Furness Abbey was one of my favorite spots that we visited on our trip. It’s much like the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and Peel Castle that we’ve visited on past trips to the UK. I don’t know why I enjoy wandering around castle ruins so much more than real-life working castles, but I do. A ruined castle has so many more stories to tell, perhaps. Wordsworth seems to agree with me on this point, too (note: a railway runs along one side of the abbey):
WELL have yon Railway Labourers to THIS ground
Withdrawn for noontide rest. They sit, they walk
Among the Ruins, but no idle talk
Is heard; to grave demeanour all are bound;
And from one voice a Hymn with tuneful sound
Hallows once more the long-deserted Quire
And thrills the old sepulchral earth, around.
Others look up, and with fixed eyes admire
That wide-spanned arch, wondering how it was raised,
To keep, so high in air, its strength and grace:
All seem to feel the spirit of the place,
And by the general reverence God is praised:
Profane Despoilers, stand ye not reproved,
While thus these simple-hearted men are moved?
June 21, 1845.