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Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Bank, Helmsley YO62 5LB, England
+44 1439 798228
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Castle Howard, Rievaulx Abbey, and North York Moors Day Trip from York
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Hidden in the deep River Rye valley, the beautiful and tranquil abbey ruins reflect nearly one thousand years of spiritual, commercial and Romantic history. Rievaulx was one of the first Cistercian abbeys to be founded in England in around 1130, and after the dissolution, became the centre of commercial activity for many years. The abbey forge was used to set up an ironworks on the site. The abbey then entered its Romantic period when its picturesque ruins became a beacon for poets, painters, and scholars. It was one of the first major ruins to be conserved by the Office of Works (ancestor of English Heritage) in 1917.
  • Excellent74%
  • Very good22%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“english heritage” (139 reviews)
“audio guide” (93 reviews)
“cleveland way” (31 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Rievaulx Bank, Helmsley YO62 5LB, England
+44 1439 798228
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Reviews (1,032)
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1 - 10 of 1,013 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

This is a must see, ideally maybe out of season, parking is limited, research the life of a Cistercian Monk And Saint Benedict. Great new museum with artefacts and relics of the abbey.

Thank Russell H
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

The Abbey is well worth a visit. This is one of the best preserved examples of a Cistercian Abbey that I have ever seen. There's still a lot to discover here, and it's easy to piece together how incredible a building this would have been....More

Thank Rose N
Reviewed 5 days ago

Arrived with about 1 hour to visit this beautiful Abbey. The staff were marvellous and let us in quickly and suggested we purchase a guide to expedite our short visit. They gave us a brief history before we entered. This place is stunning and should...More

Thank Chelseadoodles
Reviewed 6 days ago

Beautiful ruined abbey with lots of informative panels around the site, we especially liked the old photos of the abbey. There is also an audio guide that you can listen to as you walk round the abbey. The guidebook is also very good. The abbey...More

Thank Karen B
Reviewed 1 week ago

Having seen the ariel view of the abbey from the terrace we visited the abbey. These magnificent ruins stand as testimony to the Cistercian monks who had the faith and the insight to build this community. We can only wonder at the craftsmen and women...More

Thank kevin d
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Huge Abbey ruins very atmospheric as dark grey rain clouds moved overhead - take audio guide which is informative and interesting. Well behaved dogs on lead welcome. Heritage staff friendly and helpful. Great place to visit.

1  Thank DJRangoon
Reviewed 1 week ago

We never tire of visiting this gorgeous ruined abbey and see something different every time we go. Sometimes it's a swathe of decorated tiles you never noticed before or a little drain for chalices in one of the chapels or, if you happen to look...More

1  Thank ChrisPduck2
Reviewed 1 week ago

Impressive complex ruins showing what could be done by an almighty well funded church with access to the best architects and masons of its time. Also of course the speed with which another great power can destroy everything over a few months without regard for...More

Thank Jannerbloke
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was a highlight during our stay in this part of England. From the visitors' centre to the cafe (gorgeous and well priced food) to the shop, through the grounds to the museum on the the abbey, our audio tour gave us wonderful insight into...More

1  Thank Kiwi_Cath
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Small car park this makes access difficult, however lovely location, and an audio tour guide helps, which complements the booklet. A museum to one side also explains the finds made on the site over the years and how the site started and finished up as...More

1  Thank 126iana
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Questions & Answers
Nicholas B
Hello gelvisblue I'm very surprised by your review, how can you not just be in wonder and intrigue as you walked around the site? The history seeping from the magnificent ruins from nearly 900 years ago! The presbytery of the church, one of the finest examples of early English architecture. The magnificent refectory and the remains of the undercroft below. The monks choir and crossing in the south transept, with the doorway still in tact leading to the dormitory. The remarkable, unusual chapter house with its shrine to Abott William dating from 1250. The beautiful cloister with details like the piscine(holy water basin) Do I need to go on? Rievaulx Abbey was a major architectural influence on the medieval monastic church from the 12th to the 16th centuries and, from the mid 18th century. Rievaulx includes some of the earliest surviving buildings of any Cistercian monastery in Europe. Abott William's stone monastery was the first great Cistercian church to be built in England on the model of the church and claustral layout that was being developed at Clairvaux from about 1135. That makes Rievaulx one of the earliest surviving examples in Europe of what subsequently became the standard plan for all Cistercian abbey's, and for those of the other major monastic orders. Maybe you should visit other places other than ones like Rievaulx Abbey, as you clearly have no interest, understanding, or appreciation, of fine pieces of vastly important places of history in England. Go back, get the audio guide, and try to appreciate how lucky you are to be able to visit and learn about this remarkable place.
12 September 2017|
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Response from ApriliaApex | Reviewed this property |
You foolish man, i do appreciate Rievaulx Abbey, i just didn't care for the cafe or the shop. I will look forward to going back there and to finding that you have sent your reply to "gelvisblue" and deleted any link to me.
Lisa W
28 April 2017|
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Response from Holibobsis | Reviewed this property |
Took our two dogs inside and they were made most welcome :-)
4 March 2017|
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Response from Ivan D | Reviewed this property |
Hi, You can find all relevant data on the website of English Heritage. I think that all English Heritage properties have opening hours in period April to September from 10:00 to 18:00. Regards ID