Set in a stunning location in a wooded valley by the River Rye, Rievaulx Abbey is one of the most beautiful and tranquil spots in England.
Dating from the 12th Century, the church has the earliest large Cistercian nave in Britain. There is a fascinating exhibition shows how successfully the Cistercians at Rievaulx ran their many businesses and explains the part played by Abbot Ailred, who ruled for twenty years.
Rievaulx was still a vibrant community when Henry viii dissolved it in 1538. Its new owner, Thomas Manners, first Earl of Rutland, swiftly instigated the systematic destruction of the buildings. However, the substantial remains still constitute one of the most breath-taking of all monastic sites.