Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Client: National Trust
Location: Ripon, North Yorkshire
Date: 2015

We were commissioned by the National Trust to test the feasibility of possible alterations to parts of the Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate.  We were appointed as part of a team including Feilden Clegg Bradley StudiosFeilden Fowles and the Landscape Agency.

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal is one of the finest and most important heritage attractions in the UK combining the colossal ruins of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey and the sublime 18th century landscape gardens.  The site contains numerous other buildings and structures that are important in their own right such as the Grade I Listed Fountains Hall and the magnificent St Mary’s Church by William Burges.

In recognition of the collective importance of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, it gained World Heritage Site status in 1986 as ‘being a masterpiece of human creative genius, and an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history.’

Within this sensitive context, our role was to work closely with the design team to develop options for the future use of Fountains Hall that could support its conservation, increase awareness and interpretation and add value to the overall Estate.  In parallel we were asked to consider the impact of introducing a new route from the main visitor centre to the Studley Royal entrance helping visitors to experience the water gardens and Abbey in the sequence intended when the gardens were originally created.

Specific services and outputs:

  • Policy and strategy review
  • Visitor information and commercial data analysis
  • Option development
  • Non-financial and financial appraisal
  • Funding advice
  • Delivery and implementation advice.