This is a place we visited on 2nd September 2017.
This is a place we visited on 2nd September 2017 to mark twenty years since the death of my father.
This place, where he had spent the early years of his life, unknown to us. Where my father’s father had parked their wagons. Fertile land where the family could grow. Quiet land where the family could sleep.
Father’s barefoot games. Here in the ruins of Tilty Abbey, sacked by King John’s men on Christmas Day 1215 — because it’s our land.
Why did we come here? For a photograph, to write home? To dream of home? This was a gypsy home, but the records won’t show it.
A sacked site is a sacred site. Between 1500 and 1800, an uncountable amount of ‘Gypsy edicts’ were passed across numerous European countries declaring the Roma people homo sacers. How did my father’s father know this land? How did he judge it safe?
Never to go home again,
for this was home!