Benedictine monks established the abbey in this peaceful valley in 1802. Today it is well known for its boarding school, Ampleforth College. Visitors are welcomed at its Visitor Centre, which explains how the monks live, and to the abbey church, which was built between 1922 and 1961 to designs by Giles Gilbert Scott. The library contains a particularly good collection of oak furnishings by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson, and is open occasionally for guided tours. You are also welcome to explore the footpaths through the grounds. The abbey brews its own beer, and makes cider and other beverages which are available from the abbey shop.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Main body of church, not crypt
- Facilities: Induction loop, ramps, wheelchair available; disabled parking spaces at rear of abbey church
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Church: open all year, daily. Visitor centre: open Mon–Sat 10–4, Sun 11–4. St Alban's Sports Centre: open daily 7am-9pm. Abbey Shop: open Mon-Sat 10.30-5, Sun 11-4. Tea Rooms: open Mon-Sat 10-5.30, Sun 12-5.30
Also in the Area
About The area
Discover North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.
The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.
York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.
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