Fountains Abbey; Lady Chapel
Photographer: Sedgfield, W. Russell
Medium: Photographic print
“…[W]e presently emerge into the full view of the noble abbey, with the fine pointed windows of the body of the church wreathed with masses of ivy; but its grand tower standing clear and majestic, and nearly as unimpaired as at the hour of its desertion. To describe the whole of the remains of this admirable ruin would require a volume. There are the chapel of Nine Altars, the glorious choir, the transept and side chapels, the tower, the nave, the cloister-house, the cloisters, and chapter-house – all demanding particular attention for their noble proportions, and the grace and beauty of their remaining arches, columns, and windows. The chapel of Nine Altars is wonderfully impressive from the loftiness and lightness of its arches, which cross it in prolongation of the clerestory of the choir, the central pillars of which are octagonal, but are now stripped of the cylindric shafts, with which they were formerly clustered. These are said to have been the work of a rustic genius of the village of Sawley, called in the charters of the abbey ‘Thomas Marmorarius de Sawley.’ Over one of the windows is a scroll inscribed in abbreviation with a motto which reveals the origin of the abbey’s name. – Benedicite fontes domino.”
Excerpt from “Fountains Abbey”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.