The Shrine of Our Ladye Star of the Sea was an old chapel on the cliffs at Broadstairs. Dating back at least to the 1350s. However, it’s said that the Shrine and its Chapel were known to have existed prior to the year 1070, as it was in that year that the old Saxon Church of St. Peter’s (Where four generations of my family are buried), was rebuilt with stone and flint.
The original building contained the famous shrine of “Our Ladye of Bradstowe”, a statue of the Virgin Mary, mounted on a tall column, positioned so that she faced seaward. It stood outside in the Chapel garden at the cliffs edge. The Chapel was a gathering place for the maritime community.
The tradition maintained by the Royal Navy of “showing the flag” at seaside towns to uphold the morale of the Navy is said to have its origins in a service held at the Bradstowe Chapel in 1514 with the crew of the Henry Grace a Dieu in attendance, whilst the largest and latest addition to the King’s Fleet was moored nearby.
It is known that coastal towns and village’s displayed some kind of beacon on the high points of their coastline as a warning against the potential hazard’s locally known to shipping, thus in medieval times the Chapel of St. Mary was known as “The Chapel of Blue Light”, for its light was given out into the dark seas through a blue glass lantern.
During the 1520s a severe storm that lasted several days swept into Viking Bay with a storm surge and destroyed the Shrine, badly damaging the Chapel. The chapel was rebuilt in 1601
The shrine was at some point – probably after 1601 – placed inside the Chapel. She was no longer facing her sea. Thereafter local seamen came to refer to her as “The Weeping Virgin”. (Hot weather is said to have caused humidity and thus condensation in the Chapel and caused the figure to appear in the countenance of the Virgin, weeping.)
This portent indicated a bad omen as a storm would often follow, atmospheric changes indicated in the Chapel were thus a good rough guide to those who would face the perils of the sea.
The shrine of Our Lady of Bradstowe now resides in Holy Trinity church Broadstairs, 30 seconds from the old chapel building. In the church I was confirmed.
This is not the end of the story though. As you can see in the picture above it was in recent years a bookshop. The Albion Bookshop.
As you can imagine…. I went to this bookshop all the time when I was a kid. As a teenager almost every week.
It was here I discovered books about: The hollow earth, Alien encounters, NDE books the blew my mind, Crowley, 1960’s LSD trip report zines, Roman history books, Plays, Poetry, Comic Trades, and Star Wars Books. Lots and lots of Star Wars Books.
I am grateful to the spirit of St Mary’s Chapel for the guidance and serendipity the space provided me as young man I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. Both as Star of The Sea. but also As Sophia.
Like most second hand bookshops in the age of Amazon and airplane hanger sized wear houses the bookshop is now closed. But all is not lost. It has gone though one of though better kinds of re-gentrification and it’s now a busy ale pub. Its a place that has created even more strong memories, every Christmas Eve since it (re)opened.
The Moon my Father,
My Mother the Sea,
To thy shelter take us,
Chaste and gentle make us.
The opening of a landscape prayer my Nana used to say.
Dipping the stacks
- Masons G.Beck routine was extremely good
- Less impressed with ‘cancel culture’
- The UK Gov is absolutely petrified of the internet
- The Bank of England is absolutely petrified of the internet and its money
- Russia is behind the Anti GMO movement now I understand
I received the notes back on the meditation manuscript I have a lot to do.
Depression and Stress over the little things in life. (But it might be related tot he fact i have barely left the house for a week)
Im a week behind booking flights and an Air B&B in Berlin.
Blame no-one but oneself
Im about 2/3 of the way through Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide it’s from 2014 and the Forward is by a pre-Project Drawdown Paul Hawken.
I like it because the permaculture framing is a bit more Holmgren than Mollison. Some of the projects mentioned I have not come across before it’s Really impressive stuff. I just wish all these projects had time/energy for social media.
Each project/chapter is based around The Permaculture Flower it’s a great way to structure the information. The whole book back to back full colour spreads featuring wonderful photography – tho its hard not to take bad photos of some paradises I guess.
I picked up Mellow Waves by Cornelius on vinyl last weekend it came out in the summer of 2017. I’ve literally only been listening to that when I’ve had the chance to get on our turntable. (please assume the default soundtrack to my/our lives in the flat i Django or Lightning Hopkins)
Its very chilled, with some fantastic production and synth sounds with a hint of 80’s Prince. It sounds fantastic with headphones.
If you are a fan of Japanese electronica or have listened to Cornelius at any point before in the 20 years or so since Point came out, this album represents a musician thats confident in their craft and knows it.