© Leeds Museums & Galleries
- One of the best preserved abbeys in Britain, Kirkstall Abbey is a spectacular and picturesque ruin. Founded in the 12th centruy by Cistertain monks, it was closed down in 1539 by Henry VIII. This fascinating archeological site has been sought after as the subject matter for famous paintings by JMW Turner and Thomas Girton. Kirkstall Abbey is has recently undergone a 3.5 million restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage. This has included the opening of a brand new visitor centre.