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Fountains Abbey, with Ancillary Buildings

A Grade I Listed Building in Lindrick with Studley Royal and Fountains, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1097 / 54°6'35"N

Longitude: -1.5811 / 1°34'51"W

OS Eastings: 427487

OS Northings: 468286

OS Grid: SE274682

Mapcode National: GBR KNDX.HJ

Mapcode Global: WHC7T.PY9S

Entry Name: Fountains Abbey, with Ancillary Buildings

Listing Date: 11 June 1986

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1149811

English Heritage Legacy ID: 331040

Location: Lindrick with Studley Royal and Fountains, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG4

County: North Yorkshire

District: Harrogate

Civil Parish: Lindrick with Studley Royal and Fountains

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

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Listing Text

ROYAL AND FOUNTAINS (east side, off)

9/38 Fountains Abbey, with
ancillary buildings


Abbey Church, with precinct buildings, river walling and 2 bridges. Founded
1132, main building phases 1170-1247 and late C15 - early C16, by monks of
the Cistercian Order. Freestone, with a dark fossiliferous limestone known
as Nidderdale marble, and magnesian limestone. Abbey Church: west Galilee
Chapel, nave with north and south aisles, choir, transepts, north tower,
presbytery and Chapel of the Nine Altars to east. Cloister south of nave:
has on east side Chapter House, with monks dormitory to first floor; west
side - a storehouse and lay brothers refectory, their dormitory above;
south side - monks refectory flanked by warming house and kitchen.
Buildings to south-east of the cloister include the Abbots house and the
monks infirmary with its service buildings. To south-west, the lay
brothers' reredorter and infirmary. The 2 infirmaries stand over tunnels
carrying the canalised River Skell. The infirmary bridge crosses the river
between the lay brothers' infirmary and the East and West Guest-houses. The
mill bridge is further upstream linking the outer court with the Abbey Mill
(qv). Built in Romanesque and Early English style, Fountains is the best
preserved of English abbeys and is the finest picturesque ruin. Among the
architectural splendours are: the deeply-recessed elaborately-moulded,
round-arched west door to the church and other late C12 doorways; the
trefoil-headed recesses, now without attached columns, which line the nave
and the chapel of the Nine Altars; Bishop Huby's Tower (1526), 55 metres
high, of 5 stages with deeply-moulded plinth, massive angle buttresses,
windows with varied heads, embattled parapet and decorated with inscriptions
and statues in niches; the 3 elaborately-moulded arches of the Chapter
House, which was one of the largest in the country; the central line of
piers in the west cloister range from which ribs spring without capitals and
which, with 22 double bays,is the largest building of its kind in Europe;
the 2 warming house fireplaces with flat joggled arches; the guest houses,
each with 2 floors of hall, chamber and privy and with early circular
chimney stacks; and finally the late C12 bridge with 3 ribbed arches and
triangular cutwaters, another rare survival. Fountains Abbey developed. as
one of the most powerful religious houses in Yorkshire and the richest of
its order in England. In November 1539 it surrendered to the King and
eventually, in 1597 it passed to Stephen Proctor who built Fountains Hall
(qv) c1611, probably using the stone from the monks infirmary for the
purpose. The ruins passed through several hands until 1768 when they were
sold to William Aislabie of Studley Royal, uniting the most ambitious garden
scheme in the north of England with the most decorative of ruins. William
Aislabie was responsible for 'tidying' the east end of the church, and
building structures among the ruins, including a viewing platform in the
east window (Walker). Ownership has since passed through the West Riding
and North Yorkshire County Councils to the National Trust. The ruins are a
Scheduled Ancient Monument. R Gilyard-Beer, Fountains Abbey, 1970.
N Pevsner, Yorkshire, York and The West Riding, 1977 pp 203-215. W St John
Hope, Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, 1900. W T C Walker, personal

Listing NGR: SE2749468282

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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