Friday at Fountains Abbey.

We both got the urge to go out exploring again Julie had looked at a few things the night before in a National Trust book. Ive never been to Fountains Abbey, Julie came here a looooooooooooooooong time ago! So Fountains Abbey in the morning then!

Cold but dry Friday was so expedition clothes was the theme of the day and we would go in the Landi (even more windy) We left about 10’00hrs and trundled up the A1 to Wetherby then picked our way across nameless little white roads across the countryside towards Knaresborough to pick up the road to Ripley then onto the B616 driving along the top of the long valley towards Pateley Bridge, down in the valley to our left was the River Nidd. The Brimham Rocks signalled our turn and we picked our way down narrow roads flanked by high Hawthorne hedging. Now we have new tyres fitted we sit an extra couple of inches higher so we hold the advantage over everybody on the road except the tractor and the truck.


We arrived at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, it was still dry but damn cold, so fleece and windproof army jacket AND “furryat”AND gloves were worn, the slight wind was slight but fooking cold, in fact we had a couple of snow flurries throughout the rest of the day. Nothing settled though so you will just have to trust me when I said it snowed a but too! As you can see I’m not a follower of fashion, warmth and comfort comes before how I look. I know a bloke who wears clothes just to show off! in fact I’d put money on that he’s have worn the same clobber today. He’s an unashamed proper sad vain bstard!



Fountains Abbey is just south of Ripon in Yorkshire, its well sign posted, to be honest it has to be because it is hidden at the bottom of Skell valley and well out of sight you could pass right by and not realise.

Fountains Abbey is approximately three miles south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, England near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for over 400 years, until 1539, when Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. The abbey is a Grade I listed building owned by the National Trust and part of the designated Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site.


After it closed as an Abbey in 1539 it had passed through the hands of gentry with more money than sence, parts were sold off to settle gambling debts by one particular owner. In the 1700’s the owners of the time ran out of money and sold parts to the Aislabies of Studley hence bringing the gardens of Studley and Fountains Abbey together. Eventually the whole lot was sold first to the county council in 1960 then to the National Trust and that’s where we are today with it all.


 The modern way to clean out the public loo’s. Look closer at the vehicle registration. Very apt and probably quite expensive! 



                     Posing in more layers than an onion in front of the Abbey ruins.



It was as cold inside as it was outside. I don’t think any of the abbots were bothered about inventing the fridge at this point!



                                                     The clue is is the sign?



Not all of it is left standing which is no surprise really when you remember its 891 years old! Thats over 650 years older than the USA!



There is a nice long walk along the valley it follows the man made..or monk made river! it lead into Studley Royal and has some exceptional trees. Just look at the size of the bugger in this picture. Tree not Julie!



                                             Looking back from the way we came.



At the bottom of the river is a kidney-shaped lake and nestles in the valley bottom, it’s so quiet and tranquil save for the bird song and the loud warbles from the male pheasants of which we saw a dozen or more.



The magnificent view from the end of the river back up to the Abbey. to be exact we are stood up the hillside at Anne Boleyn’s seat and its unsurprisingly entitled the Surprise view.


The Yew trees are as old as the hills they are stood on and are beginning to show their age, some have come to the end of their life and are slowly being replaced.



“Julie just look at this lot” I slavered. It’s a  pity we didn’t bring the chain saw I said to myself. unfortunately the felled trees are all sold off, the tough but smooth Yew trunks in particular are ideal for wood carving and so fetch a good price. I cut parts of a fallen Yew tree recently on a friends property and the wood was so hard that a spark or two was seen as the chain saw slowly cut into it. I kid Yew not!



                                We were not sure at all what to make of this, conjoined twins                                      in the tree world perhaps?



I often wish my garden was like this but then I think it would take some mowing and think perhaps not!

If you couldn’t see the orange waste disposal trucks reg it was   K18 POO






One Response to Friday at Fountains Abbey.

  1. Chris says:

    A few slices of that yew tree would look amazing in the garden.


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