Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: I

List Entry Number: 1256668

Date first listed: 26-Sep-1963



Ordnance survey map of KIRKSTALL ABBEY
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)

National Grid Reference: SE 25977 36085



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 lodgings. 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: 1987-).

Listing NGR: SE2599536087


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 464653

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
Moorhouse, S, Wrathmell, S, 'West Yorkshire Archaeology Service' in Kirkstall Abbey, (1987)

End of official listing