Fountains Abbey is the UK's largest monastic ruin and a World Heritage Site.
in 1132, this majestic abbey attracts 300,000 visitors a year.
first monks arrived at Fountains, it was described as a place "more fit for
wild beasts than men to inhabit".
A hundred years later the Abbey
was one of the richest religious houses in England with 400 Cistercian monks,
and 800 lay brothers.
The power of Fountains was felt far and wide with
the Abbey's economic activities embracing farming, lead mining, quarrying and
But Henry VIII was to put a stop to the Abbey's power with
the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th Century.
Later a fabulous
Georgian water garden was added to the site.
Four hundred years of rebuilding
has resulted in a mosaic of styles of architecture.
Today Fountains is the
most complete example of Cistercian abbey remains in the country.
walls of its ruins act as a cliff face for a resident colony of nesting Jackdaws.
is also one of the best spots in the North of England for some of our smallest
Simply find yourself a quiet spot just beside the Abbey and watch
out for Goldcrests, Coal Tits, and Great Tits.