The ‘Rye Valley Abbey’ internal exhibition explores the relationship between Rievaulx (which means ‘Rye valley’) Abbey and the river Rye, through images and artefacts. The exhibition explores the history of the Rye Valley and in particular the changes made to the watercourses in the valley and by the building of Rievaulx Abbey in 1132 and throughout its occupation until 1538.
This exhibition is complemented with interpreting modern day conservation challenges and promote the work of the Ryevitalise project to restore the waterways and their natural habitat. Objects from English Heritage collections from Northern monastic sites illustrating all aspects of water use and engineering will be on public display for the first time. Visitors will be able to explore the wider site with an additional layer of interpretation engaging them with the historic and modern Rye Valley landscape and environmental issues.
Working with partners at English Heritage, we wanted to show case how the River Rye has impacted the landscape and its habitants throughout the centuries. The river is the life blood for many communities but faces many pressures from poor water quality, loss of healthy habitats and the threat from invasive pests and disease. Through this exhibition we want to reconnect people to the history and science of the landscape.