Thornton Abbey and Gatehouse is a fabulous gem in the Lincolnshire crown and sadly undervalued due to lack of promotion and publicity.
My birthday saw my brother and I taking at trip to the historic site
I’ve been a couple of times in the past but now the whole place is ‘open’ rather than just being able to walk around the grounds you can go inside the recently restored and hugely impressive gatehouse. The restoration and work cost over £600,000 and for once I feel that , the presumed public, expenditure was absolutely worthwhile.
The Abbey was founded in 1193 by William le Gros the Earl of Yorkshire and left both myself and my brother in awe of what was once there. Although most of it is now gone there is enough to fill one with incredulity and wonder as to the scale of the task at the time. I say at the time but in today’s world and with all our technology and labour saving machinery what have we created that will enthral people in 100s of years time ?
A discussion we had whilst sat there was based around the thought of whether or not a modern generation of children would find this remotely of interest.
I’m on record for pouring scorn on the useless wastrels that generally are the youth of today but today I was more optimistic. Bring your child here, explain what went one, feed their imagination, engender an interest beyond moronic TV programmes and I believe they’ll respond - and with gusto.
This was the kind of day that would be etched on a young boy’s mind for life - he’d remember this long after he’s forgotten his high score on Sonic the Grand Theft Mercenary Killer on nintenbox !
If you have children - go on - give it a go - but don’t just walk around - take them back to those times with information and knowledge - you never know - they might just be interested !!!
This is a rubbish photograph but I wanted to show you the artists impression of how the whole area once looked. I knew there would be nothing of note on the internet because this fabulous place is very poorly served in such ways. Whilst I would admit it does not constitute a whole day out as it were it is a great place to visit and not just for tourists but locals as well who claim there is nothing around here.
If this were ‘Down South’ it would be in tourist guides, on postcards and in books !
The cost of my admission was £4 and it was the best £4 my brother ever spent !
Who sat on this ledge before me? What happened in this room ? What machinations, dreams, nightmares and aspects of everyday life have occurred in this room in which I now stand ?
I’m not sure whether it’s advancing years that increase one’s interest and susceptibility to history but it now enthrals me.
The parting shot as we left is above and what an image to retain for what was a truly memorable day for my brother and myself.
I was full of historic thoughts and my imagination was racing but I was struck by the comparison of what went before and where we are today.
We stood there with very elaborate and clever digital cameras, mobile phones, mini laptops with mobile broadband internet access, my brother drove us there in a fabulous supercharged race tuned AMG Mercedes, I returned home to see the world’s most advanced sport, Formula One, on a 42 inch plasma TV !
Basically all of the amazing trappings of modern life - all of then quite incredible !
They all seemed second rate and of absolutely no interest what-so-ever when compared to the achievements of those who designed and built Thornton Abbey and the Gatehouse.
What a fabulous day
All the best
Later edit, I took this photo on a return visit some 5 years later . . .