Clairvaux was the third Cistercian foundation, the third of Cîteaux’s ‘elder
daughters’. It was established in when Bernard, a monk of
Cîteaux, was sent to lead this new community at Clairvaux
(Valley of Light), in the diocese of Langres. Bernard's magnetism
and fame inspired a number of recruits, among them the future pope,
Eugenius III. Under Bernard’s direction Clairvaux blossomed
and founded an incredible number of daughter-houses. During Bernard’s
abbacy it established or absorbed sixty-five daughter-houses and
eventually there were over 350 houses affiliated to Clairvaux.
Bernard was instrumental in bringing the Cistercians to Yorkshire,
and the Clairvaux line was by far the strongest in the British
Isles. He is sometimes depicted carrying a model of a church, symbolic
of his contribution to expansion.