FOUNTAINS ABBEY

FOUNTAINS ABBEY, YORKSHIRE

P1060465

This ancient pile, whose history stretches back to 1132 AD
The sour fruit of a dispute among the Benedictines of York
Some 13 monks formed the basis of a new foundation who
Settled not far away on the River Skell, a tributary of the Ure

In due time the expelled monks applied to join the Cistercian order
Whose leader was St Bernard of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgandy
And under the tutelage of that order the community at Fountains
Learned how to celebrate the Canonical Hours and to construct their buildings

And so a succession of venerable abbots oversaw the building and
development of this community of worship and work and service
Which continued until 1539 when, as a result of the desecration
Instigated by Henry VIII the abbey lands were sold to a London merchant

Gradually the fabric of this magnificent site was cannibalized
So that eventually all that remained was the gaunt outline
Of this formerly glorious construction within whose walls
Praise and prayer and community life had persisted over four centuries

KEN FISHER (with info from other sources)

P1060266

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