Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Fountains Abbey

Over the past few days I have been treated to a veritable feast of ruined abbey sites as I explored a little of Yorkshire's rich medieval monastic heritage. 

Having seen images of the cellarium at Fountains Abbey on many occasions, my antiquarian heart skipped a beat at the site of arcades of green-hued ribbed vaulting receding into the distance. Such beauty from such functional form - a humble, humdrum storage area in the pre-Dissolution abbey. 

And how I must've gawped as I stared upwards, wide-eyed with wonder at the skeletal remains of the abbey's soaring bare, bleached bones. 

The transience of all earthly things; the vanity of kings; the greed of ambitious men; an irretrievable past... tantalising...


  1. Lovely. I lived near and worked on Waverley Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery in Britain. I arrived a few weeks before a lead coffin was opened containing a medieval abbot, and I was told that he looked as fresh as fresh can be, even holding a coloured flower in his hands. Within a matter of seconds, both he and the flower turned to ashes as the oxygen had its effect, like a scene from a Hammer Horror Dracula film. Damn, I missed it!