Jervaulx Abbey - The Story

Jervaulx Abbey is one of the largest privately owned Cistercian Abbeys in England.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Jervaulx Abbey was passed down through numerous families who owned Jervaulx Hall, after years of pillage and then excavations the abbey was turned into a romantic garden for the Hall before being opened to the public.

Major and Mrs Burdon returned to Yorkshire from the Borders of Scotland in 1971, they bought part of Jervaulx Estate, included in the purchase were the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey, both returning to their roots making Jervaulx a perfect place for retirement.



Following the death of Major Burdon in 1980, the Abbey passed on to his eldest son, Rae, who was in business in the south of England so allowed his brother, Ian, to manage the site.

At the turn of the century, Rae decided to sell his interests in Yorkshire and concentrate on his business in the south, Ian completed the purchase of the Abbey in 2001.

Jervaulx Abbey remains in private ownership to this day.  Ian and his wife, Carol, opened Jervaulx Abbey Tearooms in 1994.  Building up a great buisness with homebaking but also a great visitors centre for the Abbey.  It is quite a task to privately own and maintain a Abbey ruin, relying on the honesty box for donations to keep the Abbey going.  We do not recieve any funding from any other government or chairty body.

Ian and Carol had two daughters, Gayle and Anna, both of which are back in Jervaulx and running the Tearooms.  Bit by bit learning the ropes of the Abbey.  This will be third generation of the Burdon family owning the Abbey.  Celebrating 25 years of the Tearooms in 2019 and in 2021 it will be 50 years of ownership of the Abbey.


Please rememeber to support us by donating your entry to either the Tearooms or Honesty Box.