Saints and Stones: Fountains
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Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks from St. Mary's Abbey in York who were seeking a simpler life. They immediately placed themselves under St. Bernard, who sent Geoffrey of Clairvaux to teach them the Cistercian Rule. They later became Cistercian monks.

After two years of privation and poverty, they decided to leave England and seek a home among their brethren abroad, but this became unnecessary when Hugh, Dean of York, joined them, bringing with him money and property. Building of the abbey, the ruins of which still stand, was finished before the year 1250.

In 1146, a colony of monks was sent to Bergen in Norway, and the monasteries of Sawley, Roche, Woburn, Meaux, Kirkstall, and Vandy were founded from Fountains.

About Fountains

National Trust Fountains Abbey Website
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Fountains Abbey
Wikipedia: Fountains Abbey
Wikipedia: Cistercians

Journey to Fountains

Fountains Abbey is located off the A170 near the town of Ripon, North Yorkshire, England.

Ordnance Survey Map (SE2732768521)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Fountains Abbey National Trust website. General tourist information is at the Welcome to Yorkshire website.

Additional Photos of Fountains

Welcome Sign at Fountains Abbey
First View Approaching Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey: (left to right) the Tower, Nave, and Lay Brothers Refectory
The Nave and Lay Brothers Refectory, Fountains Abbey
Presbytery Window, Fountains Abbey
The Interior of Fountains Abbey
Chapel of the Nine Altars in the Presbytery, Fountains Abbey
The Tower, Fountains Abbey
Guesthouse at Fountains Abbey
Exterior of South Transept Chapel, Fountains Abbey
Interior Window, Fountains Abbey
Chapter House Arcade, Fountains Abbey
Arches in the Nave, Fountains Abbey
Doorway, Fountains Abbey
Ruins of an Arcade, Fountains Abbey
Interior of Lay Brothers Refectory, Fountains Abbey
Interior of Lay Brothers Refectory, Fountains Abbey
Columns in an Undercroft
Wall Column, Fountains Abbey
Wall Ornamentation, Fountains Abbey
Day Stairs to the Monks' Dormitory, Fountains Abbey
Quarry Outside Fountains Used to Build the Abbey, Fountains Abbey
The River Skell near Fountains Abbey
The River Skell Near the Infirmary Bridge, , Fountains Abbey
The Tower, , Fountains Abbey
Schoolchildren on a Tour of Fountains Abbey


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