Friday, 15 March 2013

Rievaulx Abbey

While up in York a few weeks ago we had a free day before the Viking festival began so we went to see Reivaulx Abbey ruins.

This was an abbey of the  Cistercian order which followed St Benedict's strict order of simple living and hard work

At it's height it housed over 600 monks, and was considered one of the wealthiest in the area.  At the time of the Dissolution's of the Monasteries the Abbey housed only 21 monks and  100 servants. 

There was a great museum to explain the Cistercian order.  At the beginning of the abbey it was very strict order , however by the 14th Century it loosened the rules a little

The order  believed in hard work and being self sufficient in every way so they pursued many different avenues to raise money to pay for the Abbey in addition to supplying their own needs.

They were wool merchants, had their own brewery, leather shop and forge.

They also made their own tiles and worked on construction of various building along with professional masonaries.

There were lots of hands on activities for the kids to enjoy to see how  things worked around the abbey

Building walls with stones

Learning to use a plumb line

Learning how to use a pulley

Exploring the Abbey grounds.  The Abbey is truly huge in size.  Just walking around you  get the sense of how grand and large it was

so many great photo shots

The kids loved exploring all the hidden aspects of the Abbey grounds.

We enjoyed listening to the audio guide explaining the life of  these monks and how the Abbey was used.
Another great day out in the English countryside.


  1. This is so beautiful. I've not been to Rievaulx although have been to Tintern which is another Cistercian foundation- again very beautiful.

  2. What a fantastic day! Love the medieveal feel!!


  3. Hi Anna-Marie! Remember me? :) Haven't left a comment in awhile so I thought I would stop in and say HI! Fantastic pictures! So beautiful! Looks like another fun trip!

  4. In a way, it would be nice to have such abbeys now. Maybe skip the religious component, but so many people in one area being 100% self-reliant is a great concept. I guess our modern day version would be a commune... It looks like building was truly magnificent in its day!