island-topped abbey

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SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
St Michael's Mount
Looming up from the sea near the historic town of Penzance, the unmistakeable silhouette of St Michael's Mount is one of Cornwall's most iconic landmarks: a 12th-century abbey set on a craggy island connected to the mainland by a cobbled causeway covered at high tide. Highlights include the original armoury, the priory church and the abbey's subtropical gardens, which teeter dramatically above the waters.

[...]
Iconic landmarks
St Michael's Mount -- Cornwall's unique island-topped abbey, star of a thousand local postcards.
(Discover Great Britain)

Isn't it rather 'Cornwall's unique abbey-topped island'?

topped
having a top of a specified character — usually used in combination

flat-topped

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language
Thanks.
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    This is pretty choppy quotation ... could you give us complete sentences, up to four, so we can tell what's going on?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Isn't it rather 'Cornwall's unique abbey-topped island'?
    You would think so, but this construction is used a lot in cooking and I imagine the reference is intended to have the same visual appeal. A quick search of *-topped produced these:

    Potato-Topped Mini Meatloaves
    Chocolate-Topped Crispy Bars
    Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
    Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Pie Recipe
    Coconut-Topped Cupcakes


    And, of course, a cherry-topped sundae. :)
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I'd hate to think of an island-topped abbey :eek:. Instant destruction of ancient monument by superposition of several million tons of rock!!

    The author got his typing in a muddle, and his editor hasn't spotted it. I've not found the correct phrase in relation to St Michael's Mount, but Mont-Saint-Michel and Lindisfarne have been described as:

    ...among France's finest landmarks: Mont-Saint-Michel, the off-shore, abbey-topped island that sits in the Bay of Saint-Malo.
    ...The abbey-topped island connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway ...

    It is of course possible that the author meant to say "island-top abbey", which is a phrase used of Mont St.Michel:

    This A.D. 708 island-top abbey is surrounded by quicksand tidal flats on the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

    Anyway, the phrase used in the OP is just wrong.
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I see that I was in the middle of two answers in post 4 when I was interrupted. My intention was to agree with SuprunP's "abbey-topped island" and offer examples in support of it. Sorry for any confusion.
     
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