The Temple of Piety's new groove

The follies of Studley Royal are an important part of the garden. They were designed by the Georgians to be fun and frivolous eye-catchers to enjoy as they wile away an afternoon throughout the grounds, with tea and picnics at each folly.

The Temple of Piety is possibly one of the most well known of the follies in this World Heritage Site. A classic photograph of the garden will show Piety's pillared front facing out onto neat lawns and serene moon ponds. It's a pretty old building, too - it's been a part of the garden right from the start, featuring in John Aislabie's original design from 1718.

Sketch of the water garden, including the Temple of Piety
Sketch of the water garden, including the Temple of Piety
Sketch of the water garden, including the Temple of Piety

This makes it nearly 300 years old so the temple was in need of a little bit of love and attention. This involves a process called lime washing and as summer came around it was time for the Temple of Piety to have a fresh new coat.

Why lime wash a building?

Lime washing a building is a brilliant way of helping to protect it from the elements. This is partly due to how permeable the stone is. Most old buildings keep the damp out by the sheer thickness of the walls and would have been ventilated to allow the walls to dry back out and prevent the building from loosing heat. By being such a permeable material the lime wash allows the moisture to escape back out into the elements rather than keeping it trapped within the walls and causing damp. 

Getting ready to make the lime wash for the Temple of Piety
Getting ready to make the lime wash for the Temple of Piety
Getting ready to make the lime wash for the Temple of Piety

To do a new limewash on the Temple of Piety cost £4,500. 

Not only a new makeover...

Early in 2018 the Temple of Piety had it's original 18th century doors restored. They were taken away by carefully chosen specialists for a little bit of love and care before being restored to their hinges on this iconic folly.

The Temple of Piety had its original doors repaired in early 2018
The Temple of Piety had its original doors repaired in early 2018
The Temple of Piety had its original doors repaired in early 2018

It cost £2,700 to repair these 18th century doors. 

Thank you

We couldn't do it without you

Every time a National Trust member shows their card on their way in, it directly generates a payment which contributes to our work here at Fountains Abbey.

Follow us on Twitter

Keep up with the latest news and events from Fountains Abbey on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook

Find out all the latest news, behind the scenes photos and what events are on by giving us a Like on Facebook.

Tag us on Instagram

We love photos - and especially photos of Fountains Abbey. If you snap some great pictures tag us or use #fountainsabbey. Follow us to keep up to date on what's going on around the estate.