Places Less Visited – Fountains Abbey

When compared to Tintern Abbey this is HUGE. Fountains Abbey is one of the largest monastic ruins in Britain.

In common with many abbeys Fountains Abbey lies next to a river, in this case the River Skell in North Yorkshire. At a time when wealth came from the land this abbey became one of the wealthiest in Britain based on its trading in wool and lead and they had large land holdings across the area.

The ruins cover over 500 acres of park, gardens and woods and the Abbey together with the Studley Royal Water Garden are UNESCO world Heritage Sites and have been the location for several films and documentaries.

In common with many of these Abbeys that I have visited over the years the ruins portray a sense of contemplation from the surviving ruins, especially when you have the opportunity to walk the grounds outside of normal visiting times. At Fountains there is a cellarium that is almost 300ft long and fills you with a sense of wonderment. You can almost feel the monks walking along side you.

Fountains Abbey

In the case of Fountains Abbey there are parts of their history that have resulted in the Abbot and one of his nearby colleagues Adam de Sedbergh, who was the last abbot of nearby Jervaulx Abbey, being beheaded by Henry VIII for plotting against the king

Cellarium inside –
Abbey ruins –Mike Peel

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