The beautiful Bolton Abbey photos taken by Les Hutton show why the Bolton Abbey Estate and Strid Wood walk are so popular with visitors from all over the world.

Photo of Bolton Abbey

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Bolton Abbey, technically a priory – an Augustinian Priory – was established in 1154 beside the River Wharfe between Ilkley and Burnsall. The owner of Skipton Castle at the time, Lady Alice de Romille, gave the land to Augustinian priests and their Prior to build a priory. After four hundred years, in 1539, the priory became a victim of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII.

William Turner, the nineteenth century artist painted some beautiful watercolours from pencil drawings he made when visiting the area in the summer of 1808. One such is the view of Barden Tower through the trees above the River Wharfe.

Barden Towers was a hunting lodge. Home to the tenth Lord of Skipton, Henry Clifford. It was the principal hunting lodge of the vast Forest of Barden.

Nowadays the priory is part of the Bolton Abbey Estate owned by the Duke of Devonshire. The woodland walk upriver from the priory to Barden Tower passes the Strid. Famous or infamous, the rock formations here constrict the flow of the River Wharfe through a deep, narrow chasm. The banks are often slippery and the water rushes through with great force, but the narrow gap has tempted many foolhardy folk to attempt to jump across – sometimes with fatal results.

For more information about the Bolton Abbey Estate visit the Bolton Abbey web site

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