Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fountains Abbey

Fountains was a Benedictine Abbey founded in 1132, after a dispute occurred in St. Mary’s Abbey in York. The Abbey was functioning until 1539 – when Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries. The nave was built in the XII century and XIII century in the Norman style with stone coming from that same area. The transept and presbytery were built in the XIV and XV centuries in Early English Gothic and Perpendicular style. Fountains used to be a very rich abbey – the monks chose a very fine area to build it, literally on the river Skell. The buildings are still well maintained and the kitchens, the butteries, the Abbot’s house and even the latrines, still exist. Fountains was a self-sustaining institution – livestock and wheat were a central part of its economy, as well as fish taken from the river and beer. All monks had a right of a loaf of bread and 4 liters of beer everyday.

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