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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

The Cistercian Order in Yorkshire


The first Cistercian house in Britain was established at Waverley in 1128, but it was the foundation of Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, four years later, that marked the real turning point in the development of the Order in this country. From their stronghold in the North, the White Monks took Britain by storm and penetrated the country at a remarkable speed. The eight Yorkshire abbeys, founded between 1132 and 1150, formed the hub of Cistercian life in Britain and had a considerable impact on the locals and the landscape. They drew recruits and benefactors from neighbouring towns and villages, and were actively involved in land clearance and reclamation. The Cistercians in Yorkshire were particularly noted for sheep-farming and their extensive contribution to the wool trade.


Map of the Cistercian abbeys in Northern England
Map of Cistercian Abbeys in Northern England
Exterior of the refectory at Rievaulx
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Rievaulx Abbey

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