Engaging the Ruins of English and Welsh Cistercian Abbeys
The Thesis addresses the Cistercian abbeys of England and Wales - their development and their remains today. In exploring these abbeys and their history, a new interpretation can be made, allowing a series of interventions to be made within the extant ruins. These interventions hope to restore the ancient monastic role of hospitality, allowing pilgrims to further appreciate the history and individual interests within the ruins.
The Thesis began with exploring the nature of ruins, their standing in the landscape and their place in our hearts and minds. From Ruskin and Morris to the present day, how to protect and display these ruins or even restore them has been hotly debated. Through examining the Cistercian legacy in England And Wales, the monastic heritage has been revealed to be complex and multi-faceted. To gain an understanding, consideration of multiple sites is necessary.
It is intended that the interventions will allow pilgrims to engage more closely with the ruins through a simple act of shelter or the ability to retreat. In On Altering Architecture, Fred Scot writes, "The ruin is the means by which a building addresses its past, present and future." If we are to address the past, present and future of the Cistercian abbeys, we must encourage a closer examination of and relationship to the ruins for the public.View Gallery.