A visit to the North York Moors

Rievaulx Abbey and Rosedale mines

  • Posted On: 16 November 2021
A visit to the North York Moors

Rievaulx was one of the first Cistercian abbeys to be founded in England in around 1130. In the 12th century there was a community of 650 monks under its most famous abbot, Aelred. The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538 and fell into disrepair, becoming a ruins until it was saved for the public in 1917.  The ruins are on a much more magnificent scale than those at Jervaulx Abbey in the Dales, which was also one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire founded in 1156. 


Interestingly, the abbey forge was used to set up an ironworks on the site – and the other interesting location we visited on the North York Moors over the weekend was the ironworks in Rosedale. Not dissimilar to the remains of the lead mining area in Swaledale, the ironworks were operational from the 1860s to the 1920s.The kilns are still standing and it is an excellent walk along the track where the railway moved calcined ore through the dale. A short diversion brings you onto Blakey Ridge, where ‘The Lion Inn’ perches solitary on the road.  Readers of ‘Purple Shroud’ may remember how the story begins with a body found not far from the pub.

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