Picture Post: Illuminating art of tripping the night fantastic

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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BOLTON Abbey is one of Yorkshire’s best known and most picturesque locations.

On the banks of the River Wharfe in the heart of the verdant Dales, it is, by day, a place of breathtaking beauty.

The abbey itself is the ruins of a 12th Century Augustinian monastery and has become a popular landmark on the Duke of Devonshire’s 30,000-acre Bolton Abbey Estate.

The estate is home to over 80 miles of footpaths and visitors of all ages flock here, eager to explore the ruins of the priory and the surrounding landscape.

Families have been coming here for generations, enjoying the stunning riverside walks, woodland paths and riverbank picnics that have become woven into their memories.

The abbey itself has a fascinating history. The land at Bolton was granted to the Augustinian Canons in 1154 by Lady Alice de Rumilly.

There’s a story that she gave the Canons the land as an expression of her grief for her son, the Boy of Egremont, who drowned in the Strid.

This, thankfully, seems an unlikely tale as the boy’s signature appears on the priory’s deeds.

After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 the nave of the priory was allowed to continue as a parish church. All the other priory buildings were stripped of their lead roofs, leaving the stonework exposed to the elements.

Over time the stone structures weakened and began to fall down.

But rather than letting good stone go to waste it was taken away and today can be found in buildings up and down the Wharfe valley.

For most people, their memories of Bolton Abbey are bound up in warm, summer days or long winter walks in a landscape coated in frost.

But the priory takes on a different perspective at night especially when it’s illuminated by a trail of stars, as this photograph cleverly captures.

It’s a reminder that Bolton Abbey isn’t just a Yorkshire gem, it’s one of the jewels of the north of England and here we can see it in all its resplendent finery.

Technical details: Nikon D3s, 17-35mm Nikkor, stacked 240 exp @ 30secs f4.