18th Century and Earlier, Places

Ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, York

In 2010 I visited York, England. I’d always wanted to go there, primarily because I was excited about all the historical sights in the town. My site’s header comes from that trip – it’s a small bit of what remains of St Mary’s Abbey, a Benedictine abbey established in 1088. As a Canadian, finding a structure that old and still standing was amazing. And it was made no less amazing by the fact that it was a short stroll from my B&B, and in the middle of the Yorkshire Museum Gardens, completely open to the public.

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The abbey walls were built in the 13th century. Even though a small portion remains, you can see how it once was the richest abbey in all of the north of England.

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The plaque reads “Apse of Norman Church.”

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St Mary’s Abbey was destroyed after our old friend Henry VIII disbanded the monasteries. There are foundations still present on-site, as well as other structures including the abbott’s house (built in the 14th century) and the Hospitium, which was used to entertain guests – and is now a wedding venue.

You can find more about life in the abbey at History of York’s website.

I don’t remember what caused me to remember this particular portion of my 2010 trip, but now I’m itching to plan another trip to York! I’ve been sharing some historical memories from York on my brand-spanking new Instagram account, if you’re curious.

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