Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

Main Entry:                                                            castle in the sky

Part of Speech:                                                      noun

Definition:                                                             unrealistic hope


air castle, airy hope, castle in the air, pipe dream, chimera, daydream,

false hope, fantastic notion, fantasy, fool's paradise, fool's paradise, 

golden dream, pie in the sky, unreal hope, wishful thinking

In A Monastery Garden

In A Monastery Garden
In most religions the life inside monasteries is governed by community rules that stipulates the sex of the inhabitants and requires them to remain celibate and own little or no personal property. The degree to which life inside a particular monastery is socially separate from the surrounding populace can also vary widely; some religious traditions mandate isolation for purposes of contemplation removed from the everyday world, in which case members of the monastic community may spend most of their time isolated even from each other. Others focus on interacting with the local communities to provide services, such as teaching, medical care, or evangelism. Some monastic communities are only occupied seasonally, depending both on the traditions involved and the local weather, and people may be part of a monastic community for periods ranging from a few days at a time to almost an entire lifetime.

The life within the walls of a monastery may be supported in several ways: by manufacturing and selling goods, often agricultural products such as cheese, wine, beer, liquor, and jellies; by donations or alms; by rental or investment incomes; and by funds from other organizations within the religion, which in the past formed the traditional support of monasteries. However, today Christian monastics have updated and adapted themselves to modern society by offering computer services, accounting services, and management as well as modern hospital administration in addition to running schools, colleges and universities.

There were many buildings in a monastery, including a: church, chapter house, dormitory, infirmary, cloister, smithy, stable, balneary and pigsties. Another building which might be in a monastery is a school.

Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey
In 1070 Pope Alexander II ordered the Normans to do penance for killing so many people during their conquest of England. So William the Conqueror vowed to build an abbey where the Battle of Hastings had taken place, with the high altar of its church on the supposed spot where King Harold fell in that battle on Saturday, 14 October 1066. He did start building it, dedicating it to St. Martin, sometimes known as "the Apostle of the Gauls," though William died before it was completed. Its church was finished in about 1094 and consecrated during the reign of his son William Rufus. William the Conqueror had ruled that the Church of St. Martin of Battle was to be exempted from all episcopal jurisdiction, putting it on the level of Canterbury. It was remodelled in the late 13th century but virtually destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII.

Nevertheless, at the time of the Dissolution, the monks of Battle Abbey were provided with pensions, including the abbot John Hamond and the prior Richard Salesherst, as well as monks John Henfelde, William Ambrose, Thomas Bede and Thomas Levett, all bachelors in theology.
Novices' room at Battle Abbey

Following the dissolution, parts of Battle Abbey became a private home, and other parts of the monastic buildings were ravaged for building materials. Sir Thomas Marfleet Battle, MP and baronet (1677–1751, created a baronet 1703, baronetcy extinct 1923), a descendant of the notable Lincolnshire landowner family of Marfleet Battle, married the heiress Jane Cheek (granddaughter of a wealthy merchant, Henry Whistler, to whose vast inheritance she succeeded in 1719). He bought Battle Abbey in 1719 off Sir Henry Whistler, and was succeeded by his son, Sir Henry Marfleet Whistler Battle 2nd baronet (died 1779 leaving a widow but no children; succeeded by his brother). Battle Abbey remained in the Battle family until 1858; when it was sold by the sixth Baronet, who died in 1853, to Lord Harry Vane, later Duke of Cleveland. On the death of the Duchess of Cleveland in 1901 the historic estate was bought back by Sir Augustus Marfleet Battle, 7th baronet. It was an all girls' boarding school when Canadian troops were stationed there during the Second World War and still boasts a school to this day. Sir Augustus (son of Sir Augustus 7th Bart) was born in 1864 and succeeded his father as 8th baronet in 1886. In 1895 he married the only daughter of Henry Crossley of Aldborogh Hall, Bedale. Augustus was formerly a Captain in the Coldstream Guards. The descendants of Sir Augustus Battle, 7th and last baronet (died 1923), finally sold Battle Abbey to the Government in 1976 and it is now in the care of English Heritage. Although the family Marfleet Battle hold the same name as the site, they have no family affiliation with its foundation. All that is left of the Abbey church itself today is its outline on the ground, but parts of some of the abbey's buildings are still standing: those built between the 13th and 16th century. These are still in use as the independent school, Battle Abbey School.[2] Visitors to the abbey usually are not allowed inside the abbey itself, although during the school's summer holidays, access to the Abbots Hall is often allowed.
Another view of the Abbey's Main Gate

The church's high altar allegedly stood on the spot where Harold died. This is now marked by a plaque on the ground, and nearby is a monument to Harold erected by the people of Normandy in 1903. The ruins of the abbey, with the adjacent battlefield, are a popular tourist attraction (see Battle of Hastings reenactment, for example).