At the time of the Reformation, the Church owned between one-third and one-fifth of all land in England, and the Crown was undergoing financial problems. In the mid 1530's, under Cromwell, the Crown took hold of the abbeys and sold much of the property; many hundreds of Abbeys were burned, along with the books and artwork they contained. We visited Fountains Abbey, a World Heritage Site in Yorkshire, England, on a cold November day; the ground was covered with sparkling, crunchy frost, and the sky was pale and still. This is the largest ruined abbey in the country. The 800 acre site also includes beautiful Georgian water gardens and pleasant walking paths.