The ruins of St Mary's Abbey

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Ruins of St Mary's Abbey Church

The original abbey on the site was founded in 1055 and dedicated to Saint Olaf II of Norway. It was refounded in 1088 for Abbot Stephen and a group of monks from Whitby by the Anglo-Breton magnate Alan Rufus, who laid the foundation stone of the Norman church that year. The monks moved to York from a site at Lastingham in Ryedale in the 1080s and are recorded there in Domesday. Following a dispute and riot in 1132, a party of reform-minded monks left to establish the Cistercian monastery of Fountains Abbey. The surviving ruins date from a rebuilding programme begun in 1271 and finished by 1294.

The abbey's walled precincts were extended in the 12th century, so that by 1266 it was enclosed within a wall nearly three-quarters of a mile long. In 1318 the abbot received royal permission to raise the height of the wall and crenelate it; a stretch of this wall still runs along Bootham and Marygate to the River Ouse.

Ruins of the abbey church from the southern end The abbey church is aligned northeast-southwest, due to restrictions of the site. The Norman church had an apsidal liturgical east end, and its side aisles also ended in apses, though they were square on the exterior. Rebuilding began in 1270, under the direction of abbot Simon de Warwick, and was swiftly completed during a single campaign, such was the financial strength of the abbey. This completed the abbey church whose ruins are a prominent feature in York's Museum Gardens.

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Comments (4)

Andy Rodker on April 8, 2012

Wonderful detail as usual. The trees in bud provide a good contrast in terms of renewal with the decay of the Abbey church. Like. Best wishes, Andy

Yorkshire Sam on April 8, 2012

Cheers Andy , yes many a bud will have formed and opened in the years since this was in it's glory.

zanot10 - NO VIEWS on April 27, 2012

Very good photo! LIKE!

Greetings Z.

Yorkshire Sam on April 27, 2012

Zanot10,, this just goes to show what a clown you really are. Your own insecurities cause you to add your worthless copy and paste comments to images here on Panoramio in order to bring attention to yourself. The majority of people here on Panoramio are normal decent people fortunately and will of course out of politeness respond to your comments by way of adding something to one of your images which of course makes your actions seem worthwhile though regrettably will fuel your misbeliefs that the comments left are worth having. Well if all you want is to see your viewing and like figures rise then yes your adding such senseless comments around the site will get you that result. But think about it another way and you may see things differently... every hundred comments you leave won't generate 100 comments in return since there are those amongst Panoramio who like me realise what your game is and wouldn't normally respond, plus there are those who may not have time . So then let's assume you get back 90 replies which of course makes you believe your actions were worthwhile and superficially they will make your images appear very popular. Now in reality what you have done is given out more insincerity than you have received and this then means that your viewing and like statistics are less valuable than they were . It's like a government simply printing out more money when times get tough, it helps initially but the value of that currency just gets weakened. Out of pity for your losses I came and added ten of your own copy and paste comments to your 10 most recent pictures without really looking at them because I knew how much they would mean to you. Today I find you've given them back to me on my pictures and so I now must be a great photographer like you because I have lots of comments , I do hope you ticked the likes and didn't just say it ;o).

You know it makes no sense my little Panoramio friend but of course we both know you will continue to do it anyway :o)

best wishes, Sam

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 8, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Yorkshire Sam
    • Camera: NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D80
    • Taken on 2012/03/26 17:28:01
    • Exposure: 0.020s (1/50)
    • Focal Length: 50.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/18.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: -0.67 EV
    • No flash

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