"Surprise View" Better known as Anne Boleyns Seat

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The name Anne Boleyn’s Seat was coined because paintings show that there was a decapitated statue on this spot before the acquisition of the Abbey by Aislabie in 1768.

It was during the late 18 century that the statue acquired the name Anne Boleyn when a link was seen between the decapitated state of the statue, Henry VIII's second queen and the dissolution of the monasteries, which affected Fountains Abbey. The statue was restored to its original position in 2001.

The name "Surprise View" is more apt. Georgian visitors would have been led to a wooden building and seated on a bench, sliding wooden doors were then opened to reveal an astonishing view of the abbey ruins in the distance. The sight was designed to cause a sharp intake of breath, hence‘Surprise View’.

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Comments (5)

Rosalyn Hilborne on November 24, 2012

Wow, it would certainly cause an intake of breath! It had to be a favourite. I will get up that way again sometime, I hope. And again, those autumn colours are stunning. (Are you hiring him out yet?!) Cheers, Rosa.

Neil Grimwood on November 25, 2012

Hi Rosa, its certainly a stunning view,the actual building is behind me undergoing restoration we had quite an interesting chat with the craftsman. As its you Rosa you can have him on a freebie, thanks for calling in...Cheers to you too...Neil.

Neil Grimwood on November 26, 2012

I can think of a couple Ian but i do very much appreciate your opinion. As you say,it is a great viewpoint,i just wonder for how much longer though, those trees keep growing, will they be trimmed to preserve the view???

Thanks very much Ian.

Geezer Vz on November 27, 2012

Beautiful picture, Neil, but when I read the title I was a little sad thinking about what happened to Anne Boleyn. Another reminder that life in this world is not always fair. But I'll try to put that out of my mind and enjoy the beautiful colors in the photo. Like!

Did you make any pictures of the workers and the restoration work. That sort of thing is always interesting.

Best wishes.


Neil Grimwood on November 27, 2012

Hello Guy, unfortunately Anne..and others lived in difficult and sometimes dangerous times and old Henry V111 had a lot to answer for. Anyway, i'm pleased you like the picture, as for pictures of the restoration, no we didn't take any. Its a small timber building with a seated area and the land drops away sharply right from where i was stood,could have been difficult to find a viewpoint.

Best wishes to you Guy and thanks for dropping in...Neil.

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Photo taken in Lindrick with Studley Royal and Fountains, North Yorkshire HG4, UK

Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 23, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Neil Grimwood
    • Camera: SONY DSLR-A300
    • Taken on 2012/11/05 13:46:21
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 70.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash