In 1987 the National Trust commissioned Edward Cullinan Architects to design a visitor centre at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, high above the great Cistercian Abbey that attracts 380,000 visitors each year. The site builds on the tradition of John Aislabie's fantastic eighteenth century gardens at Studley Royal. Arranged around a courtyard, the building frames a view towards the forbidden 16th century Abbey tower. The open cloistered courtyard is sheltered by massive dry-stone walls and steep roof planes with recycled Yorkshire stone that link it into the landscape. The centre was completed in 1992.