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The evocative and immense remains of the abbey church, as well as other monastic buildings, stand as a memorial to the white-robed Cistercian monks who once lived and worked here, making Rievaulx one of the wealthiest monasteries in medieval England. The monastery was founded in 1132 and at one time supported a community of 600. It was dissolved in 1538. There is a fascinating exhibition on site.
Tip - there is a good circular walk which takes in Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey and Rievaulx Terrace.