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FOUNTAINS ABBEY

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A Cistercian monastery situated within the grounds of Studley Royal Park (Monument HOB UID 51924). It was founded in 1132 by monks from the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary, York, adopted by the Cistercian Order in 1133 and intended as a Cistercian mission centre to found colony houses in the north and Scotland. During the 1140s the abbey was transformed as the informal timber buildings were replaced by formal cloister enclosure. Much of this was destroyed by a fire in 1146. Further improvements were made under Abbots Henry Murdac (1144-47) Robert of Pipewell (1170-80) and Marmaduke Huby (1495-1526) saw the abbey expand in size and grandeur until it became the most powerful, and wealthiest, house in England. Following its suppression in 1539, the abbey was robbed of stone to create Fountains Hall (Monument HOB UID 51877) In 1768 William Aislabie incorporated the abbey as a romantic ruin (Monument HOB UID 1057373) into the park. Archaeological surveys of the abbey in 1989 and 1991 recorded much of the precinct wall as extant (Monument HOB UID 975400) and identified an earthwork complex of agricultural and industrial features linked by a series of trackworks within the southern area of the precinct known as Kitchen Bank (Monument HOB UID 975311).

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.