© Mr Neil Holliday
KIRKSTALL ABBEY, ABBEY ROAD (south side)
LEEDS, LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE
Mr Neil Holliday
28 September 2005
26 September 1963
Date of last amendment:
26 September 1963
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SE2536 ABBEY ROAD, Kirkstall
714-1/18/888 (South side)
26/09/63 Kirkstall Abbey
Ruins of Cistercian Abbey. Founded 1152. Built of millstone
grit. The church is almost complete, with stone vaulted
transept chapels and rib-vaulted chancel and nave aisles, nave
and transepts are roofless.
Pointed arch arcade, clerestory wall without shafts. Remains
of tall crossing tower, heightened C16. Gabled west portal of
5 orders. North doorway with large crenellation motif round
the arch. Buildings on all sides of cloister garth, including
chapter house with vaulting on E; kitchens, brewhouse, warming
house and refectory on S; to NE remains of infirmary, abbot's
HISTORICAL NOTE: the abbey was founded by monks from Fountains
and the primary building work was completed by 1182. A
substantial proportion of this work survives, together with
the well-preserved Abbot's Lodging of the C13. Many of the
buildings were reduced to foundation level after the
Dissolution and by the later C18 the Abbey was regarded as one
of the finest picturesque sites in the English landscape.
Ralph Thoresby examined floor tiles and coffins at the Abbey
in the early C18 and during the C19 the Earls of Cardigan
employed custodians who cleared the rubble from various
buildings. The Abbey was bought by the City of Leeds in the
1890s and after consolidation of the walls the site was laid
out as a public park. Archaeological excavations were carried
out between 1950 and 1964 and in 1979 the West Yorkshire
Archaeology Unit began a series of excavations. The chancel
was roofed over to protect the vaulting in 1992.
Scheduled Ancient Monument.
(Yorkshire Archaeology, West Yorkshire Archaeology Service:
Moorhouse, S & Wrathmell, S: Kirkstall Abbey: Wakefield: