A gentle stroll around Conishead Priory, Ulverston
What should have been a glorious morning up Coniston Old Man, became a stroll around the Priory on a morning which had a feel of auntumn about it...
Conishead Priory which is situated on the coast rd outside of Ulverston was built in 1160 and was run as a hopsital by the Black Canons (crikey, don't they sound scary!!). This is not the original building as it was demolished in 1537 by King 'Enry VIII - more of that later...
The Priory is now home for the Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, and as you wander around the buildings and the pleasant gardens, the surprise in store is this wonderfully ornate Buddhist Temple, the golden roof and decorations can be seen glistening from the main road.
This is the Kadampa Temple for World Peace, which houses the largest bronze statue of Buddha cast in the West. The Buddhist Monks raised £500,000 via donations in 1991 and then a lottery grant to renovate the priory as a study center in 2004, the Temple was added and opened in 1998.
The whole atmosphere around the temple and grounds is very relaxing, and the detail in the building is interesting as each of the panels you can see have a meaning.
A bit glitzy, but it does work in a bizarre sort of way.
The temple is open to visitors most days - I went in a few years ago with our Sri Lankan cricket pro who was a Buddhist, and inside is so peaceful it really is a wonderful place for quiet contemplation and to let all your worries slip away. It is in no way my thing, but I was surprised how peaceful it was. Another view from a arbour sited above the building.
For a modern building it is tastefully done as Lesley peeks around the corner under the canopy (that impatient Pixie was getting on her high horse again!!)
A final look before we head off for a mooch around the gardens. Some of the money raised was by walking mountains on the Lakes which when added together came to the same height as Everest, clever eh!
As we head into the woods, the impressive chimneys on the Priory are clearly visible through the trees.
There are many paths which twist and turn their way through the trees.
This one brought us out onto the shore line. Here we are looking towards Ulverston with the Coniston Fells in the background. It looked a bit grim up there, so perhaps this wasn't a bad choice after all..
On the way back I spotted this wee house across a field framed wonderfully by the tree, pity the sky was so grey and flat!
As you arrive back at the car park, there are numerous more walks to do: this is the lakeside walk (although to be honest it's more of a big pond!)..
Anyone who is into horse racing will know the name Richard Fisher. His stables and running ground are situated next to the Priory, this is 'part' of his humble dwellings!! Not too shabby is it...
Numerous small gardens are dotted of the main path. Lesley is admiring the plums beyond a colourful Acer.
"Does my bum look big in this?" ... to which the only answer is... "not as big as it did in the other one."
Time to leave..
..passing the entrance to the temple...
.. some of the impressive architecture of the main Priory...
... and some info on its history. After 1940 it became a convelescent home for miners, until it lay empty and was taken over by the present occupants
Hope you found this interesting, not my usual thing so enjoyed experimenting.. not sure if it worked or not?
The Priory is also a study center and has thousands of visitos every year, the Buddhist monks can often be seen around the streets of Ulverston in their distinctive red and gold robes.
Thanks for looking any cc welcome.
Ian & Lesley
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