Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England and also part of the UNESCO world Heritage. It is located in Ripon, in Yorkshire, not too far away from Leeds, so we decided to have a little day trip to visit this interesting location !
In 1132, 13 monks came to this valley. The abbey they founded became one of the richest in Europe. The Abbey was abruptly closed down in 1539 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII, and was privately own until the 1980’s, when the National Trust bought the land.
The abbey is built with sandstone, limestone and Niddersdale marble. Most of the stones came from the Clift at the side of the valley and the little museum explained all the construction steps, that was very intersting. The ruins are left open, so you can meander between different areas.
The Cloisters are just amazing, it’s the best part of this place ! The day we visited it, people were singing in it and the acoustic was exceptional.
There are a few wildflowers around and even spotted a wild orchid.
There is huge park around where you can have a picnic or simply walk around. There is also a deer park but I didn’t have time to visit it that time. This is a very nice place and I recommend a visit !