Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
The finest Cistercian monastic ruin in Europe, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park
For centuries people have been drawn to this inspiring place.
From humble beginnings the magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world.
When the socially ambitious John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design.
Green lawns stretch down to the riverside, a perfect spot for a picnic. Riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees; limes, oaks, and sweet chestnuts.
One-of-a-kind, this special place is now recognised as a World Heritage Site.