Restoring the river walls

Work taking place to repair river walls at Fountains Abbey

All those years ago when the monks first came to this secluded valley they decided to move the river. This wasn't an idle decision, but a very canny one. By moving and channeling it where they wanted they were able to build Fountains mill to process their grain harvests and to allow for fresh water straight to the infirmary.

So they set about diverting the river but the years and many floods later the water was taking its toll on the river banks and the walls built to support it. This, on occasion, has lead to collapses of the path or stretches of bank. As part of our aim to look after and restore this ancient place, work has been taking place to gradually strengthen and protect the river banks to prevent this from happening in the future.

Placing the concrete supporting blocks into the river wall
Placing the concrete supporting blocks into the river wall
Placing the concrete supporting blocks into the river wall
Laying the facing stone over the concrete supporting blocks
Laying the facing stone over the concrete supporting blocks
Laying the facing stone over the concrete supporting blocks

The restoration of the river walls is now in its fourth year, with previous years working on stabilising the southern bank and De Grey's walk. The work that has taken place this year has moved back to rebuild and support the east green bank.

This year we were thrilled to have the option of a much smaller concrete supporting block. This was good news because it meant we did not need to dig the bank back as much as with previous work. In the below picture you can see the construction team starting to lay the facing stone over the concrete supporting blocks.

The river wall restored and strong
The finished river wall
The river wall restored and strong

To fix and restore the river walls cost £50,000. We couldn't do it without the support of our members, volunteers, donors and visitors. Thank-you!

Fixing the river bank

The second phase of work on the river banks of 2018 involves restoring the bank below De Grey's walk, which slipped in the past couple of years due to water erosion. This has begun and will take four weeks. 

We couldn't do it without you

Every time a National Trust member shows their card on their way in, it directly generates a payment which contributes to our work here at Fountains Abbey.

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