An online talk from the Gardens Trust (Mark Newman)
It used to be suggested that William Aislabie’s only contribution to the designed landscapes of Studley Royal was fulfilling his father’s aspiration to acquire Fountains Abbey. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Although he learned from and (unfashionably) carefully preserved much of his father John’s achievements, William demonstrated a second unique generation of Aislabie genius in landscape design. Over the course of forty years he would extend the designed landscape to many times the size of that he inherited, taking in several additional not-so-neighbouring locations and the landscapes between. He would develop further the innovative themes his father had explored and introduce many new ones besides, creating between them an extraordinary palimpsest of Georgian gardening tastes. William’s Studley Royal was a truly landscape of journey, intellectually, aesthetically and physically.