Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

Well it is that season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and this was what Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire looked like last week when we visited it. It was a Cistercian Abbey and the grounds lead into Studley Royal which is a beautiful water garden which was created in the 1700s, but more about that in another post.

Fountains Abbey

It didn’t look quite so misty close up, but it was very chilly and I imagine it must have been bitterly cold for the monks who lived here, they first settled in this area in 1132. In fact there was a party of schoolchildren there at the same time as us and they got to dress up in monks’ habits, hoods and all. I actually envied them as they looked a lot warmer in them than I felt.

Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

There’s still quite a lot of the main building left and there’s a great model in the Porter’s Lodge which shows how large the whole place was in its heyday. A lot of the buildings have just disappeared.

Fountains Abbey

The setting is beautiful with streams and fountains leading in to the river which would have provided the monks with fish. They were very good businessmen and turned the surrounding land into productive farmland for crops and sheep.

Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

I can’t resist a bridge of course and there are a few like this one around the abbey.

bridge at Fountains Abbey

This abbey was one of the many casualties of Henry VIII and his disagreement with the Pope in order to get his hands on Anne Boleyn. It had been one of the richest abbeys in Europe until then.

Fountains Abbey, YorkshireFountains Abbey, Yorkshire

There’s a lot of walking involved if you want to go around the adjoining water gardens too so flat shoes are required, but it’s a lovely place and is well worth a visit, I’ll be posting those photos soon I hope.

14 thoughts on “Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire

  1. What a beautiful and atmospheric place. Love those bridges, too. How do buildings like that just disappear? Do you think there are stones from the abbey in nearby village houses?

    • Joan,
      The stones have definitely been robbed over the years to build homes nearby. There’s a ruin of a red sandstone castle near us and all the farm walls in that area are made of red sandstone, it’s easy to see where they got it from!

    • Pearl,
      I’m the same bridges, gates and lovely old doorways. I’m beginning to focus on old shop windows too, before all the lovely old designs disappear and become massive bits of soulless plate glass.

  2. Beautiful pictures. I so miss living in Germany and being able to visit castles, ruins, etc. in one day. We used to walk with the kids to local ruins that looked out over the valley.Thanks.

    • Lorraine,
      I must admit I enjoy old ruins as well as intact ancient places. I couldn’t find you on Facebook! I’m not very good with it yet. If you want me to be your friend on it maybe you could click on my Facebook thingy on the right hand side.

  3. One thing that really impressed me most as I started to travel was just how young my country really is. So many of the fascinating structures I’ve marveled at in Europe were built when the USA wasn’t even a concept.

    And trips to Vietnam and China really frosted that cake — amazing complexes designed and built for the ages whilst my ancestors in Europe were still pelting each other with rocks and sticks.

    • Pearl,
      You know I’m more of an armchair traveller but I’m always fascinated by things on TV about ancient civilisations. As my dad always said “Damn clever these Chinese.” But you have evidence of ancient folks too, with some standing stones of your own, maybe not as good as Stonehenge but interesting all the same.

      BTW I’ve looked at all of teh wedding photos. They’re lovely and you and Bud look great. Your outfit is a winner! I’ve still to look at France.

      • Thanks! I still was nervous about it til I actually saw what others were wearing and I fit right in. Still can’t get over people wearing sleeveless (and sandals!!) in that weather.

        • Pearl,
          I think it’s quite difficult to find evening wear here which actually has sleeves. The designers haven’t cottoned on to the fact that most women would rather hide at least their upper arms if possible. Younger people seem to wear hardly anything at all. I’ve even seen people out in sandals in what I would call wellie weather.

  4. Colin and I visited Fountains Abbey and the Water Gardens when he was not long out of hospital in the summer. I don’t think I’ve managed to blog it yet! One of several I still have to catch up on. It was stunning! Like you we saw kids in monks’ apparel getting the tour. We could have done a whole lot more if Colin had been as fit as he usually is. I’ll put in my photos sometime when I’ve run out of blog entries during the winter.
    Love your photos. Wish I had taken some of your views!!

    • Evee,
      It did involve a lot of walking, in fact the woman who gave us our tickets asked us if we were OK with hills! Studley Royal is lovely, especially in the autumn, I hope to do that one as soon as I get around to putting the photos on Flickr.

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