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Rievaulx Abbey, North York Moors

Posted by Luci Ackers on 16 April 2015
Related property: Bell End Farm, Rosedale
Rievaulx Abbey, North York Moors

In a remote valley nestled within the picturesque North York Moors National Park is the stunning ruin of Rievaulx Abbey.

Our charming holiday property is just half an hour away and provides an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding beauty spots.

Originally founded in the 12th century, Rievaulx was the first Cistercian abbey to be established in the North of England and to this day remains one of North Yorkshire's largest and most spectacular abbeys.

Rievaulx was built in the 1130s though many of the buildings that are still standing today date from the 1140s when the most famous abbot Aelred expanded the abbey to accommodate the growing community of monks and lay brothers that were living there. A monumental church was constructed and over the ensuing years more expansion and alterations took place such as the completion of the large cloisters and a 13th century shrine in the church. The site was a large one that housed 650 people at its peak and had dormitories, infirmaries and even a water-powered ironworks forge.

The 14th century saw many of the lay brothers leave the abbey and it was in 1538 that Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the decline of Rievaulx. These incredible ruins have been inspiration for many poets and artists of the Romantic period and, now protected by English Heritage, are greatly appreciated by all who visit the peaceful site.

Rievaulx looms up from the valley it sits in. Though traditional churches had their altars facing east, Rievaulx was built facing north, allowing it to fit perfectly into this idyllic position. The high buildings and beautiful arches are awe-inspiring and it isn't difficult to imagine this incredible place and its various clusters of buildings back in its heyday, all those centuries ago.

A remarkable portion of Rievaulx Abbey still stands and visitors can wander through the old arches, admire great stone architecture and picture how it would have once looked. The tranquil position in a wooded valley is the perfect area for exploring or taking a gentle stroll.There is a café and visitor facilities onsite too with plans to expand and improve them during 2015 and 2016. The idea is to have a newly refurbished museum, tea room and shop.

To see ticket prices and opening times, have a look at the English Heritage website here.

Our charmingly converted farmhouse properties are located just half an hour away in the village of Rosedale Abbey, which has been inhabited since the 12th century and is the site of a former Cistercian nunnery. It provides a fantastic base for exploring the surrounding National Park setting. To find out how you can stay here, simply follow the link below.

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Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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