Through My Lens: Fountains Abbey Windows

For Palm Sunday, I’m posting a photo of a wall of windows from Fountains Abbey. These windows are located on the bottom level of the abbey’s tower, which was built not long before the abbey was surrendered to the Crown. As I explained last Sunday, after the surrender, the lead and glass were removed from all of the abbey’s windows, allowing in the elements and causing the abbey to quickly fall into ruin.

The Crown sold Fountains Abbey to a merchant from London. Eventually, it was purchased by Sir Stephen Proctor, who used stone from the abbey to build a home for his family. It took from 1598 until 1611 to build that house, which he named Fountains Hall.

What was left of the abbey became the estate’s “folly” — essentially a giant lawn ornament. Such features were common in formal English gardens.

Since 1983, Fountains Abbey has been owned by the National Trust. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

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