Sandstone at Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
Building Image
      Fountains Abbey is a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1132. The buildings (some of which are shown above) were built from Carboniferous sandstone quarried on-site from outcrops (below) in wall of the valley in which the abbey sits. Many of the sandstone blocks (below) display cross-bedding resulting from the migration of dunes and ripples during deposition of the sand about 300 million years ago.

      The sandstone blocks were covered with plaster or other facings. Today there remain only traces of that facing, of which some can be seen in the image below. The abbey is roofless today, its lead roof having been stripped off in the 1500s after Henry VIII's dissolution of England's monasteries. Some the abbey's stone was also removed for construction elsewhere, including that of nearby Fountains Hall. Fountains Abbey is now a beautiful tourist attraction managed by the National Trust.

Outcrop Image
Stone Image


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