Rievaulx Abbey Arches

Audrey Clarke

Doncaster, United Kingdom

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 165

Artist's Description

Taken at Rievaulx Abbey, set in a remote valley in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, England. Cared for by English Heritage

Camera used Canon SX210 Edited in CS5

Top ten challenge place “Postcards destinations” November 2012
Top ten challenge place “English Heritage & National Trust” May 2012

Featured “Redbubble Explore page” 10th February 2012

Top Ten finalist “English Heritage & National Trust” July 2011
Top Ten finalist “English Heritage” June 2011

Featured in “UK National Parks” May 2011
Featured in “Where on Earth is this” May 2011
Featured in “Religious Art and Photography” 18th October 2010

Top ten finalist “English Heritage & National Trust” Historic Arches challenge 10 October 2010

Top ten finalist “Postcards-destinations” 20 September 2010

Rievaulx is one of the most complete, and atmospheric, of England’s abbey ruins.
Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world.’ Written over eight centuries ago by the monastery’s third abbot, St Aelred, these words still apply to Rievaulx today.
Words are not the only links to Rievaulx’s medieval monks. Over the past few years, the site has become something of an archaeological treasure, with unexpected discoveries shedding new light on the lives of the monks, and the extensive renewal and rebuilding of their abbey church in the Early English Gothic style. Archaeologists continue to study the landscape around Rievaulx, revealing the remarkable extent of the abbey’s influence and industry. Their discoveries are showcased in the on-site museum. The abbey was founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux, as part of the missionary effort to reform Christianity in western Europe. Twelve Clairvaux monks came to Rievaulx in 1132. From these modest beginnings grew one of the wealthiest monasteries of medieval England and the first northern Cistercian monastery. Rievaulx also enjoyed the protection of Walter Espec of nearby Helmsley Castle, who provided much of the abbey’s land. The monks of neighbouring Byland Abbey initially disputed land ownership with Rievaulx, but subsequently moved to their present location and relinquished the disputed land, thus allowing the major expansion of Rievaulx Abbey. You can still see traces of the channels dug by the Rievaulx monks.
A steady flow of monks came to Rievaulx, attracted by the prestige of Abbot Aelred, author and preacher, who was regarded then and later as a wise and saintly man. Following his death in 1167, the monks of Rievaulx sought canonisation for their former leader, and in the 1220s they rebuilt the east part of their church in a much more elaborate style to house his tomb. Most of this 13th-century ‘presbytery’ still stands to virtually its full impressive height, a reminder of Rievaulx’s original splendour. Rievaulx was still a vibrant community when Henry VIII dissolved it in 1538. Its new owner, Thomas Manners, first Earl of Rutland, swiftly instigated the systematic destruction of the buildings. However, the substantial remains constitute one of the most eloquent of all monastic sites, free ’from the tumult of the world

Artwork Comments

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