SE2769 : Church of St Mary, Studley Royal

taken 1 year ago, near to Aldfield, North Yorkshire, Great Britain

Church of St Mary, Studley Royal
Church of St Mary, Studley Royal
Church built 1871-78 by William Burges for the first Marquis of Ripon. It is built of fine-grained grey limestone obtained from the Morcar quarry near Markenfield Hall and sandstone from another local quarry, at Cat Crag, near Aldfield. The interior is of creamy white limestone from Lord Ripon's own quarries. The roof is of grey slate. There is a two-stage west tower with a spire; a four-bay nave with clerestory, aisles and south porch and a 2-bay chancel. The church has been described as a masterpiece of High Victorian architecture in an elaborate Early English style.
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On the left is the Obelisk (National Trust number 30040) comprising a pedestal approximately 3 metres high and the obelisk, about 15 metres high. It is set at the end of the long drive and had views to Ripon Cathedral prior to construction of St Mary's Church. It was thought to have replaced John Aislabie's funerary pyramid, a stepped pyramid of exactly the same height as the obelisk which William Aislabie had erected to the memory of his father John in 1742. However, Newman in a survey for the National Trust (1999) states that the obelisk was built for Elizabeth Sophia Lawrence, grand-daughter of William Aislabie, replacing a 'decayed' timber predecessor on the same site sometime after 1812, possibly erected to commemorate the victory of Waterloo.
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Church of St Mary, Studley Royal
St Mary's was built in 1871-78 as an estate church in the grounds of Studley Park. The designer of the building and its furnishings was William Burges; the client was the Marchioness of Ripon, whose body lies in a tomb in a chantry chapel in the south aisle.

It has been described as "a major work of the Victorian Gothic Revival", being in 14th century style. No expense was spared in its construction, with expensive stones such as Purbeck marble, alabaster and mosaics. Surprisingly for the time, no pews were included, which helps to give the already large building an extra air of spaciousness.

The church closed for public worship in 1970, at which time Studley Royal park was owned by the West Riding County Council. Since 1975 the church has been in the care of English Heritage, and the park, now a World Heritage Site, is owned by the National Trust. Both park and church are grade 1 listed (list entry for the church 1315267).

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SE2769, 146 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 12 August, 2017   (more nearby)
Monday, 14 August, 2017
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Religious sites  Country estates 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 2753 6929 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:7.1247N 1:34.8191W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 27584 69277
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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