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Kirkstall Abbey walk

The White Shire Walk

Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery located in the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks from Fountains Abbey, under the patronage of Henry de Lacy, the Lord of the manor of Leeds. The abbey quickly became a prosperous and influential institution, owning vast lands and properties throughout Yorkshire. The monks engaged in agriculture, sheep-rearing, and cloth-making, and their wealth allowed them to build a magnificent church and cloistered buildings. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, Kirkstall Abbey was seized by the Crown and sold to a local merchant, who used the materials from the monastery to build a new mansion nearby. The site was abandoned and fell into ruin until the 19th century, when it was rediscovered and became a popular tourist attraction. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Kirkstall Abbey was extensively restored and conserved, and it is now a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument. The site is managed by English Heritage and is open to visitors all year round. It is considered one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in England and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

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