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The majestic ruins of Rievaulx Abbey rising from the depths of the narrow valley of the river Rye, serves to illustrate the power, wealth and importance that these monastic communities held in medieval England. Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 and was the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England. The Abbey’s period of greatest prosperity and importance came during the rule of its third abbot, St. Aelred 1147-1167, when many of the buildings surviving today were constructed. At this time the community peaked at 140 choir monks and 500 lay-brothers and servants, when the abbey was suppressed in 1538 under the reign of King Henry VIII, there were only 22 monks but still 102 paid servants. Small wonder that the King saw a need for the reform and ultimate destruction of monastic institutions.

The Cistercian order originated in France about 1098. The centre of the monastic philosophy was an uncompromising insistence on poverty, simplicity of life and the need to separate the communities physically from the outside world. With this in mind the Cistercians positioned their monasteries away from other settlements and insisted that they be self sufficient, renouncing all cash revenues and feudal ties. They introduced a system of lay-brothers who would work their estates and be bound by monastic discipline.

The site is maintained by English Heritage


  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 4 years ago

  • thanks Ray

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeover 4 years ago

  • thanking you Audrey

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Laddie Halupa
    Laddie Halupaover 4 years ago

  • Thanking you very much for the feature ..Laddie.

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Matt Jones
    Matt Jonesover 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your feature.

  • Thanks Matt

    – Trevor Kersley

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtover 4 years ago

    Congratulations!!! You have been featured in Cee’s Fun Artsy Friends Group

    Please stop by the Green With Envy – Features October 18, 2010 to review feature comments. Thanks!

  • Thanking you Cee for the feature also for the fav

    – Trevor Kersley

  • buttonpresser
    buttonpresserover 4 years ago

    Really intersting POV Trevor

  • Thanks very much also for the fav

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Ellanita
    Ellanitaover 4 years ago


  • Thanking you Ellanita

    – Trevor Kersley

  • vaggypar
    vaggyparover 4 years ago

    Lovely Work ..!!

  • Thanking you very much.

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Jennifer Hulbert-Hortman
    Jennifer Hulbe...over 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your feature! Very lovely shot.

  • Thanking you very much Jennifer.

    – Trevor Kersley

  • Kathy Yates
    Kathy Yatesover 4 years ago

    What a wonderful shot! Congrats on your feature!

  • Thank you very much for your comments and the fav ..Kathy

    – Trevor Kersley

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