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Last of the Corn Mills

By Linda Tancs

In 1132, 13 monks came to England’s Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire to live a simpler life and created what now remains the most complete Cistercian corn mill in the country.  You can have a whack at grinding some corn and watch the water wheel go round.  But that’s only part of the charm of this estate, a World Heritage Site.  The locale lays claim to some interesting monikers:  The Temple of Fame in Studley Royal Water Garden; Anne Boleyn’s Seat (site of a decapitated statue before John Aislabie inherited the estate in the 1700s); The Serpentine Tunnel (a dark, winding tunnel cut through rock that was designed to spook guests of Aislabie); and the Temple of Piety (originally dedicated to Hercules).  There’s also the Hermit’s Grotto and The Way of the Roses, a 170 mile coast-to-coast cycle route passing through the deer park.

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