In 1132 A.D., St Bernard of Clairvaux sent a group of monks, under the leadership of his secretary, William, to England to establish Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, from which the White Monks could reform and colonise northern England and Scotland.
The Abbey flourished during the Middle Ages, despite financial difficulties, plague, war, and famine. Its highpoint was the mid-12th Century, especially under the directorship of its Abbott, St. Aelred. The Black Death of 1348-9 had a devastating impact on numbers and by the late 14th Century, there were only fourteen monks, three lay-brothers, and an abbot. At the Dissolution of the Abbey in 1538, the community numbered twenty-three.
A striking testimony to Rievaulx’s high reputation is the fact that three of its former members were celebrated as saints: William, the founding abbot, Aelred, the third abbot, and Waldef, at one time monk of Rievaulx and later abbot of its daughter-house, Melrose.
Emglish Heritage: Rievaulx Abbey
Journey to Rievaulx
Rievaulx Abbey is located north of Helmsley off the A170 and the B1257 in North Yorkshire, England.
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Abbey of Rievaulx
Wikipedia: Rievaulx Abbey
Wikipedia: Aelred of Rievaulx
Ordnance Survey Map (SE5753785025)
Visitors information may be found at the English Heritage website. General tourist information is at the Welcome to Yorkshire website.
Additional Photos of Rievaulx
Sign at Rievaulx Abbey
Presbytery and South Transept of Church, Rievaulx Abbey
Monks Refectory Exterior, Rievaulx Abbey
South Transept and Presbytery of Church, Rievaulx Abbey
Church from Southwest, Rievaulx Abbey
Side of Presbytery, Rievaulx Abbey
Refectory with Laver in Front, Rievaulx Abbey
Monk's Refectory Interior, Rievaulx Abbey
Arcade Stonework, Rievaulx Abbey
Rievaulx Abbey Stairs
Carved Panel Above Abbot's House, Rievaulx Abbey
Sign on Museum Building, Rievaulx Abbey
Floor Tiles, Rievaulx Abbey
Rye Valley, Site of Rievaulx Abbey