Focus on Fountain’s Abbey

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I very often lack focus and tend to meander through my life.  Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, in Yorkshire, were a case in point.  Looking for somewhere to admire snowdrops, I ventured there last week.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Swathes of them nestled beneath the trees.  I captured one or two shots, but I was soon drawn into the magnificence of the water gardens.

It was a gloomy old day and I stopped to read the cheerful sign inside the fishing tabernacles. They are part of the balustrade and cascade into the lake and date back to 1719.  Probably designed as a base for fishing excursions, they cleverly concealed the sluices used to drain the canal quickly in time of flooding.

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The water gardens must be one of the finest sights in England, and neither I nor the swans allowed ourselves to be depressed by the weather, while the pheasants seemed positively immune.  Not well focused though!

It wasn’t long before I was ambling among the ruins of the Abbey, smitten by the hues in the aged stones.  Snowdrops there were aplenty but I’m afraid that they played second fiddle.

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Fountains Abbey, 3 miles south west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, is one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian monasteries in England. Founded in 1132, it had an active life until 1539, when Henry VIII ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

A full history can be found here.  Today the Abbey and Water Gardens are successfully managed by the National Trust and they have some delightfully focused snowdrops on their site.

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Paula focused on black and white photography in her Traces of the Past on Sunday.  It’s not my forte, so I’m compromising.  But I would love to draw your attention to her very beautiful Focus in Thursday’s Special.

156 comments

    1. It is a lovely setting, isn’t it? Now would be a good time to go and see the daffs in Farndale too. Have to see if we can manage it before we go back to the Algarve at the end of the month. 🙂

  1. A belated welcome back from Florence Jo! (I’ve been away for a few days as well so I’m playing catch up).

    Yet another gorgeous stroll through country I missed my last time around. The noble ruins of Fountain Abbey are set so beautifully against the greenery that I hardely noticed the ominous sky. (Unfortunately, on each of my previous trips through England, work kept me busy in the city centers).

    And I loved the word play on Downton Abbey, was this intentional?

  2. Beautiful abbey, Jo! love the reflections in the water! And the view with the arch in the middle – magical! I commented here to leave you a note I linked up to your Monday Walk, thinking it would have less comments – haha, technically, yes, less, but not that much less! You must be popular, my friend!

  3. What beautiful views. I like to explore and take photos on a cloudy day. Somehow the greens seem even more vivid when the sky is grey, and there are few shadows to spoil the photos. The abbey’s architecture is beautiful, even in ruins.

    1. Thank you kindly. 🙂 I’ve been offline and just saw this today. I don’t really have time to respond properly to awards but I do appreciate the thought.

  4. Also, you left a comment under my latest post, and I deleted it by mistake.
    I’m sorry, and thanks anyways for stopping by and for your kind comment 🙂

  5. Wonderful! Would love to visit one day, I love these “traces of the past”. Such a mysterious place.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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