Jervaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

25th April 2013
Jervaulx, a Cistercian abbey was founded in 1156, the daughter house of the abbey at Byland.

The Cistercian Order was based on austerity and set out to establish themselves in wild and inhospitable areas where they could dedicate their lives to prayer, study, meditation and manual labour. The north of England offered just such an environment.

Viking settlement during the Anglo-Saxon period had led to the destruction of many of the older monasteries and the Cistercians filled this spiritual vacuum with monastic houses like those at Rievaulx, Fountains, Byland and Jervaulx.

At the height of its prosperity Jervaulx Abbey owned half of the Ure valley and was renowned for breeding horses, a tradition that remains in the area to the present day. It was also the original home of Wensleydale cheese.

Although severely ravaged and pillaged during the dissolution of monasteries, Jervaulx's ruins remain amongst the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales.

It was purchased by its present owners in 1971 and is reputedly the second largest privately owned Cistercian abbey in the United Kingdom.
It remains a place of beauty, peace and history and is famed for having over 180 species of wild flowers among its walls.

A detailed guide to the site is available from the Visitor Centre. An honesty box system of entry helps to conserve the site for future generations.

While we were visiting Jervaulx, I met a young photographer who was with his grandparents. He'd made a good choice of camera and was using a Canon camera. I believe his name was Connor so if he does read this and has any other questions feel free to contact me.


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