Photographer: Sedgfield, William Russell (1826 - 1902)
Medium: Photographic print
In his book 'The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire' William Howitt begins with a criticism of the “Dryasdust” style of historical writing used by topographers by which one gets “the bare bones of the chief facts, and nothing but the bare bones; no flesh, no muscle, no skin, no beautifying colour and life."
He continues: "But let us look a little at the ruins of the priory before taking in the whole picture. The ruins, surrounded and mingled with magnificent trees, present a most exquisite combination of towers, lofty broken arches and gables, with projections and windows of most varied character, draped with ivy, and standing on its low green sward in a noble monastic solemnity. The different portions of the building display every successive style from the Norman down to the decorated, the final order of Anglo-Gothic.”
He quotes at length from William Wordsworth’s poem ‘The White Doe of Rylstone or The Fate of the Nortons’ which the poet composed after a visit to Bolton Priory and the surrounding countryside during the summer of 1807.
Text by William Howitt from his book 'The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire'
This is one of four photographs by Russell Sedgfield included in this re-issue of part of 'The Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain' (1862).