Older posts: 1. Where rivers meet
2. Middleham castle.
Eight miles into the journey from Leyburn to Ripon, Jervaulx Abbey stands almost on the side of the road. It is one of my favourite abbeys (there a lots of them in Yorkshire), because it is privately owned and very unspoilt. It lies in Jervaulx parkland, so the whole setting is very pretty.
You park opposite the entrance and then walk down the footpath, through the park to the gate into the abbey itself, where there is an honesty box. I understand that many of the visitors ignore this and visit without paying but this is a shame because it is well kept and in Summer there are beautiful flowers in a garden setting as well as fairy foxgloves and wallflowers growing in the crevices between the stones. But today, when we visited, there were only snowdrops - and plenty of them.
On the side of the footpath to the Abbey there is an ancient water trough with water constantly running through it. This water goes underground and emerges in the abbey itself and was their source of water.
The Cistercian monks first came here in 1156 after leaving their abbey higher up Wensleydale.
In those days this was serious sheep country and the monks had huge flocks of sheep on land all over the dale. so there was a tradition of riches here.
In the late Middle Ages three huge fireplaces were added to what was the meat kitchen. One of the photographs above is taken standing in the fireplace and looking up the chimney. I can't help wondering whether their "meat" was mutton from their hugs flocks all round the area.
Because it is not overly advertised and is only small, it is a place of peace and tranquility - and long may it remain so.