Thursday, 21 April 2011

Images of .... Fountains Abbey Estate

As well as the main attractions of  Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal park, there are other interesting buildings, well worth a look:

Fountains Hall, an impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion built for Sir Stephen Proctor between 1598 & 1604, partly with stone from the ruins of Fountains Abbey. It has a fascinating history. (You can now stay in this magnificent building, as part of it is let by the National Trust as holiday apartments.)

Part of the facade of Fountains Hall. The statues depict Mars, God of War, on the left and Saturn on the right - eating one of his children! The writing on the sundial says "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi", Latin for "Thus passes the glory of the world".

A 300 year old pear wood carving in Fountains Hall.  This originally came from Studley Royal Hall, another large mansion on the estate that sadly burnt down in 1946.  The motto says "Nec Cesso, Nec Erro" - "I won't rest, I won't stray."

Fountains Mill is the oldest building on the estate, older even than the visible parts of the Abbey's ruins. It was built in the 12th century as a watermill to grind wheat, oats and barley to feed the monastic community: monks, lay brothers, servants, visitors and the needy.
 18th century graffiti - names carved in the stone and wood of the mill.

A spring or well.  The valley of the River Skell has abundant fresh water, one of the reasons why it made such a suitable place to found the monastery in 1132.  It all began when 13 monks were exiled from St Mary's Abbey in York after a dispute about the way the abbey was being run.  Thurstan, Archbishop of York, provided this site in the valley of the little River Skell so that the exiles could found a new and more devout monastery, which quickly became linked to the austere Cistercian order.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Images of .... Studley Royal

The beautiful 18th century gardens at the World Heritage Site of Studley Royal in North Yorkshire.

 'Surprise View' of the ruins of Fountains Abbey, framed in the archway of the pavilion called Anne Boleyn's Seat

 The Octagonal Tower, another high viewing point

 Part of the formally laid-out water garden


 Statue of Neptune, the God of Water, in the Moon Pond

Another statue, which I think is Endymion

 The lake at Studley Royal

The Victorian Church of St Mary the Virgin, William Burges's religious masterpiece in the grounds of Studley Royal.  Studley Royal House itself was demolished in 1946 after being badly damaged by fire.

 The closest I could get to the deer!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Images of .... Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal together form a beautiful and historic World Heritage Site in North Yorkshire.  The ruins of the medieval abbey nestle within the pretty valley of the River Skell, part of which was landscaped in the 18th century into a stunning water garden and deer park.

View of the ruined abbey, looking east.  The monastery was founded in 1132 and became a very wealthy Cistercian foundation, but like most of the great abbeys in England it was disbanded in 1539 by King Henry VIII's brutal Dissolution of the Monasteries.  The buildings lay empty and were plundered for their stone.

Thankfully, the magnificent vaulted Cellarium remains largely intact.

 One of the nave aisles in the abbey church

The 12th century infirmary bridge over the River Skell 

Sepia-toned view of the Abbey, looking west.

There are a few more pictures and some more information on my main blog, Saltaire Daily Photo, starting here.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Images of .... Spring in Ripley

Ripley, between Harrogate and Ripon in North Yorkshire, is an estate village belonging to Ripley Castle, family seat of the Ingilbys for the past 700 years.  The present village was built in 1825 by the eccentric Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, who modelled it on an estate village he had seen in Alsace-Lorraine.  The original village had had thatched cottages which were in a poor state of repair.  The Castle and church remain much as they were but the rest of the village was rebuilt, to include a cobbled square and hôtel-de-ville style town hall.

Main street, looking towards The Boar's Head Inn, an old coaching inn

A house on the main street

Part of Ripley Castle

Window above a gate at Ripley Castle, with part of the family coats of arms

 A stream through the woods

Cowslips (primula veris)

 Fishing in Ripley Castle's ornamental lake