Diary of Lady Amabel Yorke, 1784

Lady Amabel Hume-Campbell, 1st Countess de Grey, 5th Baroness Lucas (also known as Lady Amabel Yorke) lived from the 23rd January 1751 to the 4th March 1833. She kept diaries throughout her life and although she lived in Bedfordshire she often visited Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey. Amabel documented many of these visits in her diaries. Here she describes the ‘beautiful wild Garden’ created by Mr Aislabie at Hackfall and her visit to the ‘Chinese building’, a now lost folly hidden amongst the gardens at Studley Royal.

Thursday, Aug. th. 5th
Went over to Studley in a very rainy Day. The two Mrs Parsons, Mrs Humphries Lady Anne Cecil are with Mrs Allanson.
Friday, Aug. th. 6th
Good Morning, but rainy Evening. Drove about the Garden, & the Valley behind it, went up to the Chinese Building, & home by the Belvedere, pretty much as last year, but did not go into the Abbey of Fountains.
Saturday, Aug. th. 7th
Drove with my Sister’s open Chaise to Hackfall, a most beautiful wild Garden made by Mr Aislabie in a woody Bank that descends to the Ewer. The opposite woody Bank belongs to Lord Bruce. The principal Points of view are from a Ruin they have call’d Mowbray castle, & a Building at the Top call’d Mowbray Point. – Circuit from thence under a rocky Bank down to the River, then through
the middle of the Bank, then to a Building lowerdown call’d Fisher’s Hall where Mrs aislabie us’d to dine, then up by the Side of a little Torrent that falls in several very small cascades, up to the Top. – We had but one Shower there, but Rain in the Evening.
Sunday, Aug. th. 8th
Young Mr George Pelham came.
I took a View after church from the Chinese Building. Lord & Lady Gr: visited Mr & Mrs Wood.
Monday, Aug. 9th
Lady Gr: went to Milo Hill. I took a few views, walk’d about Fountains & in the Garden. Walk’d in the Park at Night.

Click here to go back to the ‘From Wilderness to Pleasure Garden’ exhibition page