These remnants of the past adorn the present,
Relating the aspirations of their birth,
Attaching the future to their past.
How dominant in silhouette
The ruined priory stands;
How assertive its very existence.
The faith that built its aspiring arch,
That held its hope through devotion
And a staunch religious life,
Remains in every desecrated stone,
Each weathered rock;
Still a monument to conviction,
A parable of faith.
What distinction a ruin can give,
Purpose disclosed in symmetry.
The shell recalls its torrid past, but
Hope was not destroyed along with stone.
These skeletal embers still speak of belief;
The story told in its remains,
Its hold on today still firm.
This bygone glory, the Dissolution’s ruins,
Transformed into the splendour of today;
Despair turned into hope.
This testimony from the past
Now, our treasure of the present.
Destruction brought about by time,
Ruins preserved in dignity,
Have now conveyed perspective to the present.
The toil of centuries brought to ignominious end,
Their dissolution brought about a resurrection.
In dissolution – a new life was created;
These remnants of the past adorn the present.
My photographs were taken on a recent visit to Gisborough Priory on the northern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. My thoughts as presented above, although they followed from this visit and from many previous visits, apply also to the very many historic remains throughout the United Kingdom subsequent to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th Century.
Viewers of Roland’s Ragbag will note that an image of this same Priory East Window (not my own photograph) is used as header to all my blog pages.