Rievaulx Abbey is under the care of English Heritage.
This 12th century Cistercian Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey to be founded in the North of England. It is situated in a beautifully secluded and wooded valley about two miles from Helmsley in the Ryedale region of the North York Moors National Park in Yorkshire, England.
Rievaulx is the oldest Cistercian abbey in the North, founded in 1132, and suppressed by Henry V111 in 1538. After the dissolution it was partially demolished, but enough of the main buildings remain to make it possible to imagine how it used to be.
The abbey’s most important period was during the rule of its third abbot, St Aelred (1147-1167), from when many of the present surviving buildings were begun. It was Aelred who described his surroundings as “everywhere peace, everywhere serenity” and a “marvellous refuge from the tumult of the world”.
These ruins are very atmospheric and impressive and well worth a visit.