Those of you who follow Jonathan Jarrett’s blog, A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe, will know that he just published a fascinating post about Whitby Abbey, a fine 13th century structure in Northern England. (And those of you who don’t, you’re missing out on something, so why not go and have a look?). Anyway, Jonathan begins his post with a full view of the abbey in all its ruinous glory from an angle like this:
What struck me about this is the fact that Jonathan’s image caption reads: “Skyline showing the ruins of Whitby Abbey from the carpark” (emphasis added). This reminded me of Jedburgh Abbey, a Romanesque building in the Scottish Borders in a similarly ruinous state, where the view you get from the carpark looks like this:
And I swear I once witnessed a coach stopping at said carpark, a coach-load of tourists getting out of it, taking out their cameras, taking a photo of the abbey from the carpark, getting back on the coach and leaving, all within the course of less than five minutes. And I remember thinking: 1) Wow, this kind of thing isn’t just an urban legend, it really happens, 2) how convenient that you can get such a good view directly from the carpark.
Now, looking at Jonathan’s photo from Whitby, I realise I may have been naive. Could it be that those are panoramic carparks whose location was actually chosen with the needs of photo-hungry visitors in mind?
Ok, that’s all I have to say for today, but here’s another nice pic from Jedburgh: