Hore Abbey is located just below The Rock, across the road and in the middle of a large green field. It is an 11th century Cistercian monastery, originally founded by the Benedictines but handed over by the Bishop when he alienated the local brewers by demanding a tax of two flagons from each batch of brew. Two of his monks were murdered in town and so the message was clear – beer tax does not make for an open-armed welcome.
Finding our way here was far easier because it was right out there in the open. Parking was another story, because there was none so we bailed out of the car while Scott parked it in a tiny scrape in front of a stone wall.
The abbey was great – nice carvings and details and a grand main transept. I wandered around the associated graveyard a bit and found one touching internment. Pvt. M. Dwyer, killed during the early part of World War I and laid here to rest among the ancient stones.
The abbey is unique in that the cloister is on the north side, odd that normally the residence was on the south to take advantage of what little warmth the sun could provide in these climes. It is supposed that it was done to provide a better view of The Rock across the fields.
One might suppose that it could get boring stopping at these old piles of rocks, but for me, the connection to the deep past makes every stop unique and worthwhile. Placing your hands on the cold, intricately carved stone gives you an instant connection to some nameless craftsman working far in the dark past. It’s a great way to feel.