The peaceful ruins of Easby Abbey, just outside Richmond, give little idea of the tumultuous events which overcame the abbey.
Founded in about 1152, the abbey grew in importance and wealth, largely as a result of the lucrative wool trade. In 1537 King Henry VIII ordered the suppression of the monasteries, as part of his programme of independence from the Church in Rome, and by 1538 much of the destruction had been completed.
What a shame we can no longer see the original buildings, but everyone loves a good set of ruins. (Interesting fact: one visitor to Tintern Abbey in the early Romantic Period suggested taking a hammer to the ruins in order to 'improve' them.) Anyway, back to Easby...
Entry to the English Heritage site is free, and there is a free guided tour every Sunday. The tour is at 2 pm, it leaves from the entrance gate, and it lasts about 45 minutes.
Parking at Easby can be difficult (it's a small car park) but if you enjoy a stroll you can park at The Station in Richmond, walk to Easby along the old railway track, visit the site, and return on the other side of the river. Total distance is an easy 2 1/2 miles (and if you want more detail you can pick up a copy of Richmond Walks either at our Information Centre in Richmond's Market Place or at the shop in The Station - well worth the £2!).
(First posted 9 April.)
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