History of Studley Royal Shoot

Studley Royal has an extensive history and a rich shooting heritage. In 1132, the Cistercian monastery Fountains Abbey was established and operated for over 400 years, with the Dissolution of the Monasteries leading to its demise in 1539.


It was in 1693 that British politician John Aislabie inherited the Studley Estate, and between 1721 and his death in 1742 he devoted his time to developing and landscaping the gardens. The deer park and gardens, have since been referred to by UNESCO as works of ‘human creative genius’.


Studley Royal rose to prominence as a top shooting destination primarily due to Frederick Oliver Robinson, the 2nd Marquess of Ripon, affectionately known as Olly - “one of the greatest shots of all time” - who called the Estate his home. From 1867 until his death in 1923, he had diligently recorded shooting 556,813 head of game, and enjoyed entertaining royalty and aristocracy regularly at Studley.


In 1971 Jim Fenton purchased the sporting rights for the whole estate. In due course the National Trust acquired those parts of public interest. Today, the shoot continues as always.