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Tony Grist

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Dunfermline [Oct. 31st, 2008|10:23 am]
Tony Grist
Next morning we set off for home.  At a leisurely pace. It took us two days. 

We spent the morning in Dunfermline. There is a great abbey- with an abbey guesthouse that somehow morphed into a Royal Palace (now picturesquely ruined).  A 19th century Presbyterian church in the gothic style has been attached to the east end of the romanesque abbey church and the effect is remarkably harmonious. Robert the Bruce is buried in the Presbyterian half - and they've hoisted a pulpit over the pastiche medieval brass (created in Paris in the 1870s) that covers his grave. Bruce was a murdering sonofabitch and its curious to think of the Word of God being preached above his bones. 

There is so much history here. Charles I was born in the Palace. The 19th century steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was born here- the son of a weaver- and came back after he'd made his pile in the USA and showered the town with money; his name is everywhere. The abbey church contains the grave of William Schaw, 1550-1602, who is credited with the creation of modern Freemasonry. Oh, and it was while he was sitting in "Dunfermline town, drinking the bloud-red wine" that the King of Scotland sent Sir Patrick Spens off on his fateful mission to Norroway.



The interior of the old abbey church. it was built by the same gang that built Durham cathedral. 



The old abbey and the new kirk. The stonework round the top of the tower reads KING ROBERT THE BRUCE.



The Royal Palace.



A late medieval/renaissance carving of the annunciation.



The abbey. Dig those massive buttresses.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dadi
2008-10-31 11:18 am (UTC)
Fantastic pictures, as always. And the beautiful weather certainly doesn't hurt!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 11:45 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-10-31 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, the abbey certainly isn't going to fall down any time soon with those buttresses.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 01:33 pm (UTC)
I love the romanesque. Those early medieval buildings are like the work of giants.
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[User Picture]From: qos
2008-10-31 12:40 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous, as always!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 01:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks
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[User Picture]From: litchick
2008-10-31 01:10 pm (UTC)
Great pictures in the last couple posts. I want to visit someday. I have a friend who had been living here in LV that moved back home last spring. I have to start and England fund!

That church is incredible.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 01:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

Yes, start saving those pennies....
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From: saskia139
2008-10-31 02:07 pm (UTC)
You like big buttresses and you cannot lie?

;)

*runs away*
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 03:33 pm (UTC)
Ready or not, here I come.....
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2008-10-31 04:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes! That interior does resemble Durham. You really have a knack for finding interesting buildings.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-31 05:38 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of early medieval churches in that part of Scotland. If we'd stopped at every one we passed I wouldn't be home yet.
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From: algabal
2008-11-01 02:37 am (UTC)
The last picture makes it look so very eternal, powerful and abiding.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-01 09:13 am (UTC)
Dunfermline abbey was a ruin for many years. The southwest tower fell down, the central tower fell down, but then they slapped a new roof on the nave and it was practically as good as new.
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[User Picture]From: currawong
2008-11-01 07:20 am (UTC)
The King sits in Dunfermline Town,
Drinking the blood-red wine,
O, where can I get a seely skipper
To sail this ship o' mine


See, even then you couldn't get a seely skipper for love or money, and look what that unfortunate omission led to ...but that's wha' ye get if you go a sailing beneath the New Moon with the Old Moon in her arms , I guess.

I guess Sir Patrick just wasn't seely enough.
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[User Picture]From: currawong
2008-11-01 07:28 am (UTC)
...but then again, perhaps he was confused because he didn't know whether to be "seely" or "skeely", or whether to sail a "ship", or a "schip"?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-01 09:22 am (UTC)
If it hadn't been for good ol' Sir Patrick Spens I wouldn't have bothered visiting the town.
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[User Picture]From: currawong
2008-11-01 10:32 am (UTC)
I was introduced to it in a bone-chilling performance by the native-American folk-singer, Buffy Saint-Marie, over 40years ago.
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