Fountains Abbey is amazing site and World Heritage Site.
UNESCO considers this landscape to be a feat of human creative genius which is one of the ten World Heritage Site criteria.
When you come here you almost feel the spirit of beautiful abbey and the elegance of water garden which is from Georgian era, 18th Century. I love the orchard and story about bees in this place.
In this atmospheric ruins I have seen plenty of wild flowers, shrubs and trees. Can you imagine how the monks would have lived here?
They probably used the nature around to growing some tasty produce like apples or plums. Maybe they also used to keep skeps from straw baskets for bees breeding similar to these in my photo below.
The monks probably cultivated herbs or used those that grew wild in the meadows around Fountains Abbey. They could make various healing potions and tinctures from them. A very popular wild flower here is Red Valerian. Other names for this lovely pink flower are kiss-me-quick, fox`s brush and devil`s beard.
Those reddish - pink flowers appear in July and last until October. They have tall steams. Red valerian growing on walls and cracked pavements and also are very fragrant and like full sun. They attract all kind pollinators.
Another very often seen plant at Fountains Abbey is Sambucus nigra, well known for its name of Elderflower. This flower has white colour and dark purple fruits. They appears in late summer and autumn. Flowers usualy are white or pink. The fruits appears in late summer or autumn. Elderflower growing in woodlands and also in the gardens.
This English Style garden includes the ruins of Fountain Abbey and some of the largest Cistercian abbey ruins in Europe.
I think that this is inspiring place with long history, which began in 1132when a group of 13 disaffected monks from St Mary`s Abbey in York came to this wild and wooden valley in search of simpler and more devour life.
The ruins tells the story of years riches, ruin and revival brought to close by the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII.
It is fascinating how this place is well preserved. I went through the nave, then crossing and follow the other open rooms and spaces like for example choir monk night stairs, chapel of the nine altars, prison, warming room, refectory, Mill bridge, Woolhouse, Bakehouse and Brewhouse ruins, and at the end – Fountains mill.
It was a long walk and even of passage of time the remains of Fountain Abbey are still impressive. I felt it was a big adventure and a peaceful walking across this outstanding place.
After exploring the Fountain Abbey which is surrounded by the old woodland plenty of chorus birds singing, bumblebees and bees pollinating on wild flowers I went to Water Garden. When most people think of gardens, they think of colourful borders plenty filled with the flowers. At Studley Royal is different, because here you will see follies, statues, eye catchers and the big feature are ruins of Fountain Abbey. I sat here for a while and soaked up all surroundings. It was magnificent view of green oasis. The water gardens and abbey share the landscape with a deer park, mansion Fountains Hall and magnificent church.
I couldn`t meet any deer but I heard that this is home for red deer, sika and fallow deer.
This place has many walk pathways, wildlife and of course a fresh air. At the water garden I met a huge waterflow of gees and one lovely duck which followed me until the end of the walk path. It was so hard to leave this beautiful duck.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are a perfect escape, breathe fresh air and take a stunning views on a walk across this place. And this is a World Heritage place with Outstanding Universal Value and has been inscribed onto UNESCO`s World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. There are over 1 100 World Heritage Sites in 167 countries worldwide and this include Fountain Abbey with its fascinating landscape and historic features.
So, come here and enjoy.
Fountains Abbey - Copyright © Agnes Romaniuk