It was a dull, grey day, with more than a hint of rain in the air as we set off to spend the day exploring the Golden Valley in Herefordshire. However, the BBC weather forecast assured us that the day would be bright, warm and sunny, and happily they were right.
Our first port of call was Dore Abbey, a place that we were keen to visit having caught a glimpse of it as we drove past years ago. The abbey was founded in 1147 by Cistercian Monks who came over from Morimond Abbey in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. They seeked seclusion, and founded their houses in wild and remote areas. Dore Abbey's position in the Golden Valley reflects their ideology and aspirations. Now, however, due to the building being almost 900 years old, it requires huge sums of investment in order to keep it maintained. Some young stone masons were carrying out various tasks on the tower when we arrived. They appeared to be checking all of the stonework and mortar then dealing with any problems discovered as they swung to and fro all across the tower.The battlement tower that they were repairing was raised after the reformation, giving the building "a touch of England" to an otherwise French exterior.