'Arch of the Great Tower, Fountains Abbey', 1854.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Roger Fenton (1819-1869) of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire. The ruins of this Cistercian abbey, founded in 1132, are the largest in Britain. Two figures stand beneath the arch of the great tower. Fenton often placed people within his landscape and architectural photographs, offering a sense of scale and narrative. Following the growth of the railways in Britain in the mid nineteenth century travel became much easier and more affordable. Fenton photographed many popular tourist attractions and beauty spots. He was a founding member of the Royal Photographic Society and one of the most influential photographers of the 1850s. He is best known as one of the first war photographers, from his work in the Crimea in 1855.