Rating: 7,5/10 (100 votes)Today, Fountains Abbey, once prosperous and powerful, is a picturesque but ruin. This is the largest Cistercian abbey in England of the Middle Ages, built near the town of Ripon, North Yorkshire, and is the core of a whole complex protected as a heritage of mankind by UNESCO. The new abbey was created in 1132 by a group of York monks who were expelled from their former abbey of the Virgin Mary for trying to restore the traditions of the Benedictines. Archbishop Turstan of York treated the monks favorably, allowing them to create a settlement in the Skell River Valley, and then they founded their abbey here, named after Abbot Bernhard De La Fontane and living according to the principles of solitude, simplicity, and modesty. With the support of the Cistercian Order, over the centuries, the isolated monastery turned into a grand and very influential abbey, an outstanding monument of English Gothic architecture. The modest wooden church became a large cathedral. This was until 1539, when the English Reformation flared up, prompting King Henry VIII to close almost all English monasteries. Fountains Abbey was no exception. The building was destroyed, and those around the ground became the property of the crown. A year later, they were acquired by the merchant Richard Gresham, whose son Thomas is widely known as the creator of the London Stock Exchange. During these times, Fountains Hall was built here - one of the few architectural monuments of the Elizabethan period. Around the ruins, which still look very picturesque, it was decided to set up a park dotted with picturesque lakes and canals. On the territory of 150 hectares, animals, for example, roe deer, roam quite freely. Tourist interest in Fountain Abbey increased significantly in the 18th-19th centuries, when people again began to take an interest in Gothic architecture. Also here you can see the relatively new church of St. Mary, erected already under Queen Victoria.
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Topic: Fountain Abbey in Great Britain.