Explore the cottage
Discover Rievaulx Abbey
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".Find out more
This was our first stay in an English Heritage Cottage and it was an excellent experience. The Welcome Hamper was wonderful, even bowls for the dog!
We had a wonderful stay in a delightful cottage. We were very impressed with everything having stayed in National Trust and Landmark Trust properties we had low expectations - you surpassed all expectations by a country mile!
Lovely cottage in a stunning location - our second visit and hopefully not our last
We really enjoyed our second stay at Refectory Cottage we particularly enjoy the access to Rievaulx Abbey after hours and think the welcome hamper is spot on.
Discover England's rich history and book your holiday now.
Have a question about your booking? Contact the Bookings Team on 0370 333 1187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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