I've just spent a rather enjoyable week in Yorkshire and I managed to visit 5 ruined Abbeys.
Whenever I walk around these places I can't help but want to see there before the dissolution.
Fountains Abbey was a Cistercian Monastery founded in 1132. Today it is in the care of the National Trust and a world heritage site.
Mount Grace Priory was a Carthusian Priory founded in 1398. Carthusian's live as hermits and each have their own cell (more like a small house). Today it is owned by the National Trust and in the care of English Heritage.
Kirkham priory was an Augustinian house founded in the 1120s by Walter l'Espec, lord of nearby Helmsley, who also built Rievaulx Abbey. This lancet at the east end of the church shows you how impressive this must once have been. When I looked at it I couldn't help but think of the many great churches we lost at the reformation. Can you imagine 600 years time seeing great churches like Selby, Beverley, Chirstchuch Priory and Tewkesbury as ruins?
Rievaulx is another Cistercian Abbey founded in 1132
Byland Abbey was a Savigniac foundation and was originally founded in 1135. It had a troubled start having to move 5 times. At one point it was at Old Byland which is near Rievaulx but Savingnac's and Cistercian's had services at different times and the bells were rung at different times and the monks never knew who was being called to service so it moved. Amusingly the Saviginiac's were absorbed into the Cistercian's and Rievaulx helped Byland establish itself at New Byland.