AFTER the Reformation, monks from the Abbey at Westminster formed a monastery at Dieulouard in France, but were driven from there during the French Revolution. After they had been nine years without a home, Anne Fairfax of Gilling Castle gave the monks a house to the east of Ampleforth. The school began in 1808 and later the monastery founded another community in Saint Louis, USA and more recently one in Zimbabwe. The community provides Roman Catholic priests for parishes within Ryedale and elsewhere. At first, their arrival was regarded with a good deal of suspicion by the reformed churches in the area, but today many of the monks are active in the life of the local Christian community.
>The 19th century was a period of growth for nonconformist churches. Many of the existing buildings were extended and new chapels built for local groups who had been meeting in private houses.
In the late 1800s Vicar Gray of Helmsley built or rebuilt many of the local churches. He was renowned for training curates and he extended the vicarage to accommodate them. The building is now the National Park Office in Bondgate. Gray was one of the first clergy to use licensed lay people, or 'Readers', in the conduct of services.
Exterior and interior of Ampleforth Abbey
Page prepared by Ryedale Christian Council Autumn 2000. Updated December 2016
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