Here is a view of the Coastguard Station and Tynemouth Priory, seen from across King Edwards Bay, on the North-east coast of England.
They both are, in their own ways, continuations of the cliffs below. The coastguard station with its massive concrete architecture, the priory with its soaring stone columns. And as if to emphasize how transitory are our human constructions: both are now disused, at least for their original functions.
Parts of the original priory which still survive are the West side of the nave, from the 12th century. “..in January 1539 the priory fell victim to the nationwide Dissolution of the Monasteries” says the English Heritage website. The headland then became a military fortification in wars which followed, right up to the 1939-45 conflict, where guns were stationed there. Some of the gun emplacements remain. It is now a tourist attraction managed by English Heritage.
Much less information is available about the Coastguard Station. It was opened in 1980 and closed in 2001, according to a BBC article of 2001. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1567195.stm). It is a remarkably solid building in a first class location. Why has nobody converted it into a splendid home, guest house, restaurant, art gallery or place of worship?
While I was sketching, a elderly woman passed by on the path and admired the sketch. She said she was surprised more people weren’t sketching there: it was a splendid view. I agreed, and didn’t point out that it was also windy and very cold. I think such an observation would have revealed me as a soft southerner. She said she didn’t sketch, but she did other things. Tap dancing, she said.
I sketched the Coastguard Station in 2017:
One thought on “Coastguard Station and Tynemouth Priory”
Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
The priory in particular looks quite imposing and austere.