Thursday, 29 March 2007

Aylesford Accommodation

I was at Aylesford Priory for two nights. I've only ever stayed in the Old Block before (you can see the back of it here), and was a little unsure as to what the "New" in "New Block" actually meant, as I couldn't recall anything remotely resembling modern architecture. I needn't have worried... it all looks pretty ancient, and is rather comfortable, once you get used to negotiating steep staircases (inside), uneven steps (outside), cobblestones, and low wooden beams.



My room was very comfortable - though I am aware that many people would have found it a little too warm. I, however, was in my element.



The oldest part of the Priory is the Pilgrims' Hall, which is where we had all our meals. I took this photo while sunning myself on a bench at the front of the "Old Block"... it forms an incomplete sort of quadrangle...

For many years, my experience of Aylesford was school Days of Recollection: they were far from being recollected, the weather was often damp, windy and cold, and the children reluctant. The thought of actually staying overnight sent shivers down my spine, and made my joints positively creak in protest. Having been for a retreat on a few occasions, I find that the place is growing on me.


I'm obviously not the only one. I spotted this beautiful visitor on the first evening. It turns out that this is not the Priory cat, but a regular visitor from the village. It gets fed all sorts of tidbits, especially when it succeeds in sneaking into the Pilgrims' Hall at mealtimes (mea culpa, it had some of my roast at lunchtime) and it hunts rabbits. Here you can see the cat pretending to ignore Fr. Tim as we waited to go in to dinner...


1 comment:

Mark said...

I am aware that many people would have found it a little too warm. I, however, was in my element.
-- it was similar at Pluscarden. At first I found it a bit offputting, but then I came to enjoy the surety that the heating-timer would make the room warm at certain times.

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