Tincture Vale – Tincture Abbey and Meadowfields Estate.
This work of fiction is purely for shits and giggles, however, please respect all copyrights and do not redistribute/copy/edit/claim as your own under any circumstances
The region of Bernicia near the sea of “An Cuan a Tuath” is an unspoilt area of land formed by rolling hills and a beautiful river carved valley and vast forests.
The abbey was founded around 11 hundred – though exact dates remain elusive due to the degrading of records by a subset of Tironesian Monks who chose the location because of its sublime beauty and serenity owing in part to previous formations of burials and places of pagan worship including a stone circle.
The stones of the circle may or may not be Ogham stones, nobody has been able to confirm or deny them due to the extreme ageing.
The area being rather remote long evaded being merged with other religious houses however during the reformation of 1536 it was dissolved, looted and the monks driven out. The land was put up for sale from the crown and was bought by a scholarly gentleman, the first lord Fairfax of his name. Being in favour of the king allowed him to purchase the vast swathe of land in its entirety right up to the nearest hamlet, which became larger as time went on. His first course of action was to invite the remaining monks to return as custodians of the abbey to ensure that it fell into no further ruin. They were employed as gardeners and craftsmen which suited this small group quite well.
Lord Fairfax commissioned the first manor on the estate along with the development of a small village on the edge for his workers which became the village of Bransan from what was the small hamlet. The first house, named Meadowfields was situated further up the valley away from the abbey on a large open meadow area hence its name. There was little to be said of this small house built of Tudor brick. Locals saw it as rather an eyesore with its deep red colouring vastly popular at the time scarring the landscape. The first Meadowfields met a sad end when a freak storm topped 4 giant oaks along the eastern side of the house causing massive damage.
The second iteration of Meadowfields did away with the red brick, instead of taking an example from the abbey and using the local stone much loved for its warm colours of tan and gold. Whilst not a small house it was quickly outgrown by subsequent generations of Fairfax children who on inheritance added their own mark to the property whilst continuing to ensure that the abbey was protected and the forest and farmland managed properly.
In the early years of the first Georgian reign, Meadowfields was once again transformed into a stately manor house owing to the popularity of the then Lord Fairfax who spent much of his time in London investing and securing banking deals. An extremely clever man he also developed the abbey grounds into a stunning array of formal gardens for his beloved wife who loved horses. Her love was so much that she insisted that there should be a herd of wild horses allowed to roam the abbey vale, Tincture Vale thus starting the first stables and herd to live there as an extension to the large stables that had been built at Meadowfields for the lord’s horses which included a racing track where he invited many of his London friends to spend racing weekends with them. His only son inherited the entire estate after his father died of infirmity.
Determined to ensure Meadowfields and the Tincture Vale estate remained in good order he began extensive preservation of the abbey buildings and the fabric of Meadowfields. Sadness returned to the house when a fire caused by building work took hold in the east wing decimating that part of the building and killing both his wife and her Lady friend who was visiting. The widowed Lord Fairfax was left with his son and very young daughter. Turning recluse from the grief he took solace in the large library and spent his remaining days quietly. This left his son Lord in all but name, a popular gentleman who took after his grandmothers in his love of horses and the outdoors.
Further establishing Meadowfields as a place of excellence for breeding and training of horses, Tincture Abbey Stables became a place for his retired horses to rest and enjoy their lives, helped in part by the serenity of the lands which, along with the offspring of the original wild herd had attracted some extremely interesting wild horses. Stories of magic and strange happenings at the abbey continue to this day for a true sanctuary it has become to all of its inhabitants.
Meadowfields prospered until its burden of repairs outweighed its income from the estate and in the early 60s, the main house was sold to become private dwellings. The Last Lord Fairfax had large apartments in the west wing and moved his small family into the buildings of Tincture Abbey which he had carefully prepared, turning the infirmary building and the last of the 2 great towers into homes.
The abbey continues to run as it had for many years as a respite location and as a sanctuary for any who would arrive there ensuring that his family would always have somewhere to call home.