Last week we visited Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, and it was awe inspiring. What a feat of engineering and a work of genuine beauty! Originally founded in 1132 and built over hundreds of years, the architecture and stone craftsmanship are something to be marvelled at. Now set amongst Georgian water gardens and ornamental follies (some of which were designed to look like they were made from marble and yet were hollow - only made from plaster!), it made for a wonderful day out. If you have a chance to make it up there in 2018, check out the National Trust's current modern art exhibition celebrating follies (garden structures) and their ornamental construction.
Anya's favourite part was the tallest remaining abbey tower (Huby's Tower) that, because of its missing ceiling, perfectly framed the blue skies overhead and the fast moving fluffy white clouds. Sam was struck by the beautiful 14th century tile pavement relaid in the 1770s; it was a wonderful display of the captivating use of so many different tessellating patterns. And as for little Edith, she most enjoyed climbing over the ruined stones and rolling on the lawns by the lakes.