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Rievoulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle

Best class trip ever!

On February 21, I went on a class trip to Rievoulx Abbey and the town of Helmsley. It was for my class called "The Visual Past" where we look at ruins of abbeys and castles in order to see what we can learn from the ruins.

Rievoulx was built in by Walter Espec 1132. It was one of the first Cistercian installations in the North of England and therefore pivitol to spreading the order in England. The Abbey run out of money and slowly the dissolution began. In the end, only a few monks lived there. This is what it looks like today:


This is the chapel. The area behind me is the holiest place in the Abbey. It would have been blocked off for anyone but monks. (Bit of a superiority complex if you ask me)

You can still see the fireplaces!

Behind the wall in the back would have been the toliets. Even Monks had to dispose of waste ;)


This is the basement of what would have been the dining room. I am standing on what would have been the first level. This would have been my favorite building if I were a monk which is probably why I would make a terrible monk :P . This is also the building that ultimately led to the downfall of the abbey because it cost too much to build and left it bankrupt.

This is the drainage system for the abbey

So basically, Rievoulx is absolutely stimulating for the imagination. It is beautiful, but it is also amazing to look at what would have been. Today it may seem like just pleasant scenery, but you can see the remains of a lifestyle from hundreds of years ago.

We had the afternoon in Helmsley and my friend, Makenzie, and I went to the castle. It is also now in ruins but absolutely scenic!


Here you can see the remnants of where a staircase would have been- that lighter stone zig-zag.

The moat! This castle was designed to be defended.

Another defense: the Southern gate with a bridge across the moat.

This is the view of the tower from the house. It is, apparently, symbolic because you can see the defense tower and below and see the town of Helmsely(well you could if I took a better picture) so it affirms the dominance of the castle.

Posted by Kateogan 07:36 Archived in England Tagged bridges history beautiful castle monks scenic abbey sunshine rievoulx helmsley Comments (0)

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