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North West View of Fountains Abbey

North West View of Fountains Abbey

Medium: Aquatint

Date: 1792

Shelfmark: Vol 45

Item number: 45.I

Genre: Topographical Print

View of the ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. Many distinct buildings were still identifiable including the Refectory, Church, Dormitory, and Cloisters. Fountains was one of the wealthiest and architecturally important Cistercian Monasteries. Its magnificant ruins were incorporated into the gardens of the Studley Royal Estate to which it was joined in 1768. The owner William Aislabie turfed the ruin, aiming to make it into a fashionable garden folly to show to visitors. John Byng visited in 1792 and commented 'What a beauty and perfection of ruin!!...every part in proper keeping...the ground of rubbish, of great depth, has been clear'd away (as it should be done, but never is, in similar ruins)..There has been much wonderfully done by the late Mr A., but there is yet much to do; as proper planting around it- and for the small river, which runs beneath the Abbey, to be greatly enlarg'd.'

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