Byland Abbey

Byland Abbey
General view of the ruins (c) English Heritage
Byland Abbey - General view of the ruins (c) General view in the snow - General view in the snow (c) View from the south transept through to ambulatory - View from the south transept through to ambulatory (c)

Byland was one of the great Yorkshire Cistercian abbeys, housing at its zenith well over 200 monks and lay brothers. Much of its huge cathedral-sized church survives, including the whole north side and the greater part of the 13th century west front. The mixture of rounded Romanesque and pointed Gothic arches shows how architectural styles changed and reveals that Byland was one of the earliest Gothic buildings in the north. its great circular rose window, now surviving only in part, was probably the model for the rose window of York Minster. The museum displays colourful interpretation panels together with archaeological finds from the site, giving insight into monastic life. Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle are within reasonable travelling distance. The Abbey Inn, a gastro pub overlooking Byland Abbey, was originally built within the monastic precinct on the site of medieval buildings and used as a farmhouse. It was converted to a pub in the 20th century and now offers high quality English food, using the best of local ingredients -

What are the opening times?

DatesOpening TimesOpening Days
1 Apr - 31 Jul11am-6pmMon, Thu, Fri, Sat, & Sun.
1-31 Aug11am-6pmMon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, & Sun.
1-30 Sep11am-6pmMon, Thu, Fri, Sat, & Sun.

How much does it cost?

English Heritage Members:

How do I get there?

North Yorkshire - YO61 4BD
Road Access:
2 miles S of A170, between Thirsk and Helmsley; near Coxwoldvillage.
Train Access:
Thirsk 10 miles
Bus Access:
Stephensons 31/X, Moorsbus M15 York-Helmsley
01347 868614 (Byland Abbey) 01347 868204 (Abbey Inn)

What facilities are available?

Facilities Available:
Suitable for people with disabilitiesMuseumEducationGuidebooksDogs allowed on leadsPicnic areaHazardousFamily LearningAdmission free for Overseas Vistor Pass holdersRestaurant
Facilities Details:
Toilets: Adapted WC in main car park, reached via small concrete ramp.
Museum: One step.
Refreshments: Abbey Inn has level access and also has outdoor tables and chairs. Picnics welcome in abbey grounds.
Access to abbey and grounds: Via smooth grass. Custodians will advise wheelchair users of a route around the ruins which avoids steps. Benches provided. NB Some grass areas may be marshy in wet weather.
70m from main car park (behind Abbey Inn) to entrance; 20m from smaller car park. Main car park has loose gravel. Disabled visitors may be set down at entrance gate, but beware passing cars.
Visually Impaired Visitors:
Carved stonework to touch in museum.

What facilities are available for groups?

Group Discount:
15% discount for groups of 11 or more plus a free place for every additional 20 paying passengers. Free entry for coach driver and tour leader
Coach Parking Facilities:
Please contact the Visitor Operations Site Supervisor on ++44 (0)1347 868614.
Group Booking:
As there is no parking on site, please use Abbey Inn car park (100 metres) which has room for 1 coach.
Average Length of Visit:
45 minutes.

Further Info

The updated museum now houses archaeological site finds, including intricate stonework and decorative tiles, plus new graphic interpretation panels. There is also a range of new family-friendly books and activities. The Abbey Inn, a gastro-pub adjoining the Abbey, is now in the care of English Heritage.
Parking at Abbey Inn. Toilets at Abbey Inn.