Jan. 6th, 2013

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A closer look at the abbey church at Villelangue now. 

Or what's left of it, at any rate...

Compared with a number of our Scottish abbeys, where the abbey church was often retained at least in part for use as a parish church in the period following the Reformation and the conventual buildings flattened, the converse has happened here at Villelangue.  Here, the conventual buildings have been retained as accomodation, while much of the church has been removed to make way for orchards and gardens,

The only part of the abbey church that survives is the chancel, the crossing and the north and south transepts, with the nave almost completely eradicated:-


Here's a view from inside the east transept, looking out across the crossing towards what appears to be an isolated bay of the nave.  The nave would have had aisles, and it looks as if the level of the wallhead is original, with no evidence of windows at clerestorey level:-


The character of the church can also be established in this view, which shows blocking of the main portion of the nave, with access to the crossing/transepts gained by the open south aisle. The north aisle, visibly as a ghostly outline in the wall fabric, is also blocked:-


So, even though so little of this church survives, we can get a good idea of how it would have looked in its heyday. Archaeological work was been carried out here, so they've established how many bays in length it would originally have been (I'm sorry, I've forgotten...).  And even though a substantial amount of the church has been lost, the portion that remains is in very good condition, with a number of magnificent carved capitals.

Which I'll be sharing with you next weekend, when I get the opportunity!


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