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