Address: Southwest of Ripon,
Opening hours: Fountains Abbey can be explored any day and at any time of the year except during special holidays, specifically Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
How can you go wrong if you choose to spend your free time walking around a National Trust property that is also a World Heritage site? Fountains Abbey, which is about three miles to the southwest of Ripon, North Yorkshire, was founded in 1132. The abbey had been operating for more than 400 years. In 1539, however, King Henry VIII had proclaimed the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Fountains Abbey is a notable site because it is not only one of the largest Cistercian monasteries but it is also the best preserved among England’s monasteries in ruins.
There can be no doubt that the place is rich in history, especially one that has been afflicted by religious conflicts. Despite the centuries, however, the place remains standing though not in its former glory. The abbey is no longer the functional building that it was before. Still, it is now able to project a sense of experience, awe, nostalgia and authority.
After centuries of witnessing disputes, Fountains Abbey is at peace. The water garden, which was fashioned in the elegant Georgian Style, could further emphasize the feeling of tranquillity. There are several statues and follies that further promote the feeling of ease and peace.
Fountains Abbey covers all of 800 acres. The beauty of the countryside can really be felt in this monastic ruins. When you visit, however, you are not just there to appreciate physical and tangible beauty but also to appreciate English heritage.
Near the ruins, you might want to get a closer look at the Cistercian corn mill, which is the only one of its kind left.
What do you think it was like to read a book in a little corner of your own during the Medieval times? You might want to try a spot in the Elizabeth Fountains Hall’s reading room. A place in the Victorian-styled St. Mary’s church may also be a good spot to read. When out in the deer park with your family, you might want to do more exploring.
There is more to the abbey’s story. You could discover more when you are the exhibit at Porter’s Lodge. Learning is not just about watching and reading. Try grinding corn by the mill to see what it was like for the people back then.
As with other English museums and historic sites, Fountains Abbey can be explored any day and at any time of the year except during special holidays, specifically Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.