Pleasure of Ruins / 5 Jervaulx Abbey

5 years ago, I ventured North to see a longstanding friend who I see all too rarely these days. Whilst there I got to revisit Rievaulx Abbey, and this enchanting, privately owned abbey, also one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire.

I fell in love with this place because it hasn’t been ‘prettied up’ like, for example Rievaulx (English Heritage) or Fountains (National Trust)…. it is privately owned, and there is an Honesty Box where visitors are asked to pay £3 to help towards the upkeep of the place, which I gladly did. I was dismayed to see on Trip Advisor that people were saying that it was free. When I visited with my friends, I think we were the only people there, which is worrying from the point of view of funds for the place, but marvellous for me, seeing the place unspoilt…

The result of private ownership seems to me to give us a much more natural, atmospheric ruin. Here you can decide for yourself:

I will probably show some monochrome images at some stage…

My post on the wonderful, majestic Rievaulx Abbey saw relatively few views an comments, I wonder if this one will fare better?


  1. Smashing photographs Sue, I love the way the rock is sagging in an organic rather than bricks and mortar way. 🙂

  2. I commented on Rievaulx, and I am also happy to comment on this one. I do like the fact that it appears devoid of visitors, but I agree that doesn’t bode well in the long term. I prefer the mystery of this place, to those others that are tidier, and arranged ‘just so’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Wonderful place and photos

  4. Oh I’ve never heard of that place! I’ve visited Fountain’s Abbey 3 times already .. I just love old ruins and I think I may like Jervaulx! It’s only an hour drive from my flat!! oh that is exciting!! I may have found my next day trip!

  5. I have never heard of this place! Lovely stone work and I like the paths meandering through the ruins. Actually several EH places aren’t overly manicured and I must admit I do like the audios that go with some of the sites. Norfolk has some lovely ruins if you ever get there (or maybe you already have…).

  6. So many fascinating places to see Sue, this one is romantic, I love your shot of the trees through the door that was. They would be great in black and white as well.

  7. Love these old ruins, lovely shots.

  8. They are very appealing, Sue. Long while since I was there. 🙂 🙂

  9. All those delicious throughs. And the greenery. And that magnificent atmospheric sky. And sheep safely grazing. And at least three differently-shaped arches – the asymmetrical one catches the eye especially. And the rough stonework in all it varied size, shape and texture. Lovely, lovely ruins.

    • Sue

      These were enchanting ruins, lots of ‘delicious throughs’, marvellous stonework… Very pleased you have enjoyed these, Meg

  10. Fabulous shots – but surprisingly in colour! I love your ruins, and love them in colour as well. Make me want to walk there.

  11. Emilio Pasquale

    I could get lost here for a couple of days. I love this.

  12. Gorgeous place and the photos are tops.

  13. Beautiful, mysterious and what a great portentous sky!

  14. Hi Sue, what a great post about an incredible place, this is just the sort of ruin I love. Your photos as always gorgeous, but the bottom right one is really quite stunning and ethereal, like a film set…I’m imagining Vincent Price to appear at any moment! I could quite happily get lost in there. So much atmosphere, as you say! So glad to catch you before I once again disappear, with the house move fast approaching and having done absolutely nothing packing wise. I hope you have a great summer Sue and I’ll look forward to catching up with you in a few weeks… 🙂 xxx

  15. This should get hundreds of viewers Sue. And I see it’s doing well already 🙂
    Fantastic shots. And I amor the last one, though it also makes me feel a bit uneasy. Those trees seem to be looking at me, and I believe they have a will of their own!

  16. Next week I’ve got a relatively quiet week. At least, I’m at home. I’m free this weekend, Mon, Tues and Thurs morning. Ae you free to meet up on any of those by any chance? If you are, you tell me where’s easy for you!

    • Sue

      Would you believe, I am actually away, visiting Vivi and Ann-Christine…. I would have loved to have met up…I hope we can manage it before too long

      • Have a wonderful time! Sounds like an exciting and restful week.

        I think I’m around w/c 17th July too. Definitely free Tue 18 till about 17:30 and Weds from midday onwards.

      • Sue

        Tues 18th morning to mid afternoon may be good, I shall probably be in London as it’s photo club in the evening, and the Wednesday would also be possible…email me and we’ll discuss

  17. Places like this look more authentic when they haven’t been prettied-up.

  18. Your photos are lovely and full of atmosphere. And what a place, feels like it’s magical and full of mysteries of the past.

  19. wonderful site and fabulous photos Sue! I can imagine it at night!!

  20. Beautiful, evocative shots. I prefer ‘un-prettied up’ any day.

  21. What a glorious gallery, Sue! The ruins looks very good through your lens. You have captured the atmosphere very well, I love moody images like this. ❤

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