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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open
Abbey, Garden, Visitor Centre, Mill:
1st Jan - 31st Jan and 1st Nov - 31st Dec, Sat - Thurs; 10am - 4pm
1st Feb - 31st Oct; daily; 10am - 5pm, closes at 4pm Feb, Mar & Oct
St Mary's church: 1st Apr - 30th Sep, 12-4, Sun - Sat
Deer Park: All year, dawn - dusk, Sun - Sat
Please note: whole estate closed 24/25 Dec. Last admission 30 mins. before closing
Gift Aid Admission (Standard Admission prices in brackets):
Adult £9 (£8.15), child £4.85 (£4.40), family £23 (£20.90). English Heritage members free.
St Mary's Church: free
Parking for deer park £3. Minibus service from Ripon to Studley Royal Water Garden and Fountains Visitor Centre, June - Oct; Mon - Sat from 10.30am.
Yorkshire's first World Heritage Site. Cistercian abbey, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park; World Heritage Site; Dramatic ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian Abbey; Elegant ornamental Georgian Water Garden; Medieval deer park and Elizabethan mansion; Events, activities and exhibitions; Wonderful views of the Fountains Abbey ruins also the canals and water features down the valley. Designated World Heritage Site. Visitor Attraction of the Year (50,000 visitors and over) FINALIST in Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards for Tourism 2009.
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This famous garden encapsulates much of the early English landscape style, though none of the famous gardeners of the period worked on it. Typical of the Yorkshire spirit, Aislabie felt he could do it without them and it is clear that he and his son William, without question, succeeded. Starting at the formal Water Garden, which is the basis for John Aislabie's creation, the visitor proceeds past a sequence of curved and semi-circular ponds, with the beautiful Temple of Piety and a number of classical statues set in front of the wooded hillsides, and follows serpentine paths past other buildings and views down the valley.
On one side is the Banqueting Hall, on the other the Octagon Tower, Temple of Fame and Anne Boleyn's Seat. The latter features the famous surprise view up the river to Fountains Abbey. Tiers of trees, mostly native species of oak, lime and beech reach up either side of the valley and further down Aislabie accentuated the wildness of the landscape by exposing rocks and planting cleverly to reveal the contours of the land and twists of the river to produce one of the earliest examples of the Picturesque style in England. Finally, leaving by the East Gate, the visitor sees the towers of Ripon Minster framed in the gateway. A masterpiece of landscaping.
John Aislabie designed the garden from 1716 after his expulsion from Parliament following his involvement as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the South Sea Bubble affair. He continued the development of the garden until his death in 1742 and was followed by his son, William, who completed the project by acquiring Fountains Abbey itself.