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Rievaulx Abbey was established in 1132 by twelve monks from Clairvaux Abbey as a mission for the colonisation of the north of England and Scotland. It was the first Cistercian abbey in the north. With time it became 1 of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire, next only to Fountains Abbey in fame.[citation necessary]
The distant place was best for the Cistercians, whose drive was to follow a demanding lifestyle of prayer and self-sufficiency with small contact with the outdoors world. The patron, Walter Espec, settled a different Cistercian group, founding Wardon Abbey in Bedfordshire on unprofitable wasteland on 1 of his inherited estates.
 Economical prosperity
The abbey lies in a wooded dale by the River Rye, sheltered by hills. To have sufficient flat land to construct on, a small component of the river was diverted several metres west of its former channel. The monks altered the class of the river 3 times for the duration of the twelfth century. The aged class of the river is noticeable in the abbey’s grounds. This is 1 illustration of the specialized ingenuity of the monks, who more than time created up a very profitable business mining guide and iron, rearing sheep and selling wool to potential buyers from all more than Europe. Rievaulx Abbey became 1 of the best and wealthiest in England, with a hundred and forty monks and numerous much more lay brothers, obtaining grants of land totalling six,000 acres (24 km²) and establishing daughter houses in England and Scotland.
Toward the conclusion of the thirteenth century the abbey experienced incurred a great deal of debt with its developing tasks and dropped earnings thanks to an epidemic of sheep scab (psoroptic mange). This ill fortune was compounded by Scottish raids in the early 14th century. To make matters even worse the decimation of the population brought on by the Black Demise in the mid 14th century designed it hard to recruit new lay brothers for manual labour. As a final result the abbey was forced to lease a lot of its land. By 1381 there had been only fourteen choir monks, 3 lay brothers and the abbot left at Rievaulx, and some structures had been minimized in dimensions.
By the fifteenth century the unique Cistercian techniques of demanding observance in accordance Saint Benedict’s rule experienced been deserted in favour of a much more snug life-style. It was then permitted to take in meat and much more non-public dwelling lodging was designed for the monks, and the abbot now experienced a considerable non-public household.
See also: Listing of monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII of England
Ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, 1803, by John Provide Cotman
The abbey was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1538. At that time there had been said to be seventy two structures occupied by an abbot and 21 monks, attended by 102 servants, with an income of £351 a calendar year. It also experienced a prototype blast furnace at Laskill, developing solid iron as competently as a fashionable blast furnace in accordance to Gerry McDonnell (archeometallurgist of the College of Bradford), the closure of Rievaulx delayed the Industrial Revolution for two and a half generations.
Henry ordered the structures to be rendered uninhabitable and stripped of valuables these kinds of as guide. The abbey web-site was granted to the Earl of Rutland, 1 of Henry’s advisers, until finally it handed to the Duncombe household.
In the 1750s Thomas Duncombe III beautified the estate by developing the terrace with two Grecian-design and style temples these temples, now named Rievaulx Terrace & Temples, are in the treatment of the Countrywide Have confidence in. The ruins of the abbey are in the treatment of English Heritage.
When awarded a lifestyle peerage in 1983, former Key Minister Harold Wilson, a Yorkshireman, adopted the title Baron Wilson of Rievaulx.
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