Friday, 18 November 2016

Kirkstall Abbey.


Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.


Kirkstall Abbey,
Yorkshire, England.
Photo: 30 March 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Minda.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Nave,
Kirkstall Abbey,
Leeds, Yorkshire,
England.
Date: 1890s.
This File: 1 May 2006.
User: Jungpionier.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian Monastery in Kirkstall, North-West of Leeds, Yorkshire. It is set in a public park on the North Bank of the River Aire. It was founded circa 1152. It was dis-established during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, under the auspices of Henry VIII.

The picturesque ruins have been drawn and painted by artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Sell Cotman.

Kirkstall Abbey was acquired by Leeds Corporation, as a gift from Colonel North, and opened to the public in the Late-19th-Century. The gatehouse became a museum.


Roger de Lacy Coat of Arms.
Roger de Lacy (died after 1106) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman,
a Marcher Lord on the Welsh border. Roger was a Castle builder, particularly at Ludlow Castle.
Description: Or, a lion rampant purpure.
Source: Own work.
Author: Dlkeller999
(Wikipedia)


Ludlow Castle,
which Roger de Lacy (see, above)
helped to build.
Photo: 29 May 2007.
Source: Ludlow Castle
Author: Sam Saunders
(Wikimedia Commons)

De Lacy (Laci, Lacie, Lascy, Lacey) is the surname of an old Norman noble family, which originated from Lassy, Calvados, France. The family took a major role in The Norman Conquest of England and the later Norman Invasion of Ireland. The name is first recorded for Hugh de Lacy (1020 – 1049). His sons, Walter and Ilbert, left Normandy and travelled to England with William the Conqueror, playing a major role in The Battle of Hastings.

The awards of land by The Conqueror, to the de Lacy sons, led to two distinct branches of the family: The Northern Branch, centred around Blackburnshire and Yorkshire, was held by Ilbert's descendants; The Southern Branch, of Marcher Lords, centred on Herefordshire and Shropshire, was held by Walter's descendants.

Until 1399, The Northern Branch of the family held the great Lordship of Bowland, before it passed through marriage to The Duchy of Lancaster, as well as being Barons of Pontefract and, later, Earls of Lincoln.

The Southern Branch of the family became substantial landholders in The Lordship of Ireland, and was linked to The Scottish Royal Family; Elizabeth de Burgh, whose great grandfather was Walter de Lacy, married Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.


Kirkstall Abbey,
Leeds, Yorkshire.
Photo: 30 April 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jungpionier.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Henry de Lacy (1070 – 1123), Lord of the Manor of Pontefract, 2nd Lord of Bowland, promised to dedicate an Abbey to The Virgin Mary, should he survive a serious illness. He recovered and agreed to give the Abbot of Fountains Abbey land at Barnoldswick in The West Riding of Yorkshire (now in Lancashire), on which to found a Daughter Abbey.

Abbot Alexander, with twelve Cistercian Monks from Fountains Abbey [Editor: Near Rievaulx Abbey], went to Barnoldswick and, after demolishing the existing Church, attempted to build the Abbey on Henry de Lacy's land. They stayed for six years, but found the place inhospitable. Abbot Alexander set about finding a more suitable place for the Abbey and came across a site in the heavily-wooded Aire Valley, occupied by Hermits.

Alexander sought help from de Lacy, who was sympathetic and helped acquire the land from William de Poitou. The Monks moved from Barnoldswick to Kirkstall, displacing the Hermits, some of whom joined the Abbey, the rest being paid to move. The buildings were mostly completed between 1152, when the Monks arrived in Kirkstall, and the end of Alexander's Abbacy in 1182. Millstone Grit for building came from Bramley Fall on the opposite side of the river.


Kirkstall Abbey.
Photo: 20 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tony Grist.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The English Cistercian houses, of which there are ruins at Fountains, Rievaulx, Kirkstall, Tintern and Netley, were mainly arranged after the same plan, with slight local variations.

The Church is of the Cistercian type, with a short Chancel and Transepts, with three Eastward Chapels to each, divided by solid walls. The building is plain, the windows are not ornamented, and the Nave has no Triforium. The Cloister, to the South, occupies the whole length of the Nave. On the East side, stands the Two-Aisled Chapter-House, between which and The South Transept is a small Sacristy, and, on the other side, two small apartments, one of which was probably the Parlour. Beyond this, is the Calefactory, or day-room, of the Monks. Above this whole range of building, runs the Monks' Dormitory, opening by Stairs into The South Transept of the Church.

On the South Side of the Cloister, there are the remains of the old Refectory, running, as in Benedictine Houses, from East to West, and the new Refectory, which, with the increase of the inmates of the house, superseded it, stretching, as is usual in Cistercian houses, from North to South. Adjacent to this Apartment are the remains of the Kitchen, Pantry and Buttery. The Arches of the Lavatory are to be seen near the Refectory entrance. The Western Side of the Cloister is occupied by Vaulted Cellars, supporting, on the Upper Storey, the Dormitory of the Lay Brothers.


Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire.
Artist: Charles Alban Buckler.
Date: 1850.
Current location: British Library.
Source/Photographer: [1].
This File: 9 May 2011.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Extending from the South-East angle of the main group of buildings, are the walls and foundations of a secondary group of buildings. These have been identified as the hospitium, or The Abbot's House, but they occupy the position in which the Infirmary is more usually found. The Hall was a very spacious Apartment, measuring 83 ft. in length by 48 ft. 9 inches in breadth, which was divided by two rows of Columns. The fish-ponds lay between the Monastery and the River, to the South. The Abbey Mill was situated about 80 yards to the North-West. The Mill Pool may be distinctly traced, together with the Goit or Mill Stream.

On 22 November 1539, the Abbey was surrendered to Henry VIII's Commissioners in The Dissolution of The Monasteries. It was awarded to Thomas Cranmer, in 1542, but reverted to The Crown when Cranmer was executed, in 1556. Sir Robert Savile purchased the estate in 1584, and it remained in his family's hands for almost a hundred years. In 1671, it passed into the hands of The Brudenell family, The Earls of Cardigan. Much of the stone was removed for re-use in other buildings in the area, including the steps leading to Leeds Bridge.

During the 18th-Century, the picturesque ruins attracted artists of The Romantic Movement and were painted by artists including J. M. W. Turner, John Sell Cotman and Thomas Girtin. In 1889, the Abbey was sold to Colonel John North, who presented it to Leeds City Council. The Council undertook a major restoration project and the Abbey was opened to the public in 1895.


Kirkstall Abbey.
Photo: 23 August 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: JohnArmagh.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Kirkstall Abbey,
Photo: 30 April 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jungpionier.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Abbey is a Grade I Listed Building and Scheduled Ancient Monument. After a £5.5 million renovation programme, there is a new Visitor Centre, with interactive exhibits, which illustrates the history of the Abbey and the lives of the Monks. Entry to the Abbey is via the Visitor Centre - free of charge, but with a donation box. Occasionally, guided tours are available (free of charge).

The Leeds Shakespeare Festival, performed by the British Shakespeare Company, took place annually in the Cloisters, from 1995 until 2009. The Abbey grounds are a public park, and are used for occasional events, such as the annual Kirkstall Festival and the Kirkstall Fantasia open-air concerts.

On the other side of the main road, the grade II* Listed former Abbey Gatehouse now forms the Abbey House Museum.


Kirkstall Abbey.
Image courtesy of Leeds City Council.
Copyright notice states:"You are free to use imagery as you wish,
with no royalty payments or lengthy registration process.
Our aim is to promote Leeds and encourage the use
of quality, up-to-date, images of the City."
This File: 23 May 2006.
User: GeeJo.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Kirkstall Abbey.
Photo: 30 April 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jungpionier.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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