was founded as a Savigniac
house in 1134, but was brought within the Cistercian family following
the absorption of the Savigniac Congregation in 1147. By the late
twelfth century Byland, Fountains and Rievaulx were
described as 'the three shining lights of the North’ .
community of Byland started as a colony of monks sent from Furness,
to Calder, Cumberland, in
1134, but moved to several locations before finally settling
at the present site, near the village of Coxwold. Most of the
buildings were complete upon the monks’ arrival and
the abbey church was one of the largest and most impressive in
settled the community prospered and was especially renowned for
sheep-rearing and the export of wool.
Today, the abbey remains include one of the
largest cloisters in England, which was glazed in the fifteenth
to keep out the cold. Excavation has recovered stunning thirteenth-century
floor tiles in the church, as well as the only stone lecturn
base in England. Byland’s altar is now at Ampleforth Abbey.
In this section you can read about the history of
the abbey, the buildings and
lands. You will soon be able to take
a tour of the site and three-dimensional reconstructions of the