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Tours > Monastic Yorkshire > Studley Royal Church

Studley Royal Church
Three miles south-west of Ripon

Studley Royal Church These days, Fountains Abbey is just a ruin but the estate in which it stands has its own church at the start of the long avenue, where there are spectacular views of Ripon Cathedral at the far end. You can walk down from the abbey car park or drive to the hidden parking through the village of Studley Roger, which is slightly closer.

This building is one of the masterpieces of William Burges, the greatest Gothic revival architect of Victorian England. He is best known for his magical work at Castell Coch and Cardiff Castle in South Wales. Built in the 1870s for the Marquis of Ripon, the exterior and nave of Studley are not particularly inspiring, but the chancel and sanctuary are something else. Here you are surrounded by bright colours and gold leaf and the most beautiful of religious imagery. From the angel decorated domed ceiling to the tiny parrots in the tracery above the choir stalls, Burges recalls a lost medieval art that would have graced many of the monastic churches of Yorkshire where now only grey stones remain.

The church is owned by English Heritage and run by the National Trust with Free Entry.

Next Stop: Ripon Cathedral

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