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Ampleforth Abbey                 Home to the largest Benedictine community in Britain.  This order of monks did not settle in Ampleforth until the early 1800s, but can trace their history back to Westminster Abbey in much earlier times.
Fr Sigebert Buckley was the last surviving member of an order dissolved in Westminster during Elizabeth I reign.  In 1607 he started a new community in France and a new Monastery was established by 1615 where he passed on the traditions of the English Monks.  Unfortunately they where expelled from France in 1792 during the revolution.  After some years they eventually arrived in Ampleforth in 1802.
The order at its peak, during the 1960s, had a roll call of over 160 Monks, this has unfortunately decreased to half this number today.
In 1803 a new monastery school was opened which today educates over 600 pupils.
The College church designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is of greenish stone and was completed in 1961 in the Romanesque style.
Today the hospitality apostolate offers retreats and courses to thousands of visitors who come to Ampleforth each year
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Aysgarth Falls                        The falls, made up by a series of three cascades extending for some half mile on the River Ure in Wensleydale.  The foaming waters rush headlong over great ledges between limestone walls hung with trees and bushes, the first falls is known as the upper falls and can be best viewed from a 16th Century bridge carrying the road over the river.

Beverley                                 One of the North’s most premier towns, the Minster in all it glory dominates the town and a tangle of old streets, cobbled lanes and elegant terraces of Georgian & Victorian homes make it a delight to the visitor.  Over 300 buildings are listed for preservation.
This is the oldest town in East Yorkshire. The North bar (circa 1409) is the only one of the original 5 Medieval Gatehouses to have survived.  The original town was not surrounded by a wall but by an excavated deep ditch.  The only right of entry therefore was by crossing one of the bridges and passing through one of the gates.  This made the town very wealthy.  Each vehicle passing through a gate had to pay a toll.
A wide market square is dominated by an elegant market cross bearing the arms of Queen Anne in who’s reign it was built.
The other Church in town is St Mary’s built in the 12th Century as a chapel for the Minster, it has a lively Medieval painted ceiling.
Lewis Carroll visited St Mary’s quite often when he stayed with friends in town.  It is said that a stone carving of a rabbit in the church was his inspiration for the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland.
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Castle Howard                        Seen against the backdrop of the Howardian Hills, the splendour of Castle Howard is all the more astonishing.  The largest house in Yorkshire, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh this was his first house (his second was Blenheim Palace).  The clerk of works was Nicholas Hawksmore, a partnership of brilliance.  It was started in 1700 but by the time of completion in 1737, the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, who commissioned it, Vanbrugh and Hawksmore were all dead.  The total cost of building was a then staggering £78,000.  The house is set in over 1,000 acres of parkland, has two lakes and is home to a vast treasure of pictures and antiques.
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Fountain Abbey  (Declared a world heritage site)          The majestic ruins of possibly the Greatest Abbey in England, stand in this scenic valley of the River Skell.  Just a few miles South West of Ripon.  Even today so much of the building is still visible.  From very humble beginnings, a rise to power then total Dissolution under Henry VIII.  It was from St Mary`s Abbey York, that the prior and some followers left to establish a new Cistercian order here at Fountains in 1132.  They started to build and over the years the community grew in property, prosperity & recruits. Unfortunately this power and wealth replaced the original Cistercian ideals and was a great prize for Henry VIII during the Dissolution.  He sold it to Sir Richard Gresham in 1540.  One can clearly see from the ruins the picture of what life in a Monastic institution was like during the middle ages.  The tower stands a remarkable 168ft in height with the church extending some 360ft.  In 1738 William Aisdale who owned the adjoining Studley Royal Estate purchased Fountains and continued to mould the two together.  Landscaping and gardening as he went along.  Today the Cistercian Abbey ruins are the largest in Britain blending in naturally with a landscape of ornamental lakes, cascades, bridges, river walks and eye catching vistas.  A 500 head deer colony live in the deer park and at night the whole area of the ruins are floodlit.
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Harrogate                                Harrogate evolved as one of the most fashionable Spa's in Europe following the discovery, in 1571, of the first medicinal spring by William Slingsby.  In the early days people bathed or drank waters bought to their lodgings in barrels, the first public baths was erected in 1842.  The Victorian heritage now blends perfectly with a modern Spa town.  It is a very stately place with numerous dignified hotels built of the dark local stone famous in the 19th century.  This effect is softened by its location, spacious parks, great abundance of trees and lavish flower beds, especially in Harlow Car Gardens.

Harewood House                  This magnificent 18th Century mansion planned by Robert Carr and decorated by Robert Adam is situated in landscaped grounds completed by Capability Brown in 1772 and set in rolling countryside.
Room after room reflects exquisite craftsmanship of the 18th
Century. Superb chimney pieces, ceilings, carpets, mirrors and furniture by Chippendale.  Harewood also has a notable collection of paintings by Tintoretto, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Sargent, Turner & a host of other Italian Masters.
Do make time to see the sweeping terrace designed by
Sir Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament) which overlooks the formal gardens.
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Hawes                    One of the highest market towns in England.  Known as the capital of Upper Wensleydale.  Set amongst a thriving farming area of outstanding beauty home to thousands of sheep and cattle.  A small town with broad cobbled streets where local industries such as cheese making, pottery and rope making still survive.  Small shops offering local produce together with antique shops offer glimpses of times gone by.
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Jorvik Museum                      This museum is like no other museum, the actual building is on the site of an archaeological dig, the journey you take is around the actual remains below street level, exactly where the old city of York was built
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Rievaulx Abbey                     The spectacular remains of the first Cistercian Abbey in Northern England. situated in the unrivalled peace and serenity of a beautiful wooded valley on the banks of the River Rye. sheltered from the moors rising above.  Walter L`Espec granted this site in the wilderness to a group of Cistercians in 1131.  From these small beginnings began a crusade which ended with the building of this Abbey.  Its grandeur outlined in the remains of the buildings.  Completed before the end of the 12th Century records indicate that under the Third Abbot (Aelred 1147-1167) the community consisted of 140 monks and over 500 lay brothers.  By the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 this large community had dwindled down to just 22 monks.  The buildings are now looked after by English Heritage.  The Church Nave dates back to at least 1135 and the Choir is a particularly fine example of 13th Century work. 
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Ripon                                        A small market town dating back to early Saxon times.  We have the Crypt in the Minster from circa 672 and a belief that the town name is based on a tribe of people known as the Hreope who inhabited the area in pre Saxon times.  In local documents the town was recorded as Hrypis in 715 and as Rypum in the year 1030.  We can therefore safely establish that a settlement has been here dating back over 1500 years.  The town is dominated by the Cathedral but the heart of the town is the rectangular market place with its dominating 90ft obelisk raised in 1781.  One of the oldest houses in the town is situated near one corner of the square.  The house was built in the 13th Century and the Wakeman or Night Watchman lived there. 
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Scarborough                            Described by locals as big and breezy, this North sea resort town with its two splendid bays is a fine combination of a ruined castle, nice hotels, boarding houses, sands, terraced gardens, wave swept promenades and plenty of walks.  According to legend it was founded by a Norseman, we do know that it was burned to the ground by another one Harold Harrada in 1066.  A stylish Spa in the 17th & 18th Centuries which during the last 20 years has lost much of its appeal to travelling holiday makers.  The castle circa 1160 stands on a headland that was once the site of a British Camp and later a Roman Signal Station.  The splendid Marine Drive and Promenade were completed in 1908 and follow the wide curve of the North Bay.  The Parish Church of St Mary`s was built in the 12th Century it was severely damaged during the Civil War.  It is the final resting place of Anne Bronte who is buried in the churchyard.  She came to the town in the hope that the spa waters and bracing sea air would improve her health.  Unfortunately she died in Scarborough at the age of 29.
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Selby Abbey           Situated just 12 miles from York and surrounded by picturesque countryside.  The Abbey was founded in 1069 by Monk Benedict of Auxerre and is built to Cathedral  proportions being 300 feet long and 55 feet wide.  It is of course Norman in design with 8 tall Norman arches and a superb large East window behind the High Altar.  The Abbey`s most famous feature is the 14th Century Washington window which is to be found high up in the Quire. This celebrates the life of John de Washington a Prior in the Abbey.  Yes he can be traced to the same family tree as George Washington.  If you look closely at the window you will see it bears the Washington family coat of arms which forms the model of the present day American flag.
The Abbey was severely damaged by Cromwell's soldiers during the English civil war and was gutted by fire in 1906.  However it still remains a wonderful monastic building with many original features.
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St Giles Church, Skelton    The church was originally built as an outpost of York Minster.  Legend has it that it was built of stone left over from building the Minster.  The church was restored during the 19th Century and the atmosphere of the interior is more 19th Century despite its architectural authenticity being of the early gothic design.  It does have a small original 13th century Bellcote
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Stourhead                                One of the best examples of English 18th Century landscape gardens.  Sheets of water, mature trees, several temples, a classical bridge, grotto, and rustic buildings.  The gardens offer a visual experience unequalled in Britain.  A taste of the classical ideas which gripped the 18th Century aristocrats.
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Wensleydale Cheese            The story of cheese making in the Yorkshire dales dates back to possible Roman times.  However it was Cistercian Monks from Jervaulx arriving here in the 12th Century who bought with them a knowledge of cheese making which they used to produce a soft, blue veined cheese made from Wensleydale Ewes milk.  By the 17th Century most farmhouses had their own recipes which were passed down from generation to generation.  The first commercial creamery in Hawes was set up in 1897.  Then followed a history of high points and a very low point reached in 1992 when the creamery was closed.  However within 6 months some ex managers a local businessman together with skilled help from former workers re-opened for business. Today going from strength to strength the creamery once again is proud to produce the real Wensleydale cheese.
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Whitby                                      Famed as one of the earliest and most important centres of Christianity in England. In 657 St Hilda founded the Abbey for King Oswy of Northumbria in thanks for his victory over the heathen Penda of Mercia.  It was also the setting for the Synod of Whitby in 664 who committed the English Church to the Roman Rite rather than the Celtic one and also fixed the Precis date on which Easter should be celebrated, the exact formulae which is still in use today.  Both men and women lived in the early Monastery, it is where Caedmon was inspired to sing of creation.  Destroyed by the Danes in 867 it was founded again by the Benedictines in 1078. Continued to flourish until surrendered in 1539.  From then on the buildings have slowly blown away, by 1830 the tower had collapsed and in 1914 it was shelled by the German fleet.  The oldest part of the town is on the East cliff, with the new town under the West cliff, dividing the two the River Esk.  The old port of Whitby developed on the East bank, where ancient houses lean against each other and is a muddle of cobbled streets and narrow alley ways.  James Cook the explorer lived in this area and of course Whitby became his home port  
Whitby: a Scandinavian name meaning Hviti`s Village.  The doomsday book records it as Whiteby.

York                                           The fascinating townscape of this walled city illustrates much of its nearly 2,000 years history.  York possesses in its Minster the largest medieval church in Northern Europe, the general scale of its building is small and human.  Even today York seems more medieval than almost any other English town.  The compact core is a treasure house for anyone interested in history, architecture or ancient crafts, and is best seen on foot.  The Romans called the place Eboracum, and built a fort in AD.71.  Under the Angles, York was capital of their Kingdom of Deira.  King Edwin was baptised here by Paulinus, who became the first Archbishop of York in 634.  The Danes captured and burnt York in 867 and it was their capital in England for nearly 100 years, they called it Jorvik and it is from this that the present name derives.  There is nothing left to see of Anglo Saxon and Danish York, but the use of the word gate for street is a reminder that the Danes did settle here.  The Norman's found a thriving little trading centre and burnt it in 1069 during their frightful ravaging of the North, and then rebuilt the walls, expanding them to take the present 263 acres.  Medieval York is everywhere, not least in the web of narrow streets.  The Shambles and Stonegate are two of the best preserved examples.  Too the East of the Minster is the half timbered St William's College.  Three of the nine Guildhalls still survive.  All the city walls are medieval rebuilt on the Roman and Norman foundations in the 13th Century.  A 2.5 mile footpath on the walls gives a circular tour of the city.  In the middle ages, York was England's second city a great religious and commercial centre.  A lovely city with much to see and enjoy.
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Web Link to Historic York

York Castle (Cliffords tower)     In 1068 William the Conquer built 2 Motte & Bailey castles in York.  Both where later destroyed by a Danish fleet helped by the people of York. Eventually William rebuilt the two castles and the mound on which now stands Cliffords Tower became a part of the main fortress.  However except for the tower very little of the original castle now exists.  The tower was built between 1245 & 1272 and has been the scene of many historical events.  It is reported that the rebel leader Robert Aske was allegedly hung from the walls in chains and starved to death.  The tower also played its part in the Civil War siege of York in 1644.  Then between 1825 & 1935 it was used as a prison.  But its most infamous historical reference is the Jewish massacre of March 1190, when an estimated 150 Jews, the entire Jewish Community of York, Died after taking refuge in the Royal Castle.
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