Wild Flowers at Jervaulx Abbey

Yorkshire’s secret garden.

In the early nineteenth century Lord Aylesbury, whom owned the Jervaulx estate, he began some major excavation work in the Abbey, planting trees & flowers within the Abbey and grounds.  The Abbey became part of Jervaulx Halls Garden, some of the flowers you may see as you walk around the Abbey originate back to not only to the monks but also to the past owners.  You may notice on your visit a arch doorway, this is known as the Aylesbury Arch, it was used for entry to the Abbey from the Hall.

One of the many pleasing aspects of a visit to Jervaulx is to view the wildflowers adorning the walls, following a survey written by Yoredale Natural History Society, over 11 month period in 2009 over 200 species of flowers and trees were recorded so considering the amount of work that has taken place over the years is a remarkable achievement. As you wander round the site, we hope you will agree we have achieved our aim.  During the spring and early summer months, we leave a couple of areas to grow as a meadow.

Since 1971, the Burdon family opened the Abbey to the public with use of the honesty box.  We have completed many phases of restoration work, with the help from English Heritage in the past.  During these times of repair work, we careful removed any wild flowers and once the work was complete the flowers were replaced back to the same position.

Our aim for the Abbey is to create a tranquil space, allowing nature to grow and preserving the walls.  Soft topped walls help the water naturally disperse, birds nest within the nooks and crannies of the walls and many other animals and insects call Jervaulx home.  There are of corse some draw backs to allowing nature to create, which we keep a very close eye on to make sure things aren’t getting out of control.  We try to avoid having signs, as we want people to relax and enjoy their visit, we do have a guide book and a floor plan is situated at the entrance.  Also, plenty of information is available within the Tearooms. 

In 2019, we created a memorial walk, situated where the warming house would have been.  This is the first time that we know of that it was not been mown and stripped back, we are very excited to see what still grows here.  During spring and summer, benches are in place to sit and relax.

The Abbey is open dawn until dusk all year round, please don’t forget to leave your entry donation.  We do rely on this to keep the Abbey open to the public and safe for the future.