Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Founded by Cistercian monks in 1132, this is the largest monastic ruin in Britain and part of a World Heritage Site. It has many interesting things to see in a beautiful natural setting.

Location Map

Aerial view of Fountains Abbey
Location map of Fountains Abbey. Click image for a larger, interactive view.

Aerial View

Aerial view of Fountains Abbey
Aerial view of Fountains Abbey. Click image for a larger, interactive view.

Timeline

1135

Construction of Fountains Abbey

11 Jun 1986

Fountains Abbey designated a Grade I listed building

National Heritage List for England Data

Fountains Abbey is listed on the National Heritage List for England with the following data. Some information may have become outdated since the date of listing. Text courtesy of Historic England. © Crown Copyright, reprinted under the Open Government License.

List Entry ID
1149811
Grade
I
Name
FOUNTAINS ABBEY, WITH ANCILLARY BUILDINGS
Location
FOUNTAINS ABBEY, WITH ANCILLARY BUILDINGS, FOUNTAINS LANE
Parish
Lindrick with Studley Royal and Fountains
District
Harrogate
County
North Yorkshire
Grid Reference
SE 27306 68214

SE 2768 LINDRICK WITH STUDLEY FOUNTAINS LANE ROYAL AND FOUNTAINS (east side, off)

9/38 Fountains Abbey, with ancillary buildings

GV I

Abbey Church, with precinct buildings, river walling and 2 bridges. Founded 1132, main building phases 1170-1247 and late C15 - early C16, by monks of the Cistercian Order. Freestone, with a dark fossiliferous limestone known as Nidderdale marble, and magnesian limestone. Abbey Church: west Galilee Chapel, nave with north and south aisles, choir, transepts, north tower, presbytery and Chapel of the Nine Altars to east. Cloister south of nave: has on east side Chapter House, with monks dormitory to first floor; west side - a storehouse and lay brothers refectory, their dormitory above; south side - monks refectory flanked by warming house and kitchen. Buildings to south-east of the cloister include the Abbots house and the monks infirmary with its service buildings. To south-west, the lay brothers' reredorter and infirmary. The 2 infirmaries stand over tunnels carrying the canalised River Skell. The infirmary bridge crosses the river between the lay brothers' infirmary and the East and West Guest-houses. The mill bridge is further upstream linking the outer court with the Abbey Mill (qv). Built in Romanesque and Early English style, Fountains is the best preserved of English abbeys and is the finest picturesque ruin. Among the architectural splendours are: the deeply-recessed elaborately-moulded, round-arched west door to the church and other late C12 doorways; the trefoil-headed recesses, now without attached columns, which line the nave and the chapel of the Nine Altars; Bishop Huby's Tower (1526), 55 metres high, of 5 stages with deeply-moulded plinth, massive angle buttresses, windows with varied heads, embattled parapet and decorated with inscriptions and statues in niches; the 3 elaborately-moulded arches of the Chapter House, which was one of the largest in the country; the central line of piers in the west cloister range from which ribs spring without capitals and which, with 22 double bays,is the largest building of its kind in Europe; the 2 warming house fireplaces with flat joggled arches; the guest houses, each with 2 floors of hall, chamber and privy and with early circular chimney stacks; and finally the late C12 bridge with 3 ribbed arches and triangular cutwaters, another rare survival...

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Bibliography

  1. Greeves, Lydia. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal (National Trust Guidebook). .
  2. Coppack, Glyn. Fountains Abbey: The Cistercians in Northern England. .
  3. Official Website of Fountains Abbey. Web. Accessed 1 Nov. 2016. <http://www.fountainsabbey.org.uk>
  4. “FOUNTAINS ABBEY, WITH ANCILLARY BUILDINGS.” The National Heritage List for England. Web. Accessed 8 Oct. 2013. <https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1149811>