Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Cellarium, Fountains Abbey


This is probably one the most famous images of Fountains Abbey and one of the most stunning parts of the ruins.  This long span of vaulting, incredibly, survived intact when the Abbey was dissolved and began to be plundered for its stone. It formed the roof of the Cellarium, the area where the monks ate, slept and socialised - though, when the monastery was in use, the area would have been partitioned and not the long, open space we see today.

The monastery was founded in 1132 and, soon after, was admitted to the Cistercian order, an austere and devout order that originated in France.  A large lay brotherhood, working alongside the monks, cared for the buildings and farmed sheep and soon the Abbey was wealthy and influential.  It seems, however, that the enterprise grew too large for its monastic roots and economic collapse in the 14th century saw the monastery decline and some of its lands sold off.  A brief period of revival was cut short in 1539 by King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries (when he made himself the head of the Church of England and severed ties with the Roman Catholic Church).  In 1540 the estate was sold to Sir Richard Gresham and became the property of a succession of wealthy families, who built Fountains Hall and landscaped the gardens.

14 comments:

  1. It must be marvellous walking through there and getting a sense of the history through your bones, as it were :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Henry VIII has an awful lot to answer for. Not only did he rob us of many wonderful historic buildings but, spititually, the country must have become far poorer with the loss of the influence of these Godly institutions!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That sure pulls your eye into the photo. Beautiful architecture, which has stood the test of time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing the history behind the beautiful photograph. I love the blocks of light coming through the windows on the left!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a fabulous perspective.;I'd like to walk there, my imagination would be on its way!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like photographs of arched ceilings like this one. Isn't it odd that the ceiling is pretty complete and undamaged, while much of the rest of the complex is in ruins?

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's a lovely shot of one of my favourite spaces at Fountains.

    Despite the pillars and the uneven ground surface the acoustics are amazing down there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful shot, the architecture is amazing!
    Have a good new week!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fabulous shot of those trusses!

    ReplyDelete
  10. How beautiful! Do couples have their wedding photography taken there? What a gorgeous backdrop that would be!

    ReplyDelete
  11. We spent a lot of time at Fountains Abbey, and that is one of my favorite photos! (Be sure to visit my blog on Friday). :-)

    Always enjoy your photos, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  12. your blog isn't only informative but the sights are stunning.
    this ruin despite its age is a marvel and looking closely at its detail, one can appreciate its beauty. ^0^

    ReplyDelete
  13. The stunning architecture just begs for this photo to be taken and shared.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your photos are like stepping back in time. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

No WV here but I've enabled comment moderation on older posts so I don't miss any of your messages. I love reading them - thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog.