Rievaulx is a tiny village near Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park. It is located in the previous inner courts of Rievaulx Abbey. Here, at one time, were the brewhouse, bakehouse and guesthouse for the Monastery. Rievaulx Abbey was closed in 1538 by Henry VIII and the grounds were bought by the Earl of Rutland. He continued the iron-smelting industry, which the monks had operated. The English Civil War brought this to a halt in 1647. The village then became an agricultural settlement below the Abbey and the Rievaulx Terrace and Temples. The buildings are mostly built with stones from the Abbey ruins. The oldest cottage in the village is the thatched 17th century Swiss Cottage.
St Mary’s Church, a Grade II Listed Building, is at the north-east end of the village, squeezed onto the valley side. It was originally the gatehouse ‘slipper’ chapel at the entrance to Rievaulx Abbey. The 13th century masonry is still visible. It was rebuilt by the Earl of Feversham as the village church in 1906/7, when a chancel and small steeple were added. It was restored in 2007 with a new roof. In a shelter in the churchyard, is a Memorial Cross to Charles Duncombe, the 2nd Earl of Feversham, who was killed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He is buried in the Cemetery in Flers, France. The Cross was made from wood from a blitzed farmhouse near where he died. In 1983, the former Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, took the title, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx.