What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Fountains Abbey

=How to get there.=–Train from King’s Cross via Leeds. Great Northern Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Ripon (2 miles from the Abbey). =Distance from London.=–214 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 5 to 8 hours.

                     1st     2nd      3rd
=Fares.=–Single  29s. 9d.   ...   17s.  5d.
          Return  59s. 6d.   ...   34s. 10d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–At Ripon–"Black Bull Hotel," “Black Swan Hotel,” “Bradford Hotel,” etc.

Fountains Abbey, about 2 miles south-west from Ripon in Yorkshire, stands in a beautiful wooded valley, through which runs a pretty stream known as the Skell. The abbey is noted for the great extent of its remains, which seem to have escaped any wanton destruction. A fine tower at the north end of the transept still stands, but the central one has fallen into great decay. Besides the church there are many remains of this famous abbey, which at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries was one of the richest in the country. The cloisters, 300 feet long, are unsurpassed in England. They extend across an archway over the stream, and are lit by lancet windows. There are also remains of the chapter-house, the refectory, and the kitchen with its two wide fireplaces.

The history of the foundation of Fountains Abbey is of considerable interest. In the twelfth century some monks of the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary at York, being attracted by the sanctity of the inmates of the Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx in Yorkshire, became dissatisfied with their own form of government, and wished to adopt the rules of Rievaulx Abbey and withdraw from their own monastery. This naturally did not please their abbot; but eventually, after appealing to the Archbishop of York, some land in a lonely valley, known as Skell Dale, was granted to them. Here, in the depth of winter, without shelter or means of subsistence, the pious monks suffered great hardship. After a few years Hugh, Dean of York, left all his possessions to the Abbey of Fountains, and after this endowments and benefactions flowed in.

In 1140 the abbey was burnt down, but in 1204 the restoration was recommenced, and the foundations of a new church, of which the present ruins are the remains, were laid. The great tower, however, was not completed till the end of the fourteenth century.

At the Dissolution Sir Richard Gresham bought the estates, and they are now owned by the descendants of Mr. William Aislabie of Studley Royal.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. FOUNTAINS ABBEY.

One of the finest ruined monasteries in England.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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