As the Ripon & District Light Railway was never built, I had to get the bus out to Fountains Abbey on my second day in the city. To my surprise, I was the only passenger both on the journey out and the journey back.
There is far more to see than just the Abbey at Fountains Abbey. This is Fountains Hall, built in the early 17th century with stone from the Abbey and at first in the hands of Stephen Proctor. A Protestant and one of the new men who prospered in Henry VIII's reign, he was unpopular with his neighbours whose sympathies, privately not publicly, were still Catholic.
Later in passed into the hands of one of those Catholic families and then into those of William Aislabie, restorer of Hawksmoor's Ripon obelisk.
In the 20th century the owners, the Vyner family, hoped to offer it as a rural retreat for the Duke and Duchess of York. But when Edward VIII abdicated the Duke of York became George VI and had quite enough houses already.
The Vyners finally left in 1979 and today Fountains Hall is owned by the National Trust.
Near the entrance you will find this memorial window to Elizabeth and Charles Vyner, who both died on active service in World War II while still teenagers:
FOR YOUR TOMORROW WE GAVE OUR TODAY