After having been (the first time, we went again some days later) to RHS garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, we went to Fountains Abbey. Having been in Tintern Abbey, Wales, before link, it was natural to visit this great place as well.
To arrive at this oasis of peace, btw. another NATIONAL TRUST place, the first impressions were: pheasants. All over there were loads of pheasants.
|We could sit in an observation shed and watch from behind the screens|
The first glimpse of the Abbey, it looked rather entire to us.
The grass looked like a very soft carpet and invited to walk on it.
|The all important stream enhances the peaceful scenery|
|Image from Google - this is how the layout of the Abbey is believed to have been|
|they greyness of the sky added to the unique feeling around|
|how incredibly well built|
|Breathtaking and still all intact|
|can you imagine the sound in these walls?|
|everybody in here whispers but the monks would have anyway been silent|
|there was a school class, everybody was in cowls|
|looking up the chimney in the 'kitchen' area|
|extraordinary how the paving is still in such good condition|
|the view gives me still goosebumps|
|love the way how the bench is joined|
Fountains Abbey has a remarkable history and we spent hours, also reading all the details in a specially dedicated area. It was rather sad to see another Cistercians monastery's raise and fall. I have blogged a few pictures about our Abbaye du Val Dieu in Aubel, very close to here, some time ago: link
We very often go to Val Dieu as it is such a unique place with a unique atmosphere, however no Henri VIII did ever rule here and all the buildings are totally intact. A very nice park is now open to the public but all is free of charge to any visitor. Contrary to the fantastic British National Trust, Belgium has not got such thing and the Abbey is now entirely left on its own to raise enough money to preserve it. EG is a good support for them, the only Belgian beer which is really brewed in an Abbey is Val Dieu :-). The brewery however, has changed ownership as there is no monk left but they still brew further to the monk's recipes and it represents a huge attraction and organises guided tours.
Fountains Abbey started its existence due to 13 expelled monks, they were eventually taken into protection by the archbishop of York. They decided to join the Cistercian order from Clairvaux in Burgundy, France and were taught how to build cistercians buildings. The story over the centuries is very tormented and it is clear that those were really tough times. You can read the entire story on Wikipedia.
Next stop: YORK