01 November, 2008

Pictures of Yorkshire (7)

Fountains Abbey

Fountains, near Ripon, was founded in 1132 by thirteen monks who had left the Benedictine abbey of St Mary's in York, disgusted by the lack of discipline and adherence to the Rule of St Benedict. (I managed to delete my pics of the ruins of St Mary's, but you can see it on Gabriele's blog.) Shortly after its foundation, the monks successfully applied to join the Cistercian order, and Fountains subsequently became the richest Cistercian abbey in England.

(Right, above: I love this pic (apologies for the boasting, as I'm the one who took it). It looks more like a painting than a photo, I think, with that perfectly manicured, incredibly green grass.)

The second-last abbot, William Thirsk, joined the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 with his friend Adam Sedbergh, abbot of Jervaulx (see my last post) and suffered the same fate, execution by hanging, drawing and quartering. Abbot Marmaduke Bradley and the thirty remaining monks surrendered the abbey to Henry VIII's commissioners on 26 November 1539, 407 years after its foundation.

From 1718, John Aislabie, local Member of Parliament, began to landscape the area around the abbey ruins, and create a water garden. This is generally considered to be the finest eighteenth-century water garden in England. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are managed by the National Trust, and are a World Heritage site. The Cistercians in Yorkshire website says that "the ruins are amongst the most significant monastic remains in Europe."

The guest house (two pics)

The monks' dormitory.

The Green Man.

Me, mum and Tara (I'm on the left, in the light pink jacket)

The tower, with my mum and Tara helpfully standing in front to give a sense of the scale.

The great east window of the abbey church.

And others....


Anerje said...

beautiful pix Alianore! You seem blessed with the weather!

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Anerje! Yes, we were very lucky, except for the last day when we went to Jervaulx and it poured down.

Jules Frusher said...

Once again, lovely pics - and a great reminder of what sunshine looks like! It's such a shame you lost those other photos.

Kathryn Warner said...

Lady D: yes, it was gorgeous with the sunshine, but really cold, though!

Linda said...

Incredibly beautiful pictures. It appears to me that the destruction of this abbey was not as great as some of the others. The ruins seem more "intact". The pinkish cast to some of the stonework - is that real or a result of the lighting and photography. Loved the pic of your mother in the tower shot, showing relative height. Amazing that people could build something like that w/o cranes and other modern equipment.

Susan Higginbotham said...

What magnificent ruins, and great pictures!

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, both! Linda: yes, the stone does have quite a pinkish tinge. And I'm extremely glad that the destruction at Fountains wasn't nearly as bad as it might have been, especially as the second-last abbot joined the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Christy K Robinson said...

Alianore, great pix again! Keep 'em coming, please.

Did you find the effigy of Henry de Percy (1273-1314) at Fountains? IF you have a snapshot of it, may I have a copy?

As a church board member, I help conduct the business of the church, including hiring custodial services (those who clean restrooms and do yardwork). So who mows the green carpet at Fountains? It looks too beautifully maintained to be a flock of sheep. Imagine running a mower through a church. Huh... And that IS my favorite sort of worship place. I loved the priory at Lindisfarne Island, and the church at Glastonbury. Just gorgeous.

Kathryn Warner said...

Christy, unfortunately I missed Henry's effigy! :( I don't recall the guidebook even mentioning it, and I walked all around the abbey and didn't see anything that looked like an effigy.

Fountains is run by the National Trust, and I imagine they have groundspeople to keep the grass looking so perfectly manicured and carpet-like!

Anonymous said...

Alianore you have our permission to boast away about your photos - they are worthy of a "boast" as you call it. They were glorious. Where do the very fine set of steps lead to -they look like they are going up to heaven! Thanks for the great post.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Kate! As far as I remember, the steps led to the monks' dormitory.