Dore Abbey was founded as a Cistercian Abbey by Lord Robert D'Ewyas in 1147. It was consecrated by the founder's brother-in-law, St. Thomas Cantilupe. The abbey flourished in seclusion for almost four hundred years before Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries swept away the nave and all associated monastic buildings.
The church is an interesting survival of the Dissolution, for essentially it did not survive. It was granted to the Scudamores who used it as a stone quarry for a hundred years. In 1632, however, the 1st Viscount Scudamore influenced by his friend, Archbishop Laud, decided to restore what remained of the chancel and transepts and add the little tower that we see today.
This is the view which greets the visitor as they enter the building through the door in the southern transept. The high soaring wooden ceilings are fantastic.
Internally, the church is filled with a fine collection of Carolingian ecclesiastical furniture: the screen proudly displaying the arms of Charles I, Scudamore and Laud.
Here is the view into the chancel, which is surrounded by an ambulatory. All of the seating is now in this part of the building. The original twelve foot stone altar slab was restored after being used for making cheese in a local farm.
These three windows are in the east end, high above the altar.
These three windows are in the eastern side of the ambulatory. Close-ups of some of the windows can be seen here.
This window is in the southern side of the ambulatory.
This is the view from the eastern side of the ambulatory looking back into the body of the building. The height and grandeur of the building before the building was so badly brutalised during the Reformation can be imagined from this view. The arch which once led into the nave is still clear to see.
These arms are painted on the northern wall of the transept.
This painting is on the west wall, on the south side of the now blocked arch that once led into the now demolished nave.
Here are the font and organ.
There is an excellent interactive guide on the Friends of Dore Abbey website.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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