Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey, church and part of abbey

Lay brothers' latrines; the river was diverted to run beneath

How to build an arch 

More of abbey

Church nave 

Lay brothers dorm area 



The gardens are mostly huge water features, artificial lakes,
water courses, etc

Only Americans, we were told, ask why this
is called the Anne Boleyn statue

Fountains Abbey is mentioned prominently and favorably in the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood film, so, being in the neighborhood, we had to see it.

The Abbey was begun in 1132, a splinter group from York, fell in with the Cistercians in 1135, and went on to become one of England's richest and most powerful abbeys. The Black Death laid it and similar abbeys low, and Henry VIII finished them off with the Dissolution Act in 1539. Fountains Abbey languished, particularly after the royal plundering, until bought by a rich 18th century family that saw it as the perfect "ruin" for its estate garden. It's all National Trust now, being taken care of, another UNESCO World Heritage site.

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