Fountains Abbey

Now a romantic ruin, Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire was a thriving industrial hub for the Cistercian order of monks in the 12th Century. Here Bettany meets archaeologist Mark Newman to bring the Abbey to life once more and to explore the impact of the Cistercians, the first truly pan-European movement, on Britain’s economy.

Bettany meets Head of Landscape, Michael Ridsdale, to discuss how the ruined abbey became a folly to the Studley Royal Estate in the 18th Century, and how he and his team of gardeners are presenting the site for modern visitors. Finally, Bettany returns to the east end of the Abbey to learn from Mark how cutting-edge technology has revealed an exciting new find, which sheds fresh light on the monks’ beliefs.

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