The Studley Royal Water Garden is a peaceful oasis of tranquility and luxury.
This garden, built by the Studley family in the 17th century, features an impressive range of statuary figures that are believed to date back to Ancient Egypt’s Pharaohs. It also includes a variety of animals including lions and elephants as well as birdsong from robins and starlings.
This garden has been maintained by generations of the same family and was originally created with only two ponds. Today there are over 100 ponds which include an ornate koi pond and two fish ponds. You can also visit the museum inside the abbey grounds where they have many artifacts on display about various periods in history as well as paintings of medieval times when water power was crucial to society at large.
What is Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are a designated World Heritage Site in North Yorkshire, England. The site, which has an area of 323 hectares (800 acres) features an 18th-century landscaped garden, some of the largest Cistercian ruins in Europe, a Jacobean mansion, and a Victorian church designed by William Burges. It was developed around the ruins of the Cistercian Fountains Abbey. source
The History of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132 by Cistercian monks. The establishment of the abbey was the beginning of a long association with water. When King Henry VIII dissolved religious houses he said that he regretted having to take away “so goodly a thing”, but felt it necessary to provide the money for his wars against France. He did not pay much attention to the building until it became a ruin littered with mice and bats when he decided to restore it.
The monastery is where the first water garden in England was created, the rest of the story is a prime example of how good ideas last.
Our story begins with King Henry VIII who bought Fountains Abbey and its surrounding properties as a gift for his son, the future Edward VI. In 1553 Edward gave it to his close friend Sir Richard Cholmley. Sir Richard set about restoring the buildings and, in 1559, created the first water garden at Fountains Abbey. The garden was a series of fishponds, canals, and cascades linked by short channels and bridges. It was designed to provide an ever-changing display of water for the monks and their visitors.
The garden was a great success and soon became a popular tourist attraction. In 1606 Queen Elizabeth I granted Sir Richard a license to erect an ice house in the garden. This was a building with thick walls and a slate roof, used to store ice taken from the lakes in winter. The ice was then used to keep food and drink cold during the summer. Ice houses like this were common in large households and wealthy families for about 200 years.
The ice house was built underground on the north side of the main pond. The roof is covered with grass and weeds, which makes it very difficult to see from above ground. It remains as a hidden treasure below the green landscape of today’s Fountains Abbey Water Garden.
When Sir Richard died in 1619, his son, Sir Henry Cholmley, continued to look after the abbey and water garden. In 1626 he built a new water wheel to power the pumps that supplied water to the gardens. The wheel was made from oak and elm and had six buckets on each of the four paddles. It was about 30 meters high and featured a wooden statue of Neptune praying to the water god, Triton.
In 1688 King William III bought Fountains Abbey from Sir Henry’s son, also called Henry Cholmley. The new owner had little interest in maintaining the buildings and gardens, so they began to fall into disrepair. The water garden was abandoned and the fish ponds filled in with earth.
In 1811 Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden were bought by John Marshall, a wealthy Yorkshireman. He restored the abbey and began to recreate the lost water garden. Many of the original features from the 16th century were discovered and reinstated. The water garden was reopened to the public in 1818 and has been open ever since.
Today, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are popular tourist destinations, attracting visitors from all over the world. The gardens are a beautiful example of how a good idea can last for centuries. source
The Grounds at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water
The Grounds at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water are some of the most beautiful in the world. The abbey, which was originally founded in 1132, is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture. The grounds are also home to a number of beautiful gardens and lakes.
The Studley Royal Water Garden is a particularly popular attraction. It was designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century and is home to a number of beautiful fountains and lakes. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Fountains Abbey is also home to a number of other attractions, including a nature reserve, a deer park, and a number of beautiful gardens.
How to get to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water
bridleways and public footpaths
By way of cycle
On-road cycling loop with signs. On the coast-to-coast journey of the Way of the Roses
From Ripon, take the B6265 to Pateley Bridge. From the A1, follow the brown signs to Fountains Abbey. Harrogate is 12 miles north of us (A61). Please prepare beforehand as there may be local road restrictions.
Ripon is served daily by service 36 from Leeds and Harrogate. Only the 0945 and 1330 timings from Ripon Bus Station run the Dales and District bus route number 139 on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. source
Opening times at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water
Abbey- 10:00 am – 4: 00 pm
Visitor centre- 10:00 am – 4: 00 pm
West Gate admissions- Closed
Water Garden- 10:00 am – 4: 00 pm
Visitor centre car park- 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Shop- 10:00 am- 5:00 pm
Restaurant- 10:00 am – 4: 00 pm
Studley tea-room- 10:00 am – 4: 00 pm
Mill café- Closed
Deer-park- 06:00 – 18:00
Studley Royal car park- Open all-day
St Mary’s Church- Closed
Entry Prices for Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens
Under Gift Aid
- Adult- £18.70
- Child- £9.40
- Family- £46.80
- 1 adult, 2 children- £28.10
- Group Adult Minimum group size 14- N/A
- Group Child Minimum group size 14- N/A
- Adult- £17.00
- Child- £8.50
- Family- £42.50
- 1 adult, 2 children- £25.50
- Group Adult Minimum group size 14- £16.15
- Group Child Minimum group size 14- £8.08
What to See and Do at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are two beautiful places to visit in North Yorkshire, England. At the abbey ruins, you can enjoy the beautiful choir singing during special events like Christmas. The deer park is a great place to go for a walk, and you can also see the garden itself, buildings, and cafe/shop from there. The garden is especially lovely in the springtime when the flowers are in bloom. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even hike up to the top of Fountains Fell for a great view of the area. Whatever time of year you visit, be sure to enjoy the lovely scenery and peaceful atmosphere at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden!
How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
When you visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, be sure to follow the guidelines below for the safety and well-being of all visitors.
- When you visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, be sure to follow the guidelines below for the safety and well-being of all visitors.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer before entering the premises.
- Unless you are specifically exempted, all visitors must cover their face in crowded and indoor settings.
- Allow plenty of room for everyone, including our employees and volunteers.
- If possible, scan the NHS Test & Trace QR code when you arrive at the facility. This will help us track any potential cases of Covid-19.
- Please note that the toilets are open at the visitor center, by Fountains Hall, and in Studley Deer Park.
- You might want to bring a picnic with you to enjoy in the shade of Fountains Abbey’s ruins. If so, remember not to leave litter behind as it attracts vermin and will detract from your enjoyment next time.
- Bikes are not allowed at Fountains Abbey but there are cycle routes through the deer park.
- Please continue social distancing until Covid-19 risk has passed. This means avoiding crowded places, touching your face, and sharing cutlery or cups with anyone who is showing symptoms of illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc).
Other Places Nearby
1. Ripon Hornblower
Next to the college, you can find the Ripon Hornblower pub. The pub is one of the only pubs in Ripon that still has a traditional, working music club downstairs. Upstairs is a restaurant serving food and drinks with live jazz and blues music on Saturdays and Sundays.
2. Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral is located next to the River Skell near the center of town and it’s easily visible from many places around town through its open, gate-like front with pillars on each side. Visitors are always welcome to enter.
3. Markenfield Hall
Markenfield Hall has been the center of many political events in Ripon over the years because it occupies a central location on Market Hill. It’s also always open for visitors if they just want to have a look around inside at all the artwork that is displayed.
This is a restaurant in Ripon that serves traditional Spanish food. It’s located on Allhallowgate and has been serving customers for over 15 years, so it’s become very popular among locals and tourists alike. The owner runs the place with his wife and daughter who help him cook and serve the food.
5. The Sawleys Arms
This is a pub in Ripon that’s been around for a long time, even before the current building was built. It originally served as a coaching inn on the Great North Road, but it’s now located on Kirkgate near the market square. It’s a very popular hangout for tourists and locals alike.
6. Workhouse Museum
The workhouse museum is located in the old Ripon Poor Law Union Workhouse on Skellgate, which was built in 1848 when poor laws were first introduced by Parliament to deal with large numbers of people who couldn’t afford to live. The museum is open every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and admission is free. It tells the story of how workhouses operated and what life was like for the people who lived in them. source
Visiting Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is a must for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. The gardens are beautiful, the history of these sites fascinating, and there’s so much to do here that any trip will never be boring! With all this in mind, it’s important to follow some guidelines when visiting. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before entering premises or share food with others; cover your face if crowded or indoors; scan NHS Test & Trace QR code upon arrival (this helps track Covid-19); bring picnic items but don’t leave litter behind; bikes not allowed at Fountains Abbey but cycle routes through deer park available; continue social distancing until Covid-19 risk has passed by avoiding crowded places, touching your face, and sharing cutlery or cups with anyone who is showing symptoms of illness. If everyone follows these guidelines, we can all continue to enjoy the beauty and history of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden while staying safe and healthy!
Learn more about Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden