Fountains Abbey, named for the fresh water springs in the area, was, in its heyday, a thriving, self-contained community. Founded by monks who wished to live a more austere life than they felt was the case at the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary’s in York, in 1132, a group of 13 were granted land on which to begin a new community. The first church was wooden and the stone church was completed around 1160.
By 1170, around 60 monks were living at Fountains Abbey, along with 200 lay brothers. The lay brothers were essential to the survival of the Abbey, because they were skilled craftsmen such as stonemasons, shoemakers, smiths and tanners. Many more were farm labourers and shepherds, managing the monastery’s ever-expanding estates. Some of them slept in the large dormitory at Fountains Abbey, while others lived on neighbouring farms. The system worked so efficiently that, by the mid-1400s, the monastery was one of the richest in England, and fleeces from the sheep were being sold as far afield as Italy. Hardly the spartan establishment to which its founders had aspired!
This shot is taken from the 12th century bridge which crosses the River Skell and leads to the lay brothers and guest quarters. The church and impressive tower are seen in the rear and on the right hand side you can see what was the very efficient lay brothers toilet block. Human waste was discharged straight into the river which ferried it away.
I present two versions of the shot, one has a slightly lower key.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
timecapturer (48834) 2014-01-12 3:46
now this is one place that is on my list of places to visit, if I ever do drive my way up north. It has all the magic and atmosphere that I just find irresistible. Again an "if walls could talk" motive here and your shot captures its beauty and intrigue just marvellously.
Have a good week - B.
willperrett (7048) 2014-01-12 3:49
Beautiful ruins, well composed. For those of us who like ruins, Henry VIII was a real bonus!
snunney (83839) 2014-01-12 3:52
You seem to have had a splendid day for your visit to the abbey. The point of view is well chosen with the path well placed on the left an open invitation to enter and explore further. The image is very nicely lit and has superb colours and clarity. Excellent rendering of the textural detail.
carlo62 (32881) 2014-01-12 3:59
le rovine sono splendide sotto questa luce, uno scatto equilibrato e ben composto.
Interessante la nota, una lunga storia accompagna questo luogo.
Gigidusud (15891) 2014-01-12 4:27
Beautiful architectural composition with nice contrast colors and splendid light. Excellents POV and framing. Well done!
Have a nice sunday.
mesutilgim (84402) 2014-01-12 4:33
Nice capture of this Abbey in Ripon with good pov and very nice light.
Many interesting notes makes your entry a perfect TE job.
TFS and have a nice weekend
HimalAnda (9648) 2014-01-12 4:43
These ruins are very nice, and you managed to find a good point of view. The light and colors are nice.
Royaldevon (29635) 2014-01-12 4:47
You visited the abbey on a wonderful day for photography. The building never looks as good as this in dull conditions!
A fine viewpoint has used the walled path and the parallel arches to good effect, so that the rest of the abbey is spread out, in glorious light, for us to enjoy.
Can you imagine what this must have looked like in its hey day! It's a great place to spend a day!
Have a great Sunday,
Ripon is only about 50 miles away. If you have time and you are in the area again, give me a call!
krzychu30 (15498) 2014-01-12 4:47
the ruins look beautiful especially from this perspective and in this lovely,soft light.
Also the graphics is great!Textures,colors and finally contrast are perfectly captured and brought out.
Have a nice sunday
siudzi (33621) 2014-01-12 5:13
Classy and elegant presentation of this beautiful scenery. You selected a great POV to take this image with a good perspective and angle. A warm tonality of lights on the ruins is a plus. Very well done!
Have a lovely afternoon,
rigoletto (34255) 2014-01-12 5:15
hi rosemary. i don't know the ideas of other TE members from UK, but there could be published a great book of abbeys and castles of UK, only by using photos published on TE. the number and variety of them are incredible. i will start to think that the whole island consists of these rotten bricks, and no life at all other than some photographers :))
Sergiom (60142) 2014-01-12 6:32
J'aime beaucoup la lumière qui frappe de plein fouet les vieilles pierres de cet immeuble en ruines. J'aime beaucoup le point de vue qui avantage beaucoup ainsi que le cadrage .
Noel_Byrne (24315) 2014-01-12 6:47
What a place, and what a note! You tell a wonderful story to the history of this place, and its development through the years. We can certainly see from the majesty of these ruins that in its day this was a place of great importance. You chose a lovely angle too, allowing us to see the path to the left, leading the eye deep into that yard, but also the beautiful details of the ruins, the windows and that impressive towers. I don't know if it is unusual for a building this old to have the mix of Romanesque and Gothic arches in the UK? I know here in Ireland, there was a period of transition when both styles were combined, but that's few and far between, so another interesting element there too.
All the best
danos (86787) 2014-01-12 7:32
beautiful presentation of the fountains Abbey,with the brilliant light to enhance the beauty and the vivid colours of the scene.I like the excellent quality of the image,as the fascinating presentation.
adramad (38067) 2014-01-12 7:43
A sensational POV that shows the greatness and beauty, must have been in his day a stunning abbey, and that even in its ruined state today retains great appeal.
A colorful perfect very natural.
A bright image with optimum clarity.
Very well done. I love it.
Enjoy good day.
holmertz (41073) 2014-01-12 8:05
Although there is no great difference between the two versions I prefer this one. I have made it a habit lately to give the colours a deeper tone by slightly darkening the photo instead of formally saturating them. There are not a lot of colours in this photo but the grey and green shades have beautiful, vivid tones. The ruins are magnificent but I was most of all fascinated by your brief description of life here in the late 12th century.
Romano46 (18454) 2014-01-12 8:41
tipico soggetto inglese, ripreso in maniera eccellente anche con l'aiuto di una bella luce.
Colori smaglianti e nitidezza notevole.
Ottima e assai efficace la composizione.
Ciao e buona serata
jurek1951 (42156) 2014-01-12 10:47
a beautiful photo of this Fountains Abbey with spectacular composition. Great architectural details and the POV is superb,
mkamionka (30628) 2014-01-12 13:32
very original presentation, I have never seen the abbey from this angle. I really like it. I remember being in this spot but I think the light was different and I did not notice how beautiful it can look like from this side. I like how many different elements you have included here with the tiny bridge making a very nice effect. Great light, fantastic weather!
marabu61 (8385) 2014-01-12 13:35
Geniously framed composition from this old Abbey. It is almost as we are walking down that path towards the gate and in to the remains of a once beautiful Abbey.
have a great time
Periko (2663) 2014-01-12 15:55
You was favored with a great light when taking this photo.
The framing is really good.
Angshu (55669) 2014-01-13 2:24
Hello again Rosemary!
You post at such rapid pace that it is impossible for me to catch up and I am left with tens of uncommented posts..hence I decided to at least comment on the latest post of yours...
All in ruins, and difficult to compose in my opinion, you did a fine job here. The tower stands out strongly, as does the arches which only open upto to the sky in the BG. Shadows are strong thereby rendering good 3D effect.
I liked this version, which has a bit more punch than the one in the WS...
aleXundar (1256) 2014-01-13 7:45
A nice pov with the inviting road in fg and the tower in bg. Perfect lights to show the details and colors of the stone structures. It is a very interesting place and you have presented it wonderfully with a detailed note.
dekanski (3314) 2014-01-13 9:29
I'm always amazed at how much information there is about every ruin in the UK and Ireland! In my country, even for preserved buildings older than 150 years, authentic facts are rare, as a result of the many wars and destruction. For most of these are just legends or myths.
Photography is beautiful - crystal clear, good composition, great colors. Thanks!
trevormoffiet (3112) 2014-01-13 16:03
This fine image of the ruins is very well supported by your comprehensive, interesting note. The colours appear to be very natural while maintaining a nice level of contrast to give your image impact and depth.
annjackman (19645) 2014-01-13 23:36
I haven't visited this Abbey for many years even though I have been close by so I must make the effort again. These old ruins need good light and you have taken advantage of it here. I like the contrast and detail in the stonework and I prefer this version to your WS. The bridge is a good leading line and the whole composition uses diagonals very well. A super shot.
Kind Regards, Ann
adores (37125) 2014-01-28 16:00
I'm sure I'd like this place a lot:)! It seems huge and magical, a place full of history. Pov and colours are great, I guess I prefer this version!