Fountains Abbey with Studley Royal Water Garden, four miles west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, is of outstanding historic and aesthetic importance.
Attracting approximately 300,000 visitors a year, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is the National Trust's most visited pay-for-entry property. Acquired by the Trust from North Yorkshire County Council in 1983, it was declared a World Heritage site in 1987.
Enjoy the sight of 500 wild deer in the medieval park and imagine life in the 18th century as you stroll around the elegant Georgian Water Garden with its canal, temple and surprise views.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a World Heritage Site and one of the most remarkable sites in Europe. Give yourself plenty of time to explore spectacular remains of this 12th century Cistercian abbey, rare monastic water mill, over 800 years old, an Elizabethan mansion, and one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian green water garden. Elegant ornamental lakes, avenues, temples and cascades provide a succession of unforgettable eye-catching vistas in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. St Mary's Church, built by William Burges in the 19th century, provides a dramatic focal point to the medieval deer park with over 600 deer.
The Abbey, Britain's largest monastic ruin, was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 by Henry VIII, the Abbey buildings and over 500 acres of land were sold by the Crown to Sir Richard Gresham, a merchant.
The property was passed down through several generations of Sir Richard's family, finally being sold to Stephen Proctor who built Fountains Hall probably between 1598 and 1604.
The Studley Royal Estate, a separate estate from Fountains Abbey until 1767, was inherited by John Aislabie in 1693. He devoted himself until his death in 1742 to creating the Water Garden. His visionary scheme to transform what had been a wild, wooded valley was completed by his son William, who purchased the Abbey ruins in 1767 and landscaped the Seven Bridges Valley and Abbey grounds
St Mary's Church
The Anglican church,also on the Studley Royal Estate, was the religious masterpiece of architect William Burges whose Gothic designs clearly verged on the late 19th-century Arts and Crafts Movement. Built for the first Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon, it has a highly decorated interior characteristic of the Anglo-Catholic religious sentiments of the Victorian period
Fountains Abbey is situated just 3 miles from Ripon on the B6265. The Abbey and Garden, Mill and shop are open daily all year from 10am - 4 pm(5pm from March to October). Closed on Fridays in November, December and January and 24/25 December. Excellent facilities are available for groups, children and disabled visitors. Contact: 01765 608888 www.fountainsabbey.org.uk Adult: £13.00, Child: £6.50, Family: £32.50