Studley Royal deer park and St Mary's church

View of Ripon Cathedral from the Deer Park at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

The evocative ruins of the Cistercian abbey are set beside the grounds of Studley Royal, a medieval deer park in Yorkshire. Little wonder it was declared Yorkshire’s first World Heritage Site.

Studley Royal deer park is a much-loved part of the estate; home to over 500 wild Red, Fallow and Sika deer. The Deer Park once contained the Tudor manor house known as Studley Royal House – but this was largely destroyed by fire in 1716 and so was rebuilt about 50 years later in the grand Palladian style. Sadly, this house too was damaged by fire in 1946. The building was entirely demolished shortly afterwards.

Marvel at the view of Ripon Cathedral from St Marys Church
View of Ripon Cathedral from the Deer Park at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
Marvel at the view of Ripon Cathedral from St Marys Church

Today all that remains to remind us of the house is the impressive stable block, built between 1728 and 1732, which is now a private residence. 

The Deer Park also contains a large variety of ancient trees – many are over 300 years old. The lime tree avenue leads the eye down through the deer park to the original entrance to the estate and all the way to Ripon Cathedral.

St Mary's Church

The religious fervour of the Victorians is displayed in the richly decorated high Anglican church of St Mary’s a religious masterpiece of architect William Burges.

The richly decorated Victorian Gothic church was commissioned in 1870 by the first Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon to commemorate the Marchioness’ brother who had been allegedly murdered in Greece. 

Look out for the brightly coloured parrots carved into the wood inside the church.

St Mary's Church sits at the top of the deer park with a spectacular view down into Ripon.
St Marys Church in autumn
St Mary's Church sits at the top of the deer park with a spectacular view down into Ripon.

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