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Fountains Abbey, N. Yorkshire

A Birthdays treat to see something special. We knew about this place and its history but had never visited before.

"Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks from St Mary’s in York. They'd grown tired of the extravagant and rowdy way that the monks lived in York and so they escaped, seeking to live a devout and simple lifestyle elsewhere. This was how they came to Fountains.
By the time three years had passed the monks had become settled into their new way of life and had been admitted to the austere Cistercian Order. With that came an important development – the introduction of the Cistercian system of lay brothers. The lay brothers (what we would now call labourers) relieved the monks from routine jobs, giving them more time to dedicate to God rather than farming the land to get by. It was because of the help of the lay brothers that Fountains became wealthy through wool production, lead mining, cattle rearing, horse breeding and stone quarrying.
Bad harvests hit the monks hard and combined with raids from the Scots throughout the 14th century, they experienced economic collapse. This was worsened by the Black Death which struck the country in 1348.
Despite its financial problems, the abbey remained important. The abbacy of Marmaduke Huby (1495–1526) marked a period of revival, and the great tower built by Huby symbolised his hope for the abbey’s future.
The abbey was abruptly closed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII.
The estate of Fountains Abbey was sold by the Crown to a merchant, Sir Richard Gresham. It remained in private hands until the 1960s. The National Trust bought the estate from the West Riding County Council in 1983."

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25 comments

Joe, Son of the Rock said:

I love the framing by the trees, Herb, of this spectacular building. The architecture is stunning. All the best, Joe
8 weeks ago

Herb Riddle replied to Joe, Son of the Rock:

Thanks for another great comment Joe.

Cheers. Herb
8 weeks ago

Diana Australis said:

This is fabulous Herb! I was just reading about this the other day….beautiful.
A lovely birthday treat indeed !
8 weeks ago

Jaap van 't Veen said:

Impressive ruins.
Thank you for the interesting note.
8 weeks ago

Annemarie said:

Fascinating!
8 weeks ago ( translate )

Malik Raoulda said:

Bien renseignée et admirablement partagée.
Bonne et agréable journée paisible et reposante.
8 weeks ago ( translate )

TOZ said:

A fine beautiful Image of the abbey Herb a beautiful place to visit a perfect spot to take the photo from.⭐
Have a great day.
Gordon
8 weeks ago

Herb Riddle replied to TOZ:

A fantastic ruin and the mind boggles to see this in the mist or golden hour. Cheer for the star.

Best Wishes. Herb
8 weeks ago

Nick Weall said:

Yes, it is a fine shot Herb of an interesting place ~ thanks for all the info
8 weeks ago

Herb Riddle replied to Nick Weall:

Thanks Nick. I really wonder though if anybody really reads a great wad of info attached like I have done here.

Take care. Herb
8 weeks ago

Ulrich John said:

Ein imposanter Bau ! Und ein interessanter Text dazu ! Guten Morgen, Herb !
8 weeks ago ( translate )

Stephan Fey said:

A truly gigantic abbey ruin! Super photo!
8 weeks ago

Gudrun said:

The ruins still manage to show the former grandeur- a well framed photo!
8 weeks ago

aNNa schramm said:

ein wenig baufällig :-)
8 weeks ago ( translate )

Keith Burton said:

Such a magnificent set of ruins..............very impressive looking indeed. I love the detail you've captured and the surrounding area looks very nice indeed.

A fascinating history too...........including how they managed to get others to do the hard work and I would imagine it became a very productive place.

A very well composed and taken image Herb! Nice work!

It's good to see you're getting out and about again (and that you had an interesting birthday treat).
8 weeks ago