Fresh Air

Malmesbury Travel Blog

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at the moment, your intrepid correspondant is "writing her MSc thesis."  Those of you who have held down a full time job and done post grad study at the same time know that this is a total pain, because the last thing you feel like doing on the tail end of a bad day is sitting down and writing a couple of thousand words about the effect of the polder model on health care research.  Today, I was in desperate need of some fresh air. 

of course, I couldn't wander off to Wales again, because then the stupid thing would never get written.  I decided to go somewhere closer, so I could ustify it as "it's only an hour or two".  On further thought, I realised I'd never ben to Malmesbury Abbey, which was about half an hour's drive away and therefore counted as OK.
Saints and angels

Malmesbury itself is a pleasant little town, with lots of the usual charity shops you'd expect ina small town, but, interestingly, a proper butcher and two real bakers.  This is rare in the UK, and instantly marks a place as somewhere I will return to.  After all, I'm prepared to drive to Devizes for decent ham hocks.  which is about 45 minutes, so I know that sounds silly, but...

OK, no one casres about my obsession with proper soup. Back to Malmesbury.

Malmesbury abbey was founded very early on, and was well established by 800.  About then, give or take a century, Alfred the Great's (him with the burnt cakes) grandon Athelstan, presumably being more competent at both warcraft and cooking, unified England.
Carved door arch
  And for some reason never quite explained he fell in love with Malmesbury and wanted buried in the Abbey, which promptly got even better known.  The current building is about 12th century.

In its current form, it's a surprisingly large church with a great big arch out the back, attached to nothing.  In its day, it must have been absolutely enormous, but there isn't much to see today.  perfect, in fact, for a half hour walk on your way to purchase a ham hock.  There is some fascinating carving,  especially around the door.  Little of it has survived the last 900 years totally intact, adn the dissolution of the monnasteries and reformation means that most of the angels were beheaded.  Some, however, survived - the locals must have just plastered over them - and the inside of the porch has some great little saints and prophets.  The roof bosses are pretty cool too.  There is also a window by William Morris and Co, which is just after Morris's death and so done to his designs.  Which is interesting if you've ever done textiles or spent time in Glasgow

I had a pleasant bit of fresh air, and have written about 2000 words this afternoon so am not feeling too ashamed. The wind is also now howling around my little flat and doing a good job of putting me off ever leaving my house again, so I'm glad I got the fresh air when I could...
sarahelaine says:
You're welcome! It's a tiny town, but it's nice.
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010
mslellen says:
Thanks for the link. I did not know that we would find this here!
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010
londonstudent says:
2,000 words in an afternoon is pretty good going :)
Posted on: Feb 15, 2009
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Saints and angels
Saints and angels
Carved door arch
Carved door arch
The rotary club donated this mirro…
The rotary club donated this mirr…
The sign says Caution - look in mi…
The sign says Caution - look in m…
Ancient doorway with carved figure…
Ancient doorway with carved figur…
The arch - this place must have be…
The arch - this place must have b…
!5th century market cross, and the…
!5th century market cross, and th…
Malmesbury Sights & Attractions review
Malmesbury Abbey
Malmesbury Abbey must have been huge in its day. Now, all that is left is an unusually large church with an enormous arch leading to nothing round the… read entire review
photo by: mslellen