Monday 21 January 2013

Guest Post: The Medieval Beauty of Fountains Abbey

This is the second time Angela Harpert is responsible for a guest post on my blog; you can read her first one here
Her offer came at the perfect moment, since I had a house guest for four days and did not want to leave them to their own devices and retreat to my computer for blogging. I chose the topic, because Fountains Abbey is a place I like very much and make sure to visit every time I am in Ripon to see my relatives. 

Last year in May, I wrote about Fountains Abbey here; there are also plenty of pictures with that post. The picture on this post "...has been bought from shutterstock so be rest assured that no copyright restrictions will occur.
The article is 100 % original and has been written exclusively for your blog so I hope it is informative reading to your audience", Angela wrote.

She has also asked me to include this short bio of herself:
(Note: I was asked to include the link to the vacation rentals website. I am not getting any payment for this, and the website in itself is not making any money by you clicking on the link and having a look round.)
This material has been a guest post by Angela Harpert- an adventurer and seeker of inspiration who finds beauty and uniqueness in every new place she explores. For more information visit :

The Medieval Beauty of Fountains Abbey

In 1132 after a riot thirteen Benedictine monks were expelled from St. Mary's Abbey in York and taken under the protection of Thurstan, the Archbishop of York. After many ups and downs they managed to join the Cistercian Order and they were given land on which to survive. For the next ten years the monks here lived in wooden buildings in accordance to the traditions and tenets of their new order, however they eventually began slowly building up what we know today as Fountains Abbey. Albeit only a shadow of its former beauty one can still see the efforts that went into the construction of the abbey as well as the surrounding buildings. If you're visiting Yorkshire this is an excellent place to relax and behold the local history.

The abbey itself is a gorgeous place and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The local countryside is especially beautiful in springtime and the ruins themselves have become part of it. You can simply stand and contemplate the old buildings while enjoying one of the most serene places around Britain. Nowadays Fountains Abbey is under the supervision of English Heritage which have done an admirable job at keeping the area well-preserved and protected.

When you visit the ruins of the abbey you should visit the Porter's Lodge exhibition so you'll have a chance to find out more about its inhabitants and the history of the area. The architecture of the abbey's ruins are simply breathtaking as you can almost feel what it was to be a monk here, living a quiet life away from the world's troubles in this nice and serene place. The haunting beauty of this place has attracted many artists as it captures the imagination. It has served as the set for a number of films throughout the years precisely because of its impressive looks.

While you're here don't miss the chance to take a walk around the Studley Royal Water Garden. You will have an unforgettable experience spent on the shores of the beautiful pond. The garden was made according to the plans made by John Aislabie who bought the abbey while he was creating his garden inspired by the works of French landscaping. Not much has changed in the way the garden looks even after more than two hundred years after its construction as you will see for yourself if you visit this masterpiece. The graceful swans frequenting the water here will be a sight to see for all who love birds as well as the numerous deer living in the area as well.

The abbey has a nice tea room where you can enjoy a decent breakfast and lovely, delicious homemade cakes, ice creams and a much more. Lunches are also available with traditional English recipes served daily from 12 PM to 2:30 PM for visitors and guests. You can enjoy a nice variety of lunches most of which don't accommodate vegetarians and vegans however. If you have any special requirements for food you can let them know however and they will do whatever they can to suit your needs.

Don't miss the guided tours offered here every so often – the most recent ones at this point are between the 12th of January and the 24th of February. You will have a chance to find out more about the history of the abbey and the monks who lived here as well as some interesting stories. Apart from those the local area offers much in terms of cycling and walking opportunities for those who love the outdoors as well as a chance to enjoy a truly wonderful picnic.

- - - End of guest post - - -

Some time this year, probably in late spring or early summer, I'll be going to Yorkshire again. And I am pretty sure I will once again walk from Ripon to the Abbey, enjoying the wide open spaces and the peaceful atmosphere (and then some chocolate cake at the tea room!). 


  1. I only wish I could be with you on your walk from Ripon to the Abbey...what a lovely outing that would be. The chocolate cake also!

    1. That's obligatory, Jill! (The cake, I mean)

  2. Fountain’s Abbey is not only beautiful, it also has a fascinating history. I love the place sitting in its green meadows.

    Meike, what is Blitzeis? I heard it on the German news as well.

    1. Blitzeis is when the ground is frozen and then rain falls on it, freezing immediately and creating a glassy sheet of ice on every surface. It happens so quickly, that is why it's called Blitzeis.

  3. although I've never visited a monastery, I have a fascination about them from reading about monks.
    beautiful setting for this building!

    1. You know I always wonder about the "peace and quiet" bit when I think about the time the monastery was in full bloom. It was huge, and there was a lot of activity coing on; the monks doing their work, pilgrims and visitors going to and fro, deliveries from the surrounding farmland being made, and so on. There must have been quite a hustle and bustle there in those days, unlike today.

  4. Did you forgot about 'Grow Your Blog' party? Just because there was a link that's why I stopped by. You have a lovely blog. I'm new follower and 'Grow Your Blog' participant. Have fun in at the party!
    Evalina, This and that...

    1. Hello EvalinaMaria,
      thank you so much for stopping by in spite of me NOT having put up a blog party post! No, I did not forget about it; I even put the date when I meant to write my post into my diary. But I had a house guest for 4 days and did not want to leave them to their own devices while I would be sitting at my computer, it seemed very impolite.
      Welcome to my blog, and thank you for becoming my latest reader!

  5. A walk i want to take someday, along with several others on my dream list.