Discover Bolton Abbey
This rural village and estate amidst North’s Yorkshire’s beauty harbours historic treasures
Near to the Yorkshire market town of Skipton, the village of
Bolton Abbey forms part of an historic 30,000-acre country estate;
an area of outstanding beauty comprising woodlands and-heather clad
moors through which the River Wharfe runs.
The estate, listed in the Domesday Book, belonged in the eleventh century to Edwin, Earl of Mercia, but following the Norman Conquest was ceded to French nobleman Robert de Romille, whose family owned it until their line ended in the fourteenth century. King Edward II bestowed Bolton Abbey upon English soldier Robert de Clifford. By marriage the estate became the property of the Duke of Devonshire in the eighteenth century and is currently owned by the twelfth Duke.
The centrepiece of Bolton Abbey is its ruined Augustinian monastery, Bolton Priory, which stands beside the village. Established in 1154, this magnificent Gothic building remained in service until King Henry VIII's dissolution of monasteries in 1539. All but the nave of Bolton Priory - now the village's Parish Church - was abandoned. Stripped of its lead roof, its stonework exposed to the elements, the priory gradually fell to ruins.
Today, Bolton Abbey's visitors can enjoy eighty miles of walking trails through spectacular countryside; explore the abbey, church and a medieval hunting lodge; fish for trout in the river and meet the estate's traditional wood craftsman known, historically, as a 'bodger'.