Studley Royal’s slavery links revealed in report
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Last updated Sep 23, 2020
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey.

The National Trust has included Ripon’s Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal in a report published today about links between its properties and slavery.

The report reveals how John Aislabie, who owned the Studley Royal estate during the 18th century, received a £20,000 bribe from the South Sea Company to promote its campaigns in the House of Commons.

Aislabie was eventually expelled from the House of Commons for his links with the South Sea Company, which sold African slaves.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A spokesperson for Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal said:

“Fountains Abbey will be exploring ways to embed the research into what we do and the way we tell the stories of the property.

“We want to give as many people as possible, particularly those whose ancestors may have been enslaved or whose countries may have been colonised, a chance to respond to the report’s findings.

“We are working to share stories of colonialism and slavery at relevant properties but we also want to take time to do this properly and well.”


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The trust said this information will be taken forward to offer visitors a more informed visit.

Another North Yorkshire property, Nunnington Hall, was also named in the report.