Monday, 8 May 2017

A Tip-Toe Through The Bluebells

Situated at Ashley Chase, just north west of Abbotsbury, is a Dorset treasure little visited by tourists.

Judith Young organised a walk to the remains of a chapel, dating back to the 13th century. Some land was given to Cistercian monks from Netley Abbey near Southampton by the landowner William of Litton in 1246 so that prayers could be said, in perpetuity, for him and his family.

The chapel was built and dedicated to St Luke who was a Greek speaking physician and historian from Antioch in Syria and a companion of St Paul. The chapel continued to be used until the King Hal and Thomas Cromwell dissolved the monasteries in 1530's. The chapel was used by the community for some time, but it gradually became a ruin.

In 1925 the land was bought by Sir David and Lady Milne-Watson and they shored up the surviving gable end of the chapel, which still stands today. They loved this space so much they were buried here. 

People still use the chapel for contemplation and we found evidence of a couple who had visited for a 'hand-fasting' ritual only recently.

Some of the group then went to walk around Abbotsbury Iron Age hillfort and some to the tea room at Abbotsbury Tropical Gardens, where we sat surrounded by exotic plants.

Thanks Judith for a lovely day.      

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