Kirkstall, Abbey of

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Former cistercian monastery near Leeds, England, in the ancient See of york. Kirkstall was a daughter-house of fountains abbey and thus in the line of descent from clairvaux. It was founded in 1147 by Henry Lacy as an offering of thanksgiving for his recovery from a severe illness. The original foundation was at Barnoldswick, on the Lancashire side of Yorkshire. In 1152, however, the monastic community was translated to its permanent site at Aierdale, near Leeds, and built there the abbey dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The abbey flourished during the later Middle Ages until the dissolution of all monastic communities in England in the 16th century. It was surrendered to henry viii on Nov. 22, 1540. The buildings that have survived constitute a fine example of the Norman Gothic style of the mid-12th century.

Bibliography: Sources. m. v. clarke and n. denholm-young, "The Kirkstall Chronicle, 13551400," The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 15 (1931) 100137. Fundacio abbathie de Kyrkestall, ed. e. k. clarke (Thoresby Society 4; Leeds 1895) 169208. Literature. w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (London 165573); best ed. by j. caley et al., 6 v. (181730) 5:526552. a. mulready and c. cope, An Historical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Account of Kirkstall Abbey (Leeds 1827). l. janauschek, Origines Cistercienses, v. 1 (Vienna 1877) 9394. l.h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:1521. d. knowles, The Religious Houses of Medieval England (London 1940), passim. d. knowles, The Monastic Order in England, 9431216 (2d ed. Cambridge, Eng. 1962) passim.

[j. brÜckmann]

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Kirkstall, Abbey of

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