Built in the early 20th-century the cottage is made from reclaimed stones from the abbey and was previously the home of the abbey's custodian. Spacious and comfortable, the cottage is perfect for watching the spectactular sunsets through the abbey's ruins.
Step out of the cottage and you're in the abbey grounds, where the Cistercians were part of the greatest ecclesiastical organisation ever seen and where Rievaulx Abbey owned lands all over Yorkshire. So, it's no wonder Henry VIII wanted to get his hands on it. The abbey was founded in 1132 and when St Aelred became abbot 15 years later, there were 140 male choir monks and 500 lay brothers. And what a life they led - rising at 1.30am in summer (an extra hour in bed was allowed in winter) they would work and pray for 10 hours before enjoying their first meal. The walk from Rievaulx to Helmsley Castle, another English Heritage property, can be done in less than an hour and taking your time is the best way to walk along the three-mile trek. Author James Herriot lived near Rievaulx and described the view over the Vale of York as: "the finest in England".Discover more things to do during your stay
About Your Stay
0370 333 1187
We have stayed in Refectory Cottage twice, and in my opinion it is situated in what must be one of the most beautiful locations on earth. The cottage is cosy, well equipped and beautifully kept and is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding countryside.