This part of the site was built in the 13th century so a little later than the first buildings at the location.
Here’s another photo of the site – this is the monk’s dormitory and is unedited:
The whole site is fascinating and incredibly peaceful. The ruins have a lovely ‘vibe’ to them and you can really imagine what the site was like when it was full of monks going about their daily business. There’s also this awesome tree, and my friend’s dog Kira was having a great time posing on the tree roots for me.
I can’t believe it’s been five years since I’ve been there, and also that I no longer speak to the friend who I went on this walk with. We fell out of touch and I suspect it’s because I stopped going online as much as I used to (I used to practically live on MSN messenger) and wasn’t physically able to do stuff as much. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2013, and a few months later we stopped communicating. It’s a shame because we got along really well, and liked going for these walks. I hope that Kira is still with us and healthy – you can see she’s a gorgeous dog. Very sweet, very kind and really friendly. I can see from the website that you’re meant to keep your dog on a lead at Waverley now – that’s a shame, because Kira really enjoyed exploring around the ruins and playing in this tree.
One other thing I do remember very clearly about this walk – we met a pug called Basil. Basil was the poshest pug in the world. The way he walked and the way he carried himself was hilarious, and brilliant. He walked as if he was marching in a parade and there was this aura of ‘look at me, I am Basil The Magnificent’ about him. And he was very sweet-natured as well.
We are so lucky in Surrey to have some great sites like this. I do love living in this part of England! If you are ever in this area, do take some time to visit Waverley Abbey and enjoy the lovely peaceful atmosphere. It’s very contemplative. Bring a sketchbook if you are so inclined, and definitely bring a camera. It’s somewhere you won’t ever forget, and I must visit it again soon.