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The “green pastoral landscape” of Tintern Abbey

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love.

– William Wordsworth

I have been itching to get back out with the camera lately, but time hasn’t been on my side. That remains the case, but luckily you don’t have to go very far around here to find places that are great for photography.

It takes me less than 10 minutes to get to Tintern Abbey, the one-time stomping ground of the Cistercians.Tintern Abbey was founded by William Marshal after he promised God, in the midst of a shipwreck, that if he survived he would found a monastery wherever he washed up. That happened to be Bannow Bay and The Earl of Pembroke made good on his promise.

If you’re interested in the history there’s lots of information online, just don’t get it confused with its Welsh namesake!

The two – and the link between them – are mentioned in a brief summary of the Wexford abbey’s history here. I chose this post to link to because it comes with an excellent bonus, the extract from the William Wordsworth poem, “Tintern Abbey”, which  I included at the top of this post. Here’s the full poem:

I was mainly there for photography purposes today and unfortunately it was very overcast, but I still enjoyed a walk around the grounds, taking in the mill, the cemetery and generally following in the footsteps of the Cistercians.

The other reason I was keen to go to Tintern Abbey, other than photography and proximity, was that I hadn’t seen the work carried out on the Colclough Walled Garden yet. For those not from these parts, the name Colclough is pronounced “Coakley” – or at least it is nowadays!

This 2.6 acre walled garden, with a stream running through it, will not contain anything – from fruit tress to flowers – that it wouldn’t have in the early 1800s. It truly is a labour of love for those involved and it’s wonderful to see such a faithful restoration project shaping up so well.

Elaine Furlong wrote a good piece on it for the New Ross Standard that gives an insight into the project, its goals and its volunteer ethos.

Barbara Kelly and Alan Ryan were hard at work there when we arrived for a look around and Barbara kindly told us about the project and their progress to date, all of which you can read about here or by following them on Facebook.

Here’s a few shots from the garden: