Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Rievaulx Abbey

The last destination to be ticked off The List during our trip to North Yorkshire last September is Rievaulx Abbey.

I know I have already visited Rievaulx Abbey as a child, and it did seem a little familiar. Maybe it was memories of climbing over the maze of ruins and running round all the hiding places that came back to me.

Out of the three Abbeys we visited, this seems to have the most remaining, and the largest site. There was also a visitor centre detailing working lives of the monks of the abbey. This is also maintained by English Heritage (so the corporate membership we have really did pay off on this trip!) Rievaulx is a tiny village near Helmsley in North Yorkshire. Going down the tiny roads, which no doubt are treacherous in bad weather, led us to the first glimpses of the church within the abbey complex. The abbey dates back to 1130 and contains some of the oldest surviving buildings of the Cistercian movement (English Heritage). I understand from the information available that the abbey was a major architectural influence on the monastic church.

We could have easily spent a whole day around Rievaulx Abbey. We took a picnic and spent a good few hours there wandering through the archways, round the walls and along the paths. A good place to explore.

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