The only remaining Gilbertine church still in regular use. The Gilbertines were the only English Monastic order, founded by Gilbert of Sempringham about 1131. Gilbert, born a cripple, died aged 106 in 1190, and was declared a saint within twelve of years of his death by Pope Alexander III. The Book of Gilbert, detailing the evidence by which he was made a saint still survives. Unlike almost every other monastic order, the Gilbertines had both men and women, and most of their houses were double houses, with both Priors and Nuns.
Old Malton Priory, founded 1149, was one of the few houses which was for Priors only. Following the death of Gilbert, it became the headquarters of the order for about 50 years. Despite the poverty of the order, it was one of the very last monasteries to be closed during the dissolution of the monateries, in 1539. Today, the church is less than a quarter of its original size, but is still a spectacular building both outside and in, with some mediaeval misericords, and also remains from an earlier saxon church on the site.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.