Reinstating the Dying Gladiator

The Dying Gladiator in Studley Royal water garden

Conservation is at the heart of what we do - we work to keep them special forever, for everyone. As part of our aim to restore these World Heritage Site water gardens to their 18th century heyday, we're looking to restore a long lost statue...

This year the team at Fountains Abbey are working towards raising funds to replace a Dying Gladiator statue which mysteriously disappeared from the water garden in the late 1800s. This is part of our conservation aim to restore this World Heritage Site to its 18th century heyday for visitors.

The Dying Gladiator is a Roman copy of an ancient Greek statue, and one of the most celebrated icons to have survived from antiquity. It appears in world famous gardens across the world, evoked and reproduced by sculptors and artists for several centuries.

The Dying Gladiator in Studley Royal water garden
The Dying Gladiator in Studley Royal water garden
The Dying Gladiator in Studley Royal water garden

Restoring the garden to its former glory 

Just like a vulnerable work of art, the years have taken their toll on the extensive 18th century garden at Studley Royal. With every passing year its features have become faded and blurred; clouding the former glory of this distinctive and much cherished part of Yorkshire. Recasting this iconic statue and returning it to its rightful place by the moon ponds will be a fantastic way to start our fundraising activity. 

Why places matter

We've always believed that places are important and have a powerful effect on us. We want Fountains Abbey to be a significant place to our visitors, to help them connect with nature, our rich history and culture here in North Yorkshire. There's no doubt that Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a site that's worth looking after, which was recognised on a global scale when it was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1986.

Thank you

Help us to restore this World Heritage Site

This year is the 300th anniversary of Studley Royal water garden and to celebrate we are hoping to replace an iconic statue that's not been seen here since the 1800s...

Places are important

For ever, for everyone