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MKM helps out at the Abbey


Builders merchant group MKM has helped restore pathways at one of Yorkshire’s most iconic heritage sites.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey has re-laid around 500 square metres of pathway within the abbey’s cloister complex, making leisurely strolls through the historic ruins a pleasure rather than a ‘puddle-jumping’ exercise.

Whilst many of the garden paths are tar & chipped, the gravelled muddy paths criss-crossing the abbey’s rooms were struggling to perform to an acceptable level for the huge number of visitors which the site receives. This in part was due to the lack of any effective subsurface drainage within the abbey precincts. As a site of international importance, raising the path’s performance levels whilst safeguarding the underlying archaeology was essential.

After a year of research, the Trust, in conjunction with Marshalls & MKM’s Ripon branch, agreed on the installation of the SUD’s compliant Tegula Priora, providing a drainage-friendly, aesthetic solution. Matching the abbey’s many and varied colours was another specific requirement, as well as echoing the shapes of the original medieval floor tiles.   

Tim Lyman, Landscaping Specialist at MKM Ripon handled the project’s product specification requirements. It is believed that the work carried out at Fountains Abbey can serve as a model for similar jobs at other heritage sites. He said: “As someone who has been enjoying everything Fountains Abbey has to offer for the past 20 years, I jumped at the chance to work on such a prestigious project. It has been a rewarding challenge, and as I hope everyone agrees, the end result is a huge improvement; meeting the very strict product specification requirements of the Abbey, delivering a crucial upgrade to the pathways whilst respecting the heritage of the site will benefit the thousands of visitors the abbey receives every year.”


About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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