01 December 2013
St. Andrews Day Weekend:
Yesterday (30 November) was St. Andrew's Day... St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland for anyone not thinking about this as much as I am. ;) All weekend there were events in celebration of the feast of St. Andrew, including open doors to many historic buildings, music events and family outings. Holyrood Palace (or the Palace of Holyroodhouse if we're getting all official) was among the featured places and on Saturday I popped down to the opposite end of the Royal Mile to take advantage of free admission. Something to keep in mind if you're ever around on St. Andrews Day... it's a massive savings.
It was a cold but sunny day. Photography wasn't allowed inside the palace for conservation reasons, but it was fancy. That pretty much goes without saying. Actually, my favorite part was outside anyway, so of course I took copious photos: the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. Mostly standing roofless is the church and behind it are conserved outlines of the abbey sunk in the grass. I'm sure the garden is a sight in the summertime but it was feeling pretty wintry yesterday!
The color of the stone was a beautiful mix of beige, tan and rose-colored rubble. Just love it. Some of the decoration is totally top-notch. The church was in use until the 17th century and was a ruin by the 18th century, but the abbey was first established by David I in 1128.
1128!! That's old. Alas, it's not there anymore, and would be ever so much more impressive if it was. ;) Haha.
One thing I've learned during my time interning for the National Trust (who incidentally has nothing to do with this property, but just saying) is that masons commonly marked their work to identify themselves, sometimes marking specific chisel mark patterns in order to keep track of their work over a period of time. Apparently to get paid for what they did, it could be kept track of this way. In some places I've found this very obviously and in other places not, but I just love finding a mason's mark in a stone. I just assume they're original if they don't look fresh and enjoy the moment when a stone wall can become a personal work with a statement, one that says, "I made this."
Also, I want to know how to get this job:
Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! Post coming soon about the other visit I finally made this weekend... ;D