St Mary's Abbey, is a ruined Benedictine abbey that lies in the Museum Gardens. The original abbey was founded in 1055 and dedicated to St Olave. It was refounded by William II in 1088, who laid the foundation stone of the Norman church, although this church no longer remains. Following a dispute in 1132, a party of monks left to establish Fountains Abbey. The surviving ruins date back to the rebuilding programme in 1271.
St Mary's was once the largest and wealthiest Benedictine establishment in the north and the abbey was one of the largest landholders in Yorkshire. However, in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it was closed and destroyed. You can learn more about St. Mary's Abbey in the Yorkshire Museum, located next to the Abbey.
The painting you can see was part of a summer walking tour of York, showing over 30 of the world's famous paintings in the streets of York. ('Salome receives the head of Saint John the Baptist', 1609-10. Caravaggio.)
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