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.


  1. Beautiful! Such a fascinating place.

  2. I like those grey stones, i'm moved by those old graffiti that brought those names to us, i enjoy those incredible architecture and landscape!

  3. Your 'tours' are so much better than reading a guide book, Jenny. Superb photographs as always :) Thank you!

  4. Excellent visit to a Yorkshire I never saw before

  5. I love Fountains Abbey, it's one of my favourite places, Bolton Abbey too. Fantastic photos!

    I've been away from the computer quite a bit over the last couple of weeks and have just enjoyed catching up with all your posts.

    You said your heart lies in North Devon, mine hangs out in East Devon. We just spent Easter there.

  6. I've been reviewing your old poss and the photos are just magnificent,
    the place creates a different suburb mood, like straight out from a magazine.
    I;m learning quite a bit of your place, something that's totally different from ours. ^0^

    and this abbey's history was certainly interesting.

  7. Beautiful photos. I love the symmetry in the first one. Looks like a place well worth visiting.

  8. Your photos are incredible. What a lovely Abbey. Thanks Jenny, your posts make me want to get back to the UK and see all these lovely old places again.

  9. Wonderful piece of history and nice photos, Jenny. Architecture has changed so much since that time.

  10. Oh the places you go!
    I feel like I have been on a trip...your blog photos are stunning.

  11. Wonderful post! The worn stones in that last photo tell the tales of so much use ... beautiful!

  12. Fabulous shots and a great place to visit!
    Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting my place and taking the time to comment;o)

    Have a nice and happy day****