Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

There’s the thing, then, much later, the memory of the thing.

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The moment when you push aside the brambles, kick down the tall grass and see the old stones and crumbling mortar revealed to the light of day one more time.

Walk anywhere you like in the UK and you walk through history: remnants of which loiter in the landscape like broken teeth and discarded shoes. Repurposed, reused, reinterpreted, made relevant for the modern age.

In Medieval times, the monasteries were a network of power and social cohesion, spread through the landscape, permeating every city and infiltrating the countryside. They weren’t additions, bolted onto communities, but rather central in their development and, through taxation, tithes and influence, central to their growth.

The Church represents itself through architecture, ritual and costume. Religious buildings are of a particular style. Religious buildings serve many purposes: they are iconic in that…

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