Friday, June 22, 2018

Fountains Abbey (Showing Off a "Small Island" #8)

365 days ago, we were in the UK.  As I look out the window at the Montana hills, dappled with early morning sunshine, last summer truly seems a world and a lifetime away.  But the pictures in my archives hold a story begging to be written, so here I am at the computer, exhilarated to deliver Part 8 of last summer's holiday (read: vacation).

This post continues my series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) documenting our joy in guiding my sister and her husband through a small slice of the cultural delights that Northeastern England has to offer.  June 22, 2017?  Must be Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden.




(I can still remember the day I first heard about Fountains Abbey - Spousal Unit RAVED about this paradise that he had visited with his parents and the kids.  Now, keep in mind that Spousal Unit is from the UK and has seen many historical sites.  So a RAVE from him really means something.)
The kids at the Abbey in 2008

My enthusiasm for the Abbey springs from the slow reveal.  You pass this sign and stroll a wandering path, and your eyes suddenly gaze upon the Elizabethan Fountains Hall.  OK, not the Abbey.

















Exploring the cottage garden of the Hall, you cross a footbridge and the waterway pulls your eyes toward the Fountains Mill built by the Cistercians in the 12th century.  OK, still not the Abbey.


And then, there She is.  Fountains Abbey - one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England.  Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for 407 years, becoming one of the wealthiest monasteries in England until its dissolution in 1539 under the order of Henry VIII.


And there's more … the stream that led you from the cottage to the Mill to the Abbey meanders downhill and is transformed - into the Studley Royal Water Garden.  During the 18th century, John Aislabie had a breath-taking vision to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate and so turned the surrounding woods and valleys into the Georgian water gardens we see today.


Of course, a National Trust site would not be worth its cottons without a tea shop.  And by this time, we needed some nourishment!
Upper right - that Jackdaw was keeping a close eye on my lentil soup and crusty bread!


And there's more … the magnificent St. Mary's Church is one of the finest examples of High Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in England.  It was designed in the 1870s by the flamboyant architect William Burges, and has been called his 'ecclesiastical masterpiece'.  The church was built by the Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon following a tragic family death in 1870.  Its extravagantly decorated interior is influenced by 13th century English gothic styles, and displays colored marble, stained glass, a splendid organ and gilded figures in all their original glory.








By the time we arrived at the church, it had JUST closed.  My sister charmed the docent into opening the door for a 'quick peek'.  So most of my pictures of the stunning edifice are from outside!



We closed our visit (as you do) with a quick look 'round the gift shop.  I was entranced with the site map - there was more that we had not explored!!!

So, now you know why this page of the diary was calling out to me.  Rolling vistas that MY words cannot describe.  Sudden ruins that pop up from the earth - what hands wrought this beauty, and what other hands sought to wipe it out.  An opportunity to return and see even more of this delightful valley.  
I do think we'll be back.

Linking to:

All Seasons

Mosaic Monday


Our World Tuesday
Our World Tuesday Graphic

Skywatch Friday

41 comments:

  1. A really beautiful and historic location. The church looks amazing!! Love that old bench. Thanks for sharing this incredible spot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It always amazes me to see these ornate castles and cathedrals built with what we would now call primitive tools. You got some great pictures. Was that big key used for anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I can't imagine carrying that big key around. It's got to weigh at least a pound.

      Delete
  3. Lovely series of photos...thank you.
    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...what a delight. It always pays to charm people.

    ReplyDelete
  5. strange, places like this gives me mixed feelings. In a way they are beautiful but somehow so sad.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, what a stunning and majestic place. St Mary Church with its spires towering to the heavens is amazing. and Fountains Abbey and the surrounding backdrop are just stunning....and a cafe right in the midst...doesn't get any better. =) Such a magical place to have visited.

    ReplyDelete
  7. gorgeous professional pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos of Fountains Abbey. We were in the UK on holiday 20 years ago and it was one of the historic sites we made sure to visit. I will always remember walking through the cloisters and a young woman singing a Gregorian chant, it was so beautiful and very emotional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rosemary. Emotional describes my feeling whenever I hear bagpipes in any setting - much like Gregorian chants! I tried to comment on your blog, but it says comments are for members only?

      Delete
  9. Beautiful architecture in Britain.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well thank you for that guided tour Angie. But now I feel slightly embarrassed and ashamed to say that I have never been to Fountains Abbey. Neither of us are history buffs but when we are in a particular location we will sometimes make a detour to see somewhere we "ought".

    No I've not seen the Snipe movie but I enjoy seeing Snipe, especially in the summer months when they pose nicely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can understand why he "raved" about the abbey- everythimg is so beautiful from the garden, hall, mill, abbey, and church. Thanks for the great tour!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful place to visit. Our kids went to the UK last year, from Canada. I took their photos and made them a book of memories!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I do love that the National Trust works to keep all these places in such good condition for visitors now and in the future. It is always disheartening to think that some people feel that modernization means we must let go of relics from the past. The truth is, we must always remember where we came from and honor what was.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful! There's a sense of history in Europe that we're missing here in the American West.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful! Happy to see this part of your trip from a year ago! I'm always keen to see posts about travel in the UK. There are so many areas I would love to re-visit. Thank goodness for the National Trust preserving so much of the history. The church is beautiful. Glad you got in! Happy first weekend of summer to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fascinating! My experience of England is somewhat lacking, (a lot of it in the hell of Heathrow airport) but here you have descriptions and photos of things I'll never get to see. Thank you!
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow what a wonderful place to visit. You captured it so well with your pictures.
    That key is really something.
    I lived in castle in Scotland once upon a time and we had a key like that. : )

    ReplyDelete
  18. such a beautiful, well manicured place. your images are spectacular, i really enjoyed the many pictures that featured reflections and the lovely swan, that was a special one!!

    the church looks wonderful... a great place for a holiday!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Whenever I visit Europe I am always impressed by the degree of antiquity all around, and the sense of timelessness it conveys. These images portray this very well, Angie, accompanied by a superb narrative. I have to tell you (and it will perhaps come as no surprise) that my favourite image was the Jackdaw eyeing your soup. Better wrap your arm around your plate; that is one smart bird and he would pilfer a few crumbs in an instant. Gotta say that lunch looks damn good.....and not just to the Jackdaw.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a lovely and fascinating place ~ neat series of photos ~ lots of history!

    Happy Week ahead to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Such a lovely place to explore! I love anything having to do with England including all the Royals...lol Kit

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Angie, I loved seeing the Abbey and church. The water gardens and property is beautiful. It is a wonderful place to visit. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love that weathered arch seat and the ruins. Great visit!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fountains Abbey has long been on my list of NT sites to visit, hopefully I'll get there one day. In the meantime this post has been a treat for the eyes and only served to reinforce my wish to see it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stunning area around Fountains Abbey. Beautiful scenery, history and TEA! Delightful!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hola que fotos mas bonitas.
    te mando mi blog por si queres criticar.

    Gracias.
    Besos


    http://anna-historias.blogspot.com/2018/06/el-silencio.html?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  27. This was a trip you will never forget and how wonderful to have so many great photos to keep! I've never traveled there but I know I would love it! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Even though this trip/visit looks like it was perfect, it seems there would be more to see -- you should definitely go back and take me with you!! (Seriously, I would love to go back to England. We were lucky to stay for quite a long time, but still saw so very little. Sigh! So many wonderful places.....)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh, gosh, Angie, I would go back too, if I'd been there before. As I'm looking at your photos, I imagine Pride & Prejudice scenes, particularly Darcy's home. I wouldn't mind pitching a yurt some where on the grounds and calling it home.

    ReplyDelete
  30. thank you so much for this lovely visit to the abbey and church. The abbey seems a bit similar to one in the south of England we visited about 12 years ago. But a guess there are many similar. Beautiful inside and out and even the ruins. And the gardens look so peaceful. Happy travels, have a lovely week, and thank you for visiting my blog this week.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow - it really is beautiful! I've never visited but have, of course, heard everyone rave about it. Hope you have fun with the in-laws!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks so much for that post, at least i have an idea of what they look like. I haven't been to England and might not have the opportunity in this lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Such a wonderful old place! I love the photos that you shared.

    ReplyDelete
  34. It is a beautiful place, so glad you got to experience it. Your photos are wonderful.

    -Soma

    ReplyDelete
  35. Angie, What a lovely tour of the abbey. These old buildings are pure magic. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a wonderful place to visit, Angie. No wonder your husband raved about it. There is so much to see and explore, and wonder about. Visiting a ruined abbey during our visit to the UK 2 years ago now (time flies!) was one of my best days. Like you, I ponder who built it, and who destroyed it. I love going through my photos of our visit to Hailes Abbey and I'm re-reading my travel diary just now, too.
    Enjoy the time away from the computer and your visit with your in-laws. They will be awed at the wonders just outside your windows!

    ReplyDelete
  37. What a magnificent place, and your photos and narrative are so engaging!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...