The Young Pretender

Ray Clarke

Doncaster, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Taken with Canon 20D 75-300mm lens @300mm at Studley Royal. Nr.Ripon North Yorkshire Together with Fountains Abbey This is a National Trust and World Heritage site.

The development of the estate

John Aislabie inherited the Studley estate in 1699. A socially and politically ambitious man, he first became the Tory Member of Parliament for Ripon in 1695 and in 1718 became Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1720 disaster struck. Aislabie was a principal sponsor of the South Sea Company scheme, the bill for which was promoted by him personally. After this vast financial operation collapsed (the South Sea Bubble), he was expelled from Parliament and disqualified for life from public office.

Aislabie returned to Yorkshire and devoted himself to the creation of the garden he had begun in 1718. After his death in 1742, his son William extended his scheme by purchasing the remains of the Abbey and Fountains Hall. He also extended the landscaped area in the picturesque romantic style, contrasting with the formality of his father’s work. Between them, the two created what is arguably England’s most important 18th century Water Garden.

After William’s death, the estate passed to his daughter, then her niece. It escaped major reshaping and the garden and park passed to the Vyner family, descendants of the Aislabies.
[edit] Recent history

In 1966 the estate was purchased by West Riding County Council and was acquired by the National Trust in 1983. The Abbey part of the estate is currently managed by English Heritage on behalf of the National Trust.

In 1986 the entire Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Artwork Comments

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