Rievaulx Terrace

Price £6.50

Rievaulx Terrace is a 18th-century landscape garden owned by the National Trust, which makes a nice side trip for visitors to nearby Rievaulx Abbey.

Rievaulx Terrace was created by Thomas Duncombe III, son of Sir Charles Duncombe, 1st Baronet, in the 1750s. Duncombe was a wealthy landowner and politician who was inspired by the Italian Renaissance gardens he had seen on his travels.

The terrace is a long, winding path that follows the contours of the hillside. It is lined with trees and shrubs, and it offers a series of carefully framed views of the abbey ruins. At either end of the terrace are two small temples, the Ionic Temple and the Tuscan Temple. The Ionic Temple is decorated with paintings of Greek myths, and the Tuscan Temple is modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.

In addition to the terrace and the temples, the site also includes a number of other features, such as a grotto, a ha-ha, and a series of waterfalls. The grotto is a small, artificial cave that is decorated with shells and other natural objects. The ha-ha is a sunken fence that creates the illusion of a continuous landscape. The waterfalls are located at the bottom of the terrace, and they provide a peaceful backdrop for the ruins of the abbey.

A temple at Rievaulx Terrace near Helmsley, North Yorkshire (Photo: John Robinson [CC BY-SA 2.0])
A temple at Rievaulx Terrace near Helmsley, North Yorkshire (Photo: John Robinson [CC BY-SA 2.0])

What to see at Rievaulx Terrace

Visitors to Rievaulx Terrace can expect to see a beautiful 18th-century landscape garden with stunning views of the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. The terrace is lined with trees and shrubs, and it offers a series of carefully framed views of the abbey ruins. At either end of the terrace are two small temples, the Ionic Temple and the Tuscan Temple. The Ionic Temple is decorated with paintings of Greek myths, and the Tuscan Temple is modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.

In addition to the terrace and the temples, the site also includes a number of other features, such as a grotto, a ha-ha, and a series of waterfalls. The grotto is a small, artificial cave that is decorated with shells and other natural objects. The ha-ha is a sunken fence that creates the illusion of a continuous landscape. The waterfalls are located at the bottom of the terrace, and they provide a peaceful backdrop for the ruins of the abbey.

Visiting Rievaulx Terrace

Rievaulx Terrace is generally open every second weekend. Because of this irregular schedule, it is best to check opening times on the National Trust website before coming here.

Admission is free for National Trust members and £6.50 for non-members. There is a car park at the entrance to the site, and there are also a number of public footpaths that lead to the terrace.

Amenities
  • Free parking
  • Wheelchair access
  • Gift shop

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