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Pictures of Kirkstall Abbey

a Abbey in the town of Kirkstall, in the county of West Yorkshire

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About Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey is one of Yorkshire's finest ruined Cistercian abbey's. It was founded in the 12th-century from which much of the building survives surprisingly well, although the wall of one side of the church tower does appear somewhat precarious. However, what remains of this beautiful ruin, set beside the River Aire, has recently been the subject of renovation and the romantic ruin is completely safe.

Historically, Kirkstall Abbey was founded by monks from Fountains Abbey in 1152, it flourished until November 1539 when it was closed in Henry VIII's Dissolution, and the monks pensioned off.

Over the centuries the mystery and mystique of this beautiful site has drawn the attention of the artists Turner, Thomas Girtin and Moses Griffith, all who came to paint it.

Several noted historians are believed to prefer the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey over those of the more famous abbey's of Fountains and Rievaulx. Even to the untrained eye, it is easy to understand why, for what is left is outstandingly beautiful, immediately capturing the imagination as to what this great place must have looked like centuries ago when the great bell tolled, calling the monks back from their labours.

The most impressive parts to see are the ruins of the Church, the Tower, the Transept and Chapter House. Perhaps the Cloisters where the monks would gather for quiet contemplation, reading and writing are the most evocative and tranquil part of this lovely ruined abbey.

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