Friday, 19th May, 2023

We were sorry to be leaving York, but not sorry to be leaving our accommodation which was one small room with just enough room for two single beds. The weather was quite cool and drizzly. We tried somewhere different for breakfast. The Pear Tree Farm Inn provides an "all you can eat" breakfast, similar to Toby Carvery. We felt that the quality was a little better at the Pear Tree.

Mount Grace Priory was first on the list today. One can visit an "arts & crafts" house, the ruins of the priory and a lovely garden all at the same place!

As it was drizzly, there was an opportunity to take photos of plants and flowers bedecked with raindrops.

The house was built in the 17th century. As with most houses, it has been altered and adapted over its lifetime. Betwen 1900 and 1901, the house was extended and redecorated in the "arts & craft" style popular at the time.

The wallpaper in the room above is a copy of a design by William Morris.

The church is the most intact building of the priory.

The size of this yew tree can be appreciated when it is compared to Satoshi!

The size of this archway can be appreciated when it is compared to me!

Looking from the west end of the church, through the quire, to the sanctuary beyond

Looking up from the base of the tower

The cloister

Another view of the cloister

Unlike the other abbeys we have visited, Mount Grace Priory was a Carthusian community. The Carthusian monks did not live communally, rather each one had his own "cell" (which amounted to a little house) and a small garden plot to cultivate. The model shows the layout of a monk's cell.

The living room inside a reconstructed monk's cell

The bedroom

A place for private prayer

The upstairs room was a general purpose work room.

The monk's garden has also been reconstructed.

The reconstructed monk's cell.

Each cell had a little hatch, similar to some motel rooms, where food was delivered.

The garden, which had recently been restored, was designed with "arts & crafts" principles in mind.

A robin joined us fleetingly in the garden.

This pheasant was interested in what we were having for lunch at the café. I shared a little of my scone.

We then drove to Durham Cathedral where we had sometime to explore and take photos. These photos will be included in the journal tomorrow. Choral Evensong was at 5:30pm. The music was sung by the men and women of the choir, all the music having only alto, tenor and bass parts. The responses were by Rose, the Magnificat was Victoria's "Sexti toni", the Nunc Dimittis by Reid and the anthem "In Pace" by Shephard (the title of which was mispronounced by the clergyperson who introduced it, much to the amusement of some in the choir!). The Psalms were sung to plainchant. This requires the singers to sing in unison (all the same). The blending of the voices was excellent and all the music was of a very high standard.

I noticed someone I know in the congregation. David Hill, a distinguished church musician, has been to Australia twice. The first was an RSCM Summer School in 1984 in Adelaide (which I attended) and then in 2019 for the "Sydney Inspires" RSCM summer school (attended by Satoshi and me). When we spoke to him, we learned that he was to conduct the combined Durham Choral Society and Leeds Philharmonic the next day. Satoshi and I resolved to attend.

We enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant "La Spaghettata".

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