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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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.

frankbeswick on 03/18/2016

I must concur with what Veronica says, there are so many talented people on this site. What is more, they are nice people, good to know. I really enjoy communicating with them. I have made no money from Wizzley, but I have earned what really matters, good company.

I only turned on to check some business emails, but I am glad that I turned on to read Veronica's comment. It is a nice comment to go to bed on.

Veronica on 03/18/2016

There are so many multi talented people here on Wizzley. Every day is like being in a glorious library. We are very blessed with our community.

Veronica on 03/18/2016

Thank you Mira. Ruins like these are so well preserved that we can see what the original really did look like.

frankbeswick on 03/18/2016

I am always pleased when I read your response, Mira.

Mira on 03/18/2016

The ruins are magnificent. And learning church history from you and Frank is always a pleasure.

frankbeswick on 03/18/2016

I have just done some research. There is a condition known as Androgen insensitivity syndrome. The individuals who suffer it have both X and Y chromosomes, which makes them male, but they cannot respond to male hormone and so have female bodies and sometimes characteristics of both sexes. Could Elizabeth have been one of these people?

The condition is inherited through a recessive gene on the X chromosome, so from Anne Boleyn [?] but she had no other descendants and so we cannot check.


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