Thursday, 20th April, 2023

We awoke to yet another glorious, sunny day. We were sorry to leave our accommodation, the Woodlands, as it had been so comfortable and pleasant. Today, we took a total of only 281 photos so it was easier to sort, select and publish them.

Our last breakfast at "The Woodlands".

The lounge area in "The Woodlands"

Farewell "Woodlands"!

Our first stop for the day was Richmond Castle about an hour and a half drive from Windermere. When we arrived at Richmond, we found a carpark but it was difficult to understand the system. The signs mentioned "discs" and we didn’t know what that meant. Satoshi went off in the car to find somewhere else to park and I went to see what I could find out about "discs". I learned that some of shops hand out a cardboard disk which one turns until the arrow points to the time that one has arrived. You then display this on the dashboard of your vehicle. You can stay for two hours for free. If you stay longer than two hours, you are in danger of an £80 fine. Once we knew the system, it was easy to park, and we headed across to the castle.

When driving in England, there are many things which are quite disconcerting. One of them is approaching cars which are parked on the "wrong" side of the road, giving rise to concerns that one has driven down a one-way street!

The views while driving to Richmnond were spectacular!

The castle is mostly in ruins, but its keep is largely intact. We we found that it was possible to climb stairs to go right to the top of the keep. There were many stairs and some of them were uneven. It took me quite a while to get up to the top, but I was rewarded by magnificent 360° views of Richmond and the surrounding countryside.

In the Great Hall of the Keep

Culloden Tower viewed from Richmond Castle.

The top of the Keep

Leaving Richmond, we headed towards Easby Church and Abbey. The Parish Church of St Agatha of Easby is within the grounds of the Abbey. Some parts of this church were completed in the late 12th century. There are remnants of some paintings which are dated to the 13th century. Although there is not really much left of the abbey, it is still worth a visit.

Easby Parish Church

The Lectern (I thought it looked rather like a dovecote!)

These words are Isaiah 56:4-7. I'm not certain as to why someone chose those particular verses for the wall!
"For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, and choose what pleases me, and hold fast my covenant, To them I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off."

We could not have asked for better weather!

This, and all the windows of the abbey, would have been filled with wonderful stained-glass. So much was lost because of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries.

There were a few architectural embellishments left for us to see.

We were due to visit Jervaulx Abbey next but, reluctantly, we decided to cancel that expedition in order to have time to explore Fountains Abbey properly. This abbey is one of the largest, best preserved and, in my opinion, most beautiful abbeys in England. For these reasons, although we visited the abbey as part of our trip in 2016, we went again today. We were not disappointed. The ruins looked magnificent in the late afternoon sun and we had the place almost to ourselves.

Fountains Hall was built between 1598 and 1604. Some of the stonework was taken from the abbey.

Only three rooms of Fountains Hall were open to the public.

The West Door of the Abbey Church

This is an aisle in the Abbey Church.

This is where the High Altar would have been. The sky is almost as magnificant as the ruins!

A few of the architectural decorations escaped destruction.

The ruins of the abbey are in a magnificent garden which has been given "World Heritage" listing.

This is the Muniment Room in which all the abbey's important documents and deeds were kept. It is directly above "The Warming Room" which, as the name suggests, kept this room warm. Note the floor tiles. These are original.

An inhabitant of the Abbey

A view of the Cloisters

Another view of the Cloisters

The Cellarium was where food and supplies were kept.

The tower was obe of the last parts of the abbey to be built.

This can be seen high up on the tower.

Another of the locals

A last look

We spotted this pheasant by the path as were leaving the Abbey

After we checked in to our accommodation, The George Carvery, we enjoyed a hearty roast meal in the restaurant before returning to our room for the night.

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