Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian monastery ruins in England. UNESCO designated the abbey and the parkland in which it is situated a World Heritage Site in 1986 in recognition of it being a masterpiece of human creative genius.
The abbey was founded in 1132 by thirteen Benedictine monks from St Mary’s in York. They'd grown fed up of the extravagant and rowdy way that the monks lived in York. So they escaped, seeking to live a devout and simple lifestyle elsewhere. Over the next four centuries Fountains became incredibly wealthy through wool production, lead mining, cattle rearing, horse breeding and stone quarrying. This wealth allowed them to build a spectacular range of buildings.
Walking around the ruins today you can still imagine how truly awe inspiring these buildings must have been to the average Medieval peasant. The original precincts covered 28ha and were surrounded by a 3m high stone wall. This was in an age when most people lived in wooden framed houses with infill panels of wattle and daub. The monks, with lay brothers providing the muscle, erected a church which soared almost 50m toward the heavens - the Medieval equivalent of a skyscraper, today's secular temples of commerce.
This workshop is co-led by Joe Cornish which means we will split into two groups, with a maximum of five participants per group. The groups will swap leaders at lunchtime. This will give participants the opportunity to experience different teaching styles and approaches to photography.
We will spend half our day at Fountains exploring the amazing ruins and the other half photographing the wonderful specimen trees in the Deer Park. Joe feels that it contains some of the finest sweet chestnut trees in England.
There will obviously be some walking involved but it will never be a race. Please be prepared for the weather; a waterproof coat, walking boots, fleece and quick drying trousers are a must. The ground may be muddy in the Deer Park and around Fountains Abbey.
Fountains Abbey is owned by the National Trust and maintained by English Heritage.
Entry to National Trust Fountains Abbey
Lunch in the NT restaurant
Photo tuition from David Ward & Joe Cornish
Transport to venue
Full fee payable at time of booking
N.B. To comply with current Government advice, the workshop is strictly limited to 10 participants split between two leaders. We will follow strict COVID-19 safety protocols throughout the day. You must bring a mask with you. David Ward Photo Tours are certified Good to Go by Visit England.