Fodor's Expert Review Studley Royal Water Garden & Fountains Abbey

Ripon Garden/Arboretum Fodor's Choice

You can easily spend a day at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, an 822-acre complex made up of an 18th-century water garden and deer park, a Jacobean mansion, and, on the banks of the River Skell, Fountains Abbey, the largest monastic ruins in Britain. Here, a neoclassical vision of an ordered universe—with spectacular terraces, classical temples, and a grotto—blends with the majestic Gothic abbey, which was founded in 1132 and completed in the early 1500s. It housed Cistercian monks, called "White Monks" for the color of their robes, who devoted their lives to silence, prayer, and work. Of the surviving buildings, the lay brothers' echoing refectory and dormitory are the most complete. One of the oldest buildings on the estate, Fountains Mill was built by the monks in the 12th century to grind grain for the monastery, which it did until 1927. Fountains Hall is an elegant Elizabethan mansion partially built with stones taken from the abbey. The water garden and Fountains Abbey are... READ MORE

You can easily spend a day at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, an 822-acre complex made up of an 18th-century water garden and deer park, a Jacobean mansion, and, on the banks of the River Skell, Fountains Abbey, the largest monastic ruins in Britain. Here, a neoclassical vision of an ordered universe—with spectacular terraces, classical temples, and a grotto—blends with the majestic Gothic abbey, which was founded in 1132 and completed in the early 1500s. It housed Cistercian monks, called "White Monks" for the color of their robes, who devoted their lives to silence, prayer, and work. Of the surviving buildings, the lay brothers' echoing refectory and dormitory are the most complete. One of the oldest buildings on the estate, Fountains Mill was built by the monks in the 12th century to grind grain for the monastery, which it did until 1927. Fountains Hall is an elegant Elizabethan mansion partially built with stones taken from the abbey. The water garden and Fountains Abbey are 9 miles northwest of Knaresborough, 4 miles southwest of Ripon.

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Garden/Arboretum Archaeological Site/Ruins Building/Architectural Site Historical Romantic Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Ripon, North Yorkshire  HG4 3DY, England

01765-608888

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey

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Rate Includes: £11, £15

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