Rosedale Abbey
Rosedale Abbey
A small village in the heart of the North York Moors National Park. Rosedale Abbey was named for a medieval priory which stood on this site. There is little left of the abbey beyond a staircase, pillar, and sundial.
Rosedale Abbey was a Cistercian nunnery founded by William of Rosedale sometime prior to 1158. The nuns of Rosedale were the first to successfully raise sheep in the NorthYork Moors.

At the time of the Reformation the Abbey supported 8 nuns under a Prioress. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the priory chapel continued in use by the local population. The chapel gradually fell into disuse, but when the discovery of ironstone in Rosedale led to increased mining and a growth in population in the 19th century, the old chapel was replaced by a new church dedicated St Mary and St Laurence, made with reused stone from the medieval buildings.

All that remains of the abbey dates to the 13th century. You can still see a pier from the abbey church, some 4 metres high, with a recessed doorway arch, and an internal spiral stair.

The ironstone mining industry died out in the 1920s, leaving Rosedale Abbey a quiet backwater, reliant on tourism. There are several pubs, and an attractive range of period houses including a restored 19th century corn mill, a late 18th century bridge, and the medieval Waterhouse Well (sometimes called the 'Old Monk's Well), where stone steps lead down to a water channel inside a wellhead. The well is somewhat incongruously located by a caravan park, but for the most part Rosedale Abbey retains a pleasant, secluded air, untroubled by encroaching modern civilisation.

The village is part of the Abbey Trail, linking monastic sites such as Whitby Abbey, Fountains Abbey, and Rievaulx Abbey.