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Once a home for the King when he visited Yorkshire, but now its ruins are all that remain

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Intricate Detailing
Peaceful Open Space
Ruined Walls
York has many buildings that are centuries old, but unfortunately, over that length of time not everything can survive. St. Mary's Abbey was built in medieval England, but now its ruins are all that remain.
The first abbey to be built here dates from nearly a millennium ago. It was completed in 1055 and dedicated to St. Olave, a Norwegian king who helped spread Christianity throughout Scandinavia. Less than a century later, a riot left the building destroyed. A new abbey was constructed in its place, and this was the one which eventually became the ruins we can see today.
The abbots at St. Mary's were known for their unusual wealth. Their abbey was probably the richest in the entire North, which is why they built it in such a flamboyant style. It's a shame that you can't see the building as it was - but if you look closely at the parts which still stand, you can still see some of the intricate detailing across the walls.
In fact, the rich abbots probably should have built a simpler building but they were notorious for spending their money frivolously. They became the subject of many medieval ballads about Robin Hood, in which they were the evil villains. In the songs, Robin and his Merry Men would trick them out of their money, and give it to the poor.
In the end, Henry VIII banned all monasteries, and St. Mary's was turned into a home for the King when he visited Yorkshire. After he died, the building slowly fell into disuse, and eventually crumbled from neglect.
Around the abbey, several other buildings are still standing, such as the old Abbot's house, and the Hospitium. York is a city full of ancient architecture, and the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey lie as a reminder of just how much time has passed since it all began.
Visitor Information
The Abbey is located in the Museum Gardens, which are open daily 8am to 8pm (winter 8am to 5.30pm) . Entry is FREE.

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