For two years the
community struggled in an impoverished state in this desolate location.
In desperation, Abbot Richard travelled
to Burgundy to seek the help of their ‘father’, Bernard
of Clairvaux. Richard hoped that Clairvaux might absorb his community
and grant Fountains land nearby, where the monks could move and
begin afresh. Bernard agreed and plans were made for the Fountains
community to relocate to Longué, one of Clairvaux’s
granges, in Haute-Marne. The move proved unnecessary, for when
Richard returned to Yorkshire he found that Fountains’ fortunes
had changed and that the monks were once more in good spirits.
The reason for this turnaround was the arrival of a new recruit,
Hugh, the former dean of York Minster. He was a rich man and brought
with him considerable money, as well as furniture and a collection
of books – the origins of the Fountains’ library.
[Read more about
Fountains’ library and view
five of these books]