...and speaking of Benedictines,
Buckfast Abbey, which we visited on our way home from Sharp Tor today. Robin sat in the car and took a nap (he's still waiting for the antibiotics to kick in) while I strolled through the grounds and the abbey church. The original abbey was built in 1018, (ten years before the pub at Rattery!) and destroyed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. For over three hundred years, there were no monks at Buckfast, until a group of six French Benedictines rented the property in 1882.
The present abbey church was built between 1907 and 1937 by a small group of monks (usually four, but sometimes as many as six working together). Only one of the monks was a trained stonemason. The others learned as they went along.
I quite enjoyed my tour and the quiet beauty of the abbey. I was tempted to suggest we stay for Vespers, but that was still two hours away when I wandered back to the car. Robin was up and about, so we headed home for supper.
The Pantry, where we bought Cheddar and Stilton, baguettes, apples, and tomatoes for a picnic lunch.
The babies were, of course, completely irresistible.
This little fellow (the parti-coloured foal) got himself into trouble later on. Stay tuned.
When we came down from the tor, we saw the little foal that I had photographed earlier. He had followed his mother onto the moor, where he fell afoul of a stick that stuck out of the ground. It was a forked stick (picture a dowsing rod, or maybe a barbecue fork) fork-side up. The poor baby had walked right into the fork, and he couldn't figure out how to get loose. There was another stick involved somehow, complicating the problem, and as I got closer I realized that the foal was panicking -- so I walked over to give him a hand. Fortunately, the thought of being approached by a human who actually intended to touch him was enough to throw him into reverse, and he managed to get out of his trap before I quite got to him. Happy ending.
Oh, but wait. There was one more thing. We drove home via the A38. When we got to Dean Prior, the last landmark before our exit, we saw a parade going across the bridge, apparently coming from the church.