My World In Sepia

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I seem to be having a ‘sepia season’ just now. It’s suiting my mood. And I anyway like the ‘antique’, slightly mysterious cast it gives some of the shots. I took them earlier in the week – along the lane from the Wenlock Priory ruins. The magnificent Corsican pines tower over the Priory visitor entrance, the place shut up for months now. I’ve no idea how these trees came to Shropshire, but I’m guessing that the Milnes Gaskells who once lived in the Prior’s House, or The Abbey, as they called it, may have planted them. This would be back in the days when Henry James was a repeat visitor and the priory ruins were something of an extended garden feature for his genteel English hosts.

The next two photos provide views of what was once the Priory ‘parkland’, now mostly owned by Wenlock Estates, a family trust, and grazed by sheep. In the Priory’s heyday the monks apparently had a high old time, hunting on horseback across their extensive domain. And not only that. One wild young monk, William Broseley, headed a gang of bandits, Wild West style, and Prior Henry de Bonvillars in 1302 was charged with raiding and horse stealing over on the Welsh borders.

Sheep were also an important monastic commodity, the wool a source of great wealth in the early Middle Ages. In 1284 another slippery Prior, John de Tycford, caused consternation and monkish fury within the sacred confines when it was found he had robbed the house of its wealth through a spot of canny futures dealing. He managed to sell seven prospective years of wool and then make off with the loot. Things are much more peaceful here these days.

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Lens-Artists: You Pick It This week our excellent hosts, the Lens-Artists, invite us to choose our own topic.

35 thoughts on “My World In Sepia

  1. I was wondering about the trees being tied together as well and I’m enjoying your sepia season, although the fact that you feel that way now makes me hope that soon you feel more like living color (although not necessarily from a photo standpoint.)

    janet

  2. What an interesting topic you chose Tish, so glad you shared this story. The monks had quite a history didn’t they?! Loved the guy who sold 7 years of futures LOL!! A truly beautiful spot and the sepia is lovely for it.

    1. Ah now, that header. I’m rather pleased with myself. Once I discovered I could switch off the WP title and strapline I went back to my photo editor and added the text to the image and then uploaded it. Ha! Take that WP!

  3. Wonderful sepia pictures. I remember how important wool was in the medieval period. Wool was MONEY. Actually, when I lived in Israel, to the Bedouins, wool was STILL money and the price for a single full-grown wool-bearing sheep could take your breath away. Back in those good old days, the Bedouins used to run the sheep right through the middle of Jerusalem to get to the other side of the mountain. So there you’d be in your car, watching the odd chicken peck alongside the road while waiting for the sheep (and camels) to cross. It was a very old/new kind of world. That’s all gone now.

    I think they built the first bridges and roads so they could tote wool from market to market. Towns were in serious competition to have the biggest and best markets for wool and woolen cloth.

    Wait. That means… NOTHING HAS CHANGED. We’ve just got bigger markets. And wool still costs a lot of money 😀

    1. That’s a marvellous picture you have painted here, Marilyn – it zinged out of my screen – the Bedouin and their herds pushing through Jerusalem, stopping traffic, proud disregard for urban living.

    1. Glad you like the new look, Jo. When I first did it, I was having problems with the pale blog title text (plus unreadable subhead) on the new header photo. My theme (for unknown reasons) won’t let me change the colour of the header text, which has been a real pain. So when I found I could switch it off, I started again with the header photo and used my editing prog to put the text directly onto the photo before uploading it to WP. Being a luddite by nature, that’s why I was so chuffed with myself 🙂

  4. Sepia days…well, I have the same feel, but you produced beautifully through that mood. The antique style is very attractive. And your lovely countryside produced real wild west stories too. Thank you for sharing them (absolutely shocking and hilarious…). Evenif I love sepia, Ihope you will come out of it before long.

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