Bolton Abbey

The Story Behind the Image - Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales

Bolton Abbey is a historic medieval monastery on the River Wharfe, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The abbey was established by Augustinian monks from Embsay around 1154, on land granted by the Romille family of Skipton Castle.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the nave of the priory church was saved from destruction to serve as the parish church but the rest of the medieval monastic buildings were allowed to decay, leaving the abbey a picturesque ruin.

Technically Bolton Abbey is the name of the neighbouring village and the larger estate, while the monastery was actually called Bolton Priory but the term Bolton Abbey is generally used to refer to the monastery as well.

To get this photo I had to cross the River Wharfe and follow a footpath up the densely wooded hillside on the far bank. After quite a climb you emerge at a viewpoint offering glimpses of the Abbey far below, set in a bowl of hills. I waited until sunlight fell on the Abbey ruins, making it stand out from the surrounding foliage. I love this view!

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