Sunday, February 3, 2019

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal




Today I'd like to share our last day in the north of England and Scotland.  We enjoyed two glorious weeks touring special places that were owned by The National Trust and English Heritage.  As I've mentioned before, we joined these two organizations before leaving home.  The Royal Oak Foundation is the arm of The National Trust here in the USA.  Tomorrow we will be traveling to Devon and Cornwall to explore for two more weeks while celebrating our Golden Anniversary!  So hop in the car and let's take a drive!



You can look out the window all you like as there is much beauty to be enjoyed and Grayden has it all under control! 


Isn't it wonderful to see green!  Yes, it's winter here now and I must say I'm happy to see it!  England is truly a "Green and Pleasant Land! "


You never know what you're going to see along the way.


But you can be sure it will be full of charm!



As we approach the entrance I'm struck by the beauty that has drawn people here for centuries.  We will be visiting the ruins of 400 years of monastic life that ended with the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII.


Monks came here in 1132 looking for a simpler life and more devout life.  They were called "white monks" because they wore undyed sheep's wool habits.  They soon kept themselves sustainable as shepherds, tanners, masons, and brewers. 



Since there are miles and miles of paths to take, and you have on your best walking shoes, we'll begin beside the recreated garden with the wattle fence.


The monks grew their own food of course.  This garden was full of lovely plants and vegetables.  Let's continue on to the path that leads us to the Abbey ruins.  Watch your step as it's quite steep!


The beauty of Fountains Abbey ruins begins to come into focus as we descend down the hill.





Wandering among these ruins made me a little sad.  How awful that Henry VIII destroyed such places of worship.  Also the welfare system that the Abbey supported was lost when it was dissolved.  


Let's continue on the path next to the Abbey to visit Studley Royal.  John Aislabie had a retreat here in Yorkshire next to the Fountains Abbey and dreamed of creating a water garden.  With the ruins next door, he thought it to be a fine spot.  John's son William did buy the ruins in 1767 and of course the ruins became part of the garden.  What a grand garden it is!  


In 1986 Fountain Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens was designated a World Heritage Site.  The fact that the Aislabies had the abbey ruins and the gardens was the main reason they were given World Heritage status.  The ruins add another eye catching layer to this lovely garden.




Looking all about there are many pheasants enjoying their life here in the gardens.


If you want you can explore the Serpentine Tunnel. 




There are many follies, statues, and interesting sights in this eighteenth century garden such as the Temple of Fame.



The Temple of Piety and Moon.


This is the Temple of Piety and Moon pond with statues.










Notice the pheasant in flight over the pond.  It's such a peaceful garden to enjoy.



As we climb a very steep hill we see the beautiful St. Mary's Church.  It was designed by William Burges and was commissioned by the Marquis of Ripon in 1870.


The Choristers' House was designed by William Burges also.  It was used as a music school, but now can be rented out for family events or as a holiday cottage.  Wouldn't that be fun?


How exciting to see a few of the deer that occupy this park.



Red, sika, and fallow deer make their home here at the deer park of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.  How lucky we are to have seen them on our visit today!  Thank you for coming along with us.  ♥









31 comments:

  1. How I would love to park myself here and never leave. Exploring the serpentine tunnel is something I definitely would want to do.
    Climbing the hill with the view of St Mary's Church must have given a more than a pause when you came upon it. Such a beauty there in the countryside.

    How do those stones stack and is something holding them together? I would be tempted to touch it.
    Been wanting to try to do this myself.
    Happy week ahead. Warming up to only get very cold again I am sure
    betsy

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    1. Betsy, the beauty that encompasses this lovely area is truly breathtaking! Around every path was a surprise for us! I too am in awe over the dry stacked walls. I have touched them and they are quite sturdy. A true stone mason knows just how to stack just the right sizes together to get a good bond.
      Enjoy our warm up while it lasts. ♥

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  2. Love the gardens, so lovely! The ruins are so mysterious in that you wonder about the life of everyone that was there at that time... how they lived, worshipped, etc. I'm sure it is a powerful sense walking through them in person and knowing you are walking the same path of so many others :-) History always fascinates me.... hope you had a great weekend!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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    1. Jill, we too love history and certainly soak up all we can when we travel. I get chills when we are in ancient spots and think of those who walked before me. We all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us. Thank you for visiting this special area with us! ♥

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing all those wonderful photos and telling us the stories. Your deer photos are magnificent! You are so lucky to have gotten to visit the places you have.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. Teresa, the deer were quite a surprise to us as we climbed the hill beside St. Mary's Church. We are so thankful to be able to travel and visit the places that have been in our dreams for a long time. Enjoy the new week! ♥

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  4. Another wonderful day out in Merrie Old England! As a Briton, I don't think I will ever understand, nor accept, the Dissolution of the Monasteries. So much destruction. But, as ever, your photos are superb. I love the bunting! I do so love bunting! There is something I find quite pleasing about the proportions on St Mary's church.
    Packing for Cornwall and Devon ~ off we go!

    ~~~Waving~~~From Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. Deb, there is so much in history that is hard to comprehend. Certainly we as humans should learn from our past.
      It brings so much enjoyment to see your beautiful bunting as we traveled from village to village. I must look up how it all began. Maybe you could shed some light on that question. Now, I do need to get it all packed-- More adventures await! xoxo ♥

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    2. The only light I can shed on bunting is that I remember, as a child, whenever there was an important occasion we ran heavy strings or light ropes from house to house by way of the upstairs windows and from these we attached anything and everything to decorate, usually things like flags, doilies and even pretty tea towels. Everyone took part and the bunting just zig zagged back and forth making it all look pretty. I think there must be more too it though, maybe it's worth a Google!

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    3. That's so lovely, Deb! Thank you for sharing your memories on bunting.

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  5. Between the landscape and the architecture, plus loads of history, what's not to love about England! Tasha Tudor took her whole family to England for a year. I'd do the same if I could (and my family would do the same!) I wish she'd written it all down for us. Your blog posts will be cherished by your family for years to come.

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    1. Cathy, I enjoy sharing our memories so much on here. Grayden and I both feel like we are reliving it all over again. It's really taking me quite a while to record it all, though. It would be wonderful to take our whole family to the land that means so much to us. My heart feels a strong connection to Britain. ♥

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  6. What a joy to take a drive and indeed a stroll along with you. I loved the wattle fence what a great garden feature. The history or our beautiful Country never ceases to amaze.

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    1. This was one of the largest wattle fences we have seen, Lorraine. I would so love to make a small one someday. Your country is absolutely beautiful! We do love it so. Have a wonderful week. ♥

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  7. As you began your post with a drive, I thought about how much more comfortable I am with Grayden's driving now that he has had lots of practice driving on the left! I am enjoying the sites along the way, the stone "tower" and the zig zag of pennants in the village . . . so charming! (Is it my imagination, or did you become at ease with the English country driving?)

    So much to see and learn! I'll bet you could have stayed for months and only scratched the surface! What a challenge to make the selections for your itinerary . . .

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    1. Cheryl, you are right, I did become more comfortable as time passed with driving on the left. Grayden might tell you different when we went to Devon as we traveled on single track roads! Yikes!
      Choosing a radius from our lodging we picked National Trust and English Heritage sites to tour. There is so much to see in Britain and so far it's all charming! I hope you have a lovely week. ♥

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  8. Well you know I enjoy seeing the gardens. Love that wattle fence. That's a lot of work to create! What a dirty shame Henry the VIII ordered the monasteries dissolved. Seeing the ruins is quite striking. So intriguing to imagine what life must have been like back then.

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    1. Liz, this garden was on a grand scale. The property is enormous and full of delightful images around every turn. You would love it!
      So sad when a king could wave his hand and dissolve all that he wished to be destroyed. Of course, it could only have happened without a lot of other like thinking folks!
      Enjoy the brand new week. ♥

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  9. Another wonderful tour...not too sure about that statuary... ☺ Do you know what's going on with the first?

    Those antlers are amazing...

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    1. Vee, there is nothing written in my literature about the statuary except they were recently painted white. I do appreciate fine sculptures and found them striking in the Piety and Moon pond. ♥

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  10. How fortunate you are to know that Grayden has it "under control." My husband would never ever do this. He's more comfortable on a John Deere tractor. :~) But, I do love seeing these wonderful old places. St. Mary's Church is astonishingly beautiful. William Burger must have been an amazing architect. "Wool and Wealth" is an interesting read. What a glorious way to have celebrated your Golden Anniversary...a dream come true, for sure!

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    1. As I mentioned above to Cheryl, driving on the left became easier as each day passed. But when we traveled to Devon and traveled on single track roads my thoughts changed about having it under control! Stay tuned.
      William Burges' work can be viewed all over Great Britain. He was an amazing architect. ♥

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  11. Lovely vacation pictures, Martha Ellen. My kids are part Scottish, and they have always wanted to visit. St. Mary's Church looks very old. The statues are interesting, and that tunnel looks mysterious. Not sure if I'd want to enter in there. The garden is so green and pretty, and the sheep are precious. This is another beautiful area that you visited, Martha Ellen. Thanks for sharing.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, your girls and I'm sure you would love visiting Great Britain. It's more lovely than any photo can show! Have a wonderful week. ♥

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  12. I'm so enjoying tagging along.
    Amalia
    xo

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  13. OMG ..I do love going on these day trips with both you and Grayden ... You have such a talent for making the journey seem so gracious with easy enjoyment... however, I'm afraid I would have to buy some walking boots( Ha Ha)..I'd be huffing and puffing all the way past the waffle fence and the sheep... Your pictures really are worth a thousand words as they express the historical scenery beautifully... everything looks quite pastoral... The Chorister House is such a wonderful place for a music school..i.t's absolutely idyllic... so peaceful... I so enjoy your journeys and am verypleased to be able to travel along with you both on your extraordinary explorations... Thank you for sharing the beauty ...Big Hugs

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    1. Zaa, I'm so glad you are joining us as we travel from place to place on our adventure! There were times (many) where we wished we had boots on. Great Britain is such magical land that always fills us with joy. I do love sharing all of our trips with you. Have a beautiful day! ♥

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  14. Oh, I just love the Chorister's House! What a great spot to rent out! Yorkshire looks so beautiful. Very sad to think of Henry VIII and all destroying these beautiful structures. Mostly to get the money from the lands. And I love seeing the sheep! All wonderful!

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    1. Jeanine, it's quite sad that the Dissolution of the Monasteries was allowed! It really created many problems for the poor. Their whole welfare was in danger after this dissolution.
      One of the best parts of traveling the countryside is seeing the sheep doting the beautiful pastures. Thanks for stopping by. ♥

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  15. Oh my, what a lovely drive and tour I've just had with you... and I thought the walks were lovely too :)

    So nice to see all of your photographs, that wattle fence is amazing and those stone stacks are brilliant - how they balance like that I just don't know.

    Such a lovely post, what an amazing trip you had.

    All the best Jan

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