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NORTHERN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

PARADOXPLACE BRITISH ABBEYS AND CATHEDRALS

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Rievaulx Abbey (Yorkshire est 1131)

England's most beautiful Cistercian Abbey ruin

 

THE CISTERCIANS IN BRITAIN

 

 

 

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Artists reconstruction of Rievaulx Abbey c1500 from the book shown above left.  The right hand (Chancel) half of the church faces South because of the lie of the hill, but is said to face "Ecclesiastical East".  Its walls and those of the transepts have largely survived, but nothing is left of the left hand end, the Nave.

 

 

 

Rievaulx Abbey - Ultra peaceful Cistercian masterpiece built on a hillside on a north-south axis.  Rievaulx was founded in 1131 - Yorkshire's first Cistercian abbey.  Its third Abbot - Saint Aelred (c1110 - 1147 - 1167 (57)) - was one of the leading ecclesiastics of the 1100s both in terms of holiness, scholarship and statesmanship.  He was also responsible for building many of the abbey and monastery buildings whose ruins can still be seen today.

 

 

 

 

James Fletcher visits Rievaulx with  Dad Adrian  - October 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1200s tiles with the inscription "Ave Maria"

 

 

 

 

 

The cloister square with the chapter house on the left and the refectory opposite.

 

 

 

Chapter House

 

 

 

Corner cloister reconstruction

 

 

 

The remains of the hand washing stands outside the refectory.  The Yorkshire Cistercians are credited with installing some of the earliest water taps in England.

 

 

 

The floor and vaulted floor supports of the huge refectory are now gone.  The messy area in the upper middle of the right wall would have contained an ambo (/pulpit) to enable the monks to be read to during otherwise silent meals - there are good examples of these at Rueda in Aragon and Alcobaça in Portugal.

 

 

 

   

 

   

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Medieval Tiles - Hans von Lemmen - Shire Books

 

The White Monks, the Cistercians in Britain, Glyn Coppack

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English Heritage Rievaulx Abbey page       Rievaulx Abbey in Sacred Destinations

 

Link to "Cistercians in Yorkshire" website

 

 

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All original material © Adrian Fletcher 2000-2015 - The contents may not be hotlinked, or reproduced without permission