Fountains Abbey

by Veronica

In 1132 when 13 monks arrived in the River Skell valley, Yorkshire, little did they know that the abbey they were building would become one of the richest in Europe.

Nestled away in N Yorkshire, Fountains Abbey is a ruin of one of the largest Cistercian monasteries in England. It is 30 minutes drive from Harrogate and 3 miles south-west of Ripon.

A welcome day out here for my husband following his cataract operation, saw him take his camera and use his new found vision to capture this lovely, spiritual place. I am so proud of the photos he took having only had his operation last week.

The Abbey was founded in 1132, by 13 monks who wanted their Order to return to the simple monastic life. Within three years the settlement at Fountains Abbey had been admitted to the austere Cistercian Order. They had been thrown out of their own Abbey for wanting to return to simple monastic rule. They found the peace they wanted here.

It soon became wealthy through wool production, lead mining, cattle rearing, horse breeding and stone quarrying.

It remained important until it was closed down in 1539 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII The abbot, prior and monks were sent away and the wealth plundered.

The abbey is a Grade I listed building and includes Studley Royal Water Gardens and was awarded World Heritage Status in 1987.

Fountains Abbey ruins
Fountains Abbey ruins
Veronica's photo

Dissolution of the monasteries

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, occurred between 1536 and 1541 when Henry 8th disbanded Roman Catholic monasteries, friaries, convents and abbeys in England, Wales and Ireland.  He seized the wealth and dismissed the occupants, some being killed

The money was used for Henry's war campaigns in Europe. He gave himself the authority to do this by splitting England's ties with the Vatican and declaring himself head of the English church.

The Abbey over the centuries was reduced to a ruin and is now one of the best examples of a ruined abbey in Britain.

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Veronica's photo

Studley Royal Water Gardens

Studeley Water Gardens which stands on old Abbey grounds is at the other end of the Skell valley  and was created in the 1700s. It is a beautiful place of tranquillity and peace.

Studley water gardens
Studley water gardens
Veronica's photo
Studley water gardens
Studley water gardens
Veronica's photo
Studley water gardens
Studley water gardens
Veronica's photo

Chorister's House.

This lovely house was originally a music building but is now an accommodation place for visitors to the area. It can hold up to ten people.

Choiristers House
Choiristers House
Veronica's photo

Imagine staying here ! The views in this area are stunning.

 

I hope you get an opportunity to visit.

Views over the River Skell Valley
Views over the River Skell Valley
Veronica's photo
Skell Valley
Skell Valley
 
Updated: 03/18/2016, Veronica
 
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Veronica 17 days ago

I haven't heard of that one. TY

frankbeswick 17 days ago

We have some local distinctions in flora and fauna, but they are not vast, and aquatic fauna do not seem to vary much between areas. One exception is the presence of Arctic Char in certain Lake District lakes. This is a relic of the ice age.

Veronica 17 days ago

Frank and Derdriu

I agree. Our climate precludes distinct fauna and flora really.

Veronica 17 days ago

TY Derdriu

I didn't go in to The Choristers' House but it is available for rental for holiday-let. Imagine staying there in that house on the estate. A dream come true!

frankbeswick 18 days ago

Derdriu, I don't think that there is any stretch of water in Britain that has a distinct aquatic flora.

DerdriuMarriner 18 days ago

Veronica, Thank you for taking us along on your family outing to Fountains Abbey and Studley water gardens. Do you know how the Choristers House looks on the inside? Are the water gardens known for any particular aquatic fauna and flora or is it the clean smell and the play of light on, and the quality of, the water?

frankbeswick on 03/19/2016

The phenomenon of ghosts does not admit of one explanation. The stone tape theory does explain the experiences that people have in places, but not all of them, especially when something interactive with humans seems to be going on.

To stay on monasteries, it would be interesting to spend some time alone in ruined abbeys to see what can be experienced.

Veronica on 03/19/2016

I do believe in stone tape memories. Maybe Frank you could do an article on it. I don't believe in ghosts but I do believe that stones contain a continued energy, an electricity which triggers under conditions of electricity sparked by high human emotion.

frankbeswick on 03/19/2016

Don't monastic ruins have a powerful atmosphere. but old buildings often do, as if something lingers, written as a trace in their ancient stones. Insensitive people can walk through them and feel nothing, but the sensitive feel their atmosphere. The spirituality of a place lingers on even when it is abandoned and ruined.

frankbeswick on 03/19/2016

Wonder of wonders, after telling you in my previous post that I had earned no money from Wizzley, I have made an Amazon sale! Yippee! Thirty six cents, but it's a start.


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