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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 29 February 2016

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey stands in the Skell valley in Yorkshire. Now part of a World Heritage site, its story began in 1132 when 13 monks broke away from St Mary's Benedictine Abbey in York wanting to return to the simple life and teachings of St Benedict. Given land by the Archbishop of York in the valley of Skell they settled down to a life of prayer. However they could not survive on prayer alone and begged for financial assistance from  Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux in France. Bernard was keen to have a Cistercian Abbey at Fountains so with the help of a wealthy, former Dean of York Minster the building of Fountains Abbey began in 1135. This is a view of the Abbey taken from the Porter's Lodge. The porter (a monk) would make sure that only male guests and those with legitimate business would be able to pass through.







I was both surprised and impressed at the size of the ruins. I didn't realise the Abbey is the largest monastic ruins in the UK.


Looking along the River Skell towards the Abbey.











                                      Looking down the South aisle.

The Cellarium where the Abbey's food was stored.














With Henry VIII's break from Rome came the Dissolution of the Monasteries when he disbanded Catholic monasteries, convents, priories and friaries. After 400 years of worship at the Abbey it all ended in 1539. Once the monks had left, it was sold to Richard Gresham for £11,000. He bought it as an investment and never lived there. As a condition of the sale he was obliged to destroy the Abbey buildings so they could no longer be used for prayers. To fulfill the condition he removed the roofs of all the main buildings.



32 comments:

  1. Lovely place and pictures! The ruins seem to be very well preserved and the abbey must have been magnificent.

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  2. Interesting British history. I worry about all the UK religious ruins that the public can visit and walk around but where is the fear of danger of collapse? The Cellariumlooks like the underground carpark at Melbourne University, except the car park is darker.

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  3. Amazing it is still there after all those centuries and so much standing right up!

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  4. As I went from picture to picture, I was wondering how a place so grand could be allowed to fall into ruins like that...then I got to your last paragraph. I have evil thoughts in mind for old Henry.

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  5. Wow! What a story. I agree with Mac in the above comment. :-)

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  6. Hello, what a great place. The ruins are just amazing, I would love to explore this spot. Great collection of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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  7. It's such a shame, all the beauty Henry VIII destroyed. It must have been wonderful to walk around and imagine this abbey in its heyday.

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  8. That looks quite massive! Perhaps the person who took off the roofs didn't know you can pray in the outdoors as well?

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  9. It is in remarkable shape. Even after removing the roofs its amazing that the structures didn't fall down. Did you just visit there?

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  10. How sad to even think of destroying such a place. Thank you for showing it to us.

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  11. Fantastic ruins! I'd love to explore here. Enjoyed your photos.

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  12. Thank goodness all Gresham did was remove the roofs of these incredible buildings … otherwise the architectural marvels would be lost forever. I can well imagine the melodic prayers of monks and aromas of cooks within those beautiful archways and walls.

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  13. Wonderful post and gorgeous photography of the monastery ~ such a shame to see it vacant ~

    Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

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  14. Oh, I do agree with Carol!! Such a shame indeed!! Terrific captures!!

    Have a great week!!

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  15. That takes me back....
    For some reason it makes me think of Fruitcake and a thermos of tea.

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  16. Just now enlarged the photos: amazing. Like being there. Thank you.

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  17. Wow, this abbey is big! I love all the arches you saw:) Hope you don't mind adding me to your list of links/memes. I started this one last week. It's called Seasons and is open from Mon - Wed. Any experience in a season goes, so one of these pics would be perfect!

    This week I have it posted in "Seasons-Curious about March." If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Hope you see you there.

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  18. That is an impressive abbey - I've never heard of it before but now I'd really love to see it in person. It must have been something in its prime!

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  19. Those buildings are huge and impressive even now. It must have been a magnificent group of buildings when it was first built. Great photos.

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  20. I haven't been to Fountains Abbey although I'm from Yorkshire and know its history. You have a great collection of photos here. I, too, hadn't realised it was so big. Definitely worth a visit.

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  21. Your commentary and photographs reminded me of many happy family days exploring the Yorkshire Dales. Happy Camping Times.

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  22. A very interesting piece of history - I can't help but wonder what all that space was used for apart from the usual accommodation - kitchens/ dining rooms etc.

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  23. How interesting, Marie.... It's amazing how well those 'ruins' have held up through so many years... Those beautiful facilities must have been built really well. Thanks so much for sharing this history with us.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  24. great architecture and amazing pictures!

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  25. That is remarkable. After exploring a little of Coventry's history during the same time period...it is brilliant to see ruins like this in England.

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  26. very lovely posting and photos of the Abby. Too bad the roof was removed on them. They are very large ruins. Must be great to see them in person.

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  27. very lovely posting and photos of the Abby. Too bad the roof was removed on them. They are very large ruins. Must be great to see them in person.

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  28. Nice - I remember going here with Sal when she had only been in the Uk for a few months - I thought that her eyes were going to pop out of her head - nothing really like this in Australia!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  29. Amazing that they have stayed in that condition for so long with no roof. What a fascinating bit of history.

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  30. Sad the roofs were removed, but it still looks magnificent.

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