The monastery of Carrizo was founded and built on its present site in 1176 by Don Ponce de Minerva and his wife, Estefanía Rammirez, Countess of Arminiaque, who owned the entire territory of Carrizo and many farms of the neighboring towns. The Countess herself, as a widow, led the first community without the title of abbess. When she died in 1183, she was succeeded by her daughter, who was a religious of the community and who governed it as abbess from 1183 to 1206. For over four centuries the primitive Cistercian observance flourished under a succession of 26 life-time abbesses, until 1616. Then there were over 250 years with abbesses elected for three years.
For three years (1868-1871), the community of nine sisters was forced by the government to leave its enclosure, the only time in over 800 years when Cistercian life was not physically present in the cloisters of Carrizo. The sisters took refuge with the Premonstratensian community of Villoria, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. On 15 May 1871, Abbess Dolores Franco led these same sisters back to Carrizo, but the community was governed by Prioresses from then until 1915. During those 45 years, the Cistercian nuns of San Miguel de las Dueñas generously gave two of their nuns to reinforce the community of Carrizo, which gradually became a flourishing community again. Thus began a new series of abbesses in 1915, which has lasted to the present day.
During the 30-year tenure of Abbess María del Tránsito Pérez (1929-1959) and inspired by the 800th anniversary of the death of Saint Bernard in 1954, the community voted unanimously to shift from the Constitutions of Las Huelgas to those of the Strict Observance. Carrizo was canonically incorporated into the Order on 3 July 1955.