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The Fountains Abbey Cellarium
North Yorkshire, England

[Wednesday - 10/26/94] Forming part of the west range is a magnificent, vaulted cellarium over 300 feet long which survives almost in a state of completeness. This is an outstanding example of the skills employed by the 12th century lay brethren, and is an unrivalled feat of medieval architecture in the Great Britain.

Walking around this amazing structure, we could easily envision those silent, White Monks grouped in prayer or meditation, lay brothers working the lands and tending the sheep, a simple life amidst this monument to human ingenuity.

Closer investigation of the site left us feeling very humbled, as we enjoyed and marvelled at the incredible skills used by the medieval builders to create such intricate and beautiful carvings in the local stone. There are some lovely sculptures, decorative corbels, ornamental columns and capitals, and an abundance of arcades ranging from the round-headed to the pointed. Other finds include early 13th century floor tiles, a section of the arcaded narthex, remains of the monks’ day stairs, and evidence of the sophisticated water and drainage systems used by the Cistercians.

Owned by the National Trust, Fountains Abbey now forms part of the Studley Royal Estate and its setting is enhanced by the surrounding landscaped gardens. From whatever aspect this site is viewed, it cannot fail to astound and amaze. Whether it was the scale of the construction, the architectural beauty, the substantial and impressive remains after 850 years, or the obvious wealth and importance of Fountains within the Cistercian community, it will remain with us forever as an emotional milestone in our journey.

Back-up to Fountains Abbey. Show the location of this site. Return to House Corvus site Main Menu. Return to Corvus '94 Tour menu. Proceed to  Jervaulx Hall.

Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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