Fountains Abbey : Michelin's recommendations
Built in the 12C by a small band of Benedictines, in revolt against the slack discipline at their abbey in York, Fountains Abbey, a "place remote from all the world" became in less than a century the centre of an enormous enterprise, the profits from which paid for an ambitious construction programme. The complex fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 but was bought in 1768 by the Aislabie family, the owners of the adjacent Studley Royal estate. The spectacular ruins include a long row of monastic buildings with the dormitory of the lay brothers, whose work was of key importance to the abbey's prosperity. To the east is the magnificent 13C Chapel of the Nine Altars - an unusual feature, repeated later in Durham Cathedral - with soaring arches and an immense, Perpendicular window and the monks quarters to the south. The most complete and beautiful remains are those of the buildings grouped around a cloister in a standard Cistercian layout. To the east is the Chapter House, entered through three fine Norman arches and, to the south, the Great Refectory, its single doorway a masterpiece of elaborate moulding; to the west, the cellarium with its astounding 90 m vaulted interior. The guest house and lay brothers' infirmary are outside the precinct.
- Address : National Trust GB - Ripon HG4 3DYHG4 3DYRipon
- Phone : 01765608888
- Prices : free of charge