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Jervaulx Abbey

MIDDLEHAM, HG4 4PH

The high walls of this superb ruined Cistercian monastery, midway between Masham and Layburn, make it a truly evocative place. In summer it is filled with the scent of the glorious wild flowers that grow around the crumbling stonework. Jervaulx is on private land but open access is allowed to visitors, with an honesty box for admission money. There is a very pleasant tea room and gift shop. Jervaulx was founded in 1156 and eventually owned much of Wensleydale. Sheep, cattle and horses were bred here by the monks, who were the first to make Wensleydale cheese. The last Abbot of Jervaulx, Adam Sedbar, or Sedbergh, was a vociferous opponent of the Dissolution and his protests caused him to be hanged at Tyburn Hill in London. Despite its ruinous state there's still plenty for you to see here, such as the staircase - known as the Night Stairs - which led the from the monks' upstairs dormitory to the church for services held through the night. You can also trace the cloister, the infirmary, the kitchen and the parlour.

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Tel: 01677 460391

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