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Manors & Country Houses

Barden Tower (15th century)
Bradford, North Yorkshire
In 1311, when Robert Clifford became the Lord of Skipton, Barden was a hunting forest with 6 lodges. In the late 15th century, Henry Clifford, 'The Shepherd Lord', rebuilt the hunting lodge in stone and made it his principle residence. In 1515, he built the Priest's House next to the Chapel. In 1659, Lady Anne Clifford restored Barden Tower. Following her death it was taken over by its rightful owners the Earls of Cork, but sadly fell into decline in the late 18th century.

Beningbrough Hall (18th century)
Beningbrough, North Yorkshire
This wonderful Georgian house is filled with 18th century treasures including portraits loaned by the National Portrait Gallery. There are beautiful gardens and parkland. All this is complemented by a Victorian laundry, excellent facilities for children, shop and restaurant.

Bishopthorpe Palace (13th-19th century)
York, North Yorkshire
The official house of the Archbishop of York. The Palace is built of magnesian limestone, almost certainly from Thevesdale near Tadcaster. It has masons' marks common to York Minster south transept (also built for him) and was finished around 1250. Archbishop Thoresby extended his private rooms in 1364-5 and in 1483 Archbishop Rotherham added a range to the north built of red brick decorated with diaper in vitrified brick which doubled the size of the residential quarters and improved the kitchens.

Bolling Hall (15th-17th century)
Bradford, North Yorkshire
A largely 17th century manor house incorporating a tudor pele tower, with a wing altered in the late 18th century. Splendid collection of 17th century oak furniture, and large windows with stained glass coats of arms. Bolling Hall is best known for its splendid array of North Country Furniture and for its huge window full of stained glass Coats of Arms.

Bramham Park (17th century)
Wetherby, West Yorkshire
This splendid Queen Anne mansion was built in 1698, and its famous gardens laid out over the following thirty years by Robert Benson, First Lord Bingley. 300 years later, his family still own and live at Bramham Park, and welcome visitors as guests to their home. See the fine collections of furniture, porcelain and paintings in the House, and stroll in the peaceful tranquility of 66 acres of formal gardens, unique in the British Isles. View magnificent displays of flowers in Spring and Summer, with ornamental ponds, cascades, tall beech hedges and loggias of various shapes.

Brodsworth Hall (19th century)
Brodsworth, South Yorkshire
The Victorian country house, now owned by English Heritage, has survived virtually unaltered since the 19th century with most of its original furnishings and decorations intact. The house, designed and built in the 1860s, has been carefully conserved by English Heritage. The patina of age has been preserved throughout the house and as a result the interior is both fascinating and evocative.

Burton Agnes Hall & Gardens (15th century)
Driffield, East Yorkshire
Burton Agnes Hall is a magnificent example of late Elizabethan architecture, lived in by descendents of the original family, the home is filled with treasures accumulated over 4 centuries, from the magnificent carvings commissioned by the first owners to the modern French and English paintings of the Impressionist schools collections in recent years.

Burton Constable (16th century)
Hull, East Yorkshire
Burton Constable is a large Elizabethan mansion set in a 300 acre park with nearly 30 rooms open to the public. The interiors of faded splendour are filled with fine furniture, paintings and sculpture, a library of 5,000 books and a remarkable 18th century cabinet of curiosities which contains fossils, natural history specimens and the most important collection of scientific instruments to be found in any country house. Occupied by the Constable family for over 400 years, the house still maintains the atmosphere of a home. The superb 18th and 19th century interiors include a Gallery, Dining and Drawing Rooms, Bedrooms, Chapel and Chinese Room. Outside the house there are gardens with statues, a delightful orangery ornamented with coade stone, a stable block and wild fowl lakes set in 300 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown in the 1770's.

Cannon Hall (18th century)
Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Cannon Hall was designed by John Carr of York and is set in over 70 acres of historic parkland which includes beautiful formal gardens providing a perfect setting for picnics or relaxing strolls. Landscaped in the 1760's by Richard Woods, the park is an ideal place for a relaxing walk or family outing. The historic walled garden adjacent to the main Hall dates from the 1760's and can be enjoyed by visitors all year round. For over two hundred years Cannon Hall was home to the Spencer-Stanhope family. The Hall is now a museum with collections of fine furniture, Old Master paintings, stunning glassware and colourful pottery, some of which are displayed in period settings such as the Victorian Parlour. It also houses 'Charge', the Regimental Museum of the 13th/18th Hussars (Queen Mary's Own), which is a must for anyone interested in military history.

Cholmley House (16th century)
Whitby, North Yorkshire
The Cholmley family acquired Whitby Abbey and its land after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 and lived in the abbey`s lodgings and the gatehouse until they built the Banqueting House. Costing the princely sum of 232,000, money for the development came from a fortune amassed from the local alum industry and Sir Hugh Cholmley`s involvement in building a fortified harbour wall in the English colony of Tangiers. During the 18th Century the Banqueting House fell into decay after the loss of its roof to a storm in the year 1790. The decay was arrested after the property and other abbey buildings came into the possession of the Strickland family, whose descendants still own the house today. They secured walls by fitting bracing arches in 1866, replaced when the property and abbey ruins were handed to the Ministry of Works in 1936.

Cusworth Hall (18th century)
Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Cusworth Hall is a fine example of an 18th century house set in a fine parkland. It has an excellent view across to Doncaster. The there is fishing lake at the bottom of the hill. Cusworth Hall is a popular venue for special events such as egg rolling at Easter time and musical events at Christmas. It was lived in by the Battie-Wrightson family for many years, and there is a display about the family. The museum is also known as 'The Museum of South Yorkshire Life'. The rooms contain varied displays such as trains and transport, Women at Work, Toys and Children's Games, Coal Mining, Farming and Agriculture, Clothes and Costumes, Wheelwrights and Blacksmiths, Entertainment, Photography, and Electronic Recording. In the past there has been a period bathroom and a beehive. (The first website below is hosted by a primary school that visited the hall; lots of great photos.)

Dobroyd Castle (19th century)
Halifax, West Yorkshire
Dobroyd Castle in Todmorden was built by mill owner John Fielden as a honeymoon home for his mill girl wife, Ruth. The objective was to create a building which would 'immortalise the name of Fielden' and which would be 'the most commanding object in the neighbourhood'. In 1995, Dobroyd Castle was bought by monks from the New Kadampa Buddhist Tradition for 320,000. The Losang Dragpa Centre, as the Castle is now called, offers meditation courses, weekend retreats and holds an annual open day. This summer, Buddhists at the centre were seeking sponsorship from local businesses to raise funds for the restoration of the Castle. Repairs to the glass ceiling and roof are required and the monks wish to convert a stable block, develop the garden, and carry out restoration of the Castle's interior.

Doncaster Mansion House (18th century)
Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Doncaster's elegant Mansion House, a focus for civic pride, has dominated the High Street for over two hundred and fifty years. It is one of only four surviving civic Mansion Houses in the country. The first was built by the corporation of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1691, but was demolished in the redevelopment of the town centre in the mid-nineteenth century. York began its own mansion house in 1725, followed by London in 1739 and finally by Bristol in 1783. The Bristol mansion house was built sloley as a home for the mayor, and the mansion houses of London and York provided accommodation for the mayor as one of their functions. Doncaster Mansion House, however, was designed as a place for corporate entertaining and, although there were several rooms to provide living accommodation, the house was never intended as a residence for the mayor in his year of office, although a few mayors made use of the rooms for this purpose. (Note: The website gives an extensive tour of the manor.)

Duncombe Park (18th century)
Helmsley, North Yorkshire
Duncombe Park is an impressive early-18th century house set in landscaped gardens and surrounded parkland.

East Riddlesden Hall (17th century)
Keighley, West Yorkshire
Be captivated by this homely 17th century merchant's house with a wonderful collection of embroideries, textiles and Yorkshire Oak furniture. Delightful gardens set against the dramatic ruins of the Starkie Wing with fruit trees, herbs and herbaceous borders. The Orchard Garden has old varieties of apple trees, swathes of bulbs and wildflowers, which bloom from spring to late summer.The house is full of mystery and ghostly stories and is waiting to be explored. Don't miss the magnificent 17th century oak framed barn in the grounds, the grass maze or Airedale Heifer playground.
National Trust

Folly (17th century)
Settle, North Yorkshire
The Folly is a striking and impressive 17th century house close to the centre of Settle in the heart of Yorkshire's Craven Dales. The Folly was built in 1679 by Richard Preston, a wealthy merchant. His new house, standing by the old main road into the town, formed the centrepiece of his estate in Settle and was undoubtedly built to make an impact. The Museum of North Craven Life occupies the South and Central ranges of the Folly.

Fountains Hall (16th century)
Ripon, North Yorkshire
Fountains Hall was built by Stephen Proctor between 1598 and 1604, partly with stone from the Abbey ruins. It was built for peace and prosperity, not defence, and has been attributed to the influence of the Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson. After Proctor's death in 1619, the Hall eventually came into the hands of the Messenger family. They were Recusants [Catholics] but outwardly conformed to the Protestant religious settlement: this enabled them to lead quieter lives and may have preserved their finances, but they were still deniedmuch social and all political positions. On the Fountains Abbey estate.

Harewood House (18th/19th century)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Harewood House has been the home of the Lascelles family for over 200 years. The Lascelles are an ancient family and one came to Britain with William the Conqueror. The stunning Paladian house was designed by John Carr of York in the 1759 and interiors were the work of Robert Adam. Much of the furniture at Harewood was designed especially for the house by Thomas Chippendale who was born at nearby Otley. Succeeding generations of the family have added fine art collections to the house. The 1st Viscount Lascelles collected French porcelain and Chinese celadon and commissioned watercolours by the foremost artists of the day. The 6th Earl of Harewood, father of the present Earl, collected Italian paintings whilst the 6th Earl's wife Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, was the daughter of George V. Princess Mary carried out restoration of the house to re-establish Robert Adam's designs. Her personal royal mementos are displayed throughout the house. Visitors can also see the gardens and a bird garden.

Hellifield Peel (14th century)
Gargrave, South Yorkshire
Hellifield Peel is a large mid-15th century crenellated tower house. It is said to have been built by Lawrence Hammerton circa 1440 - 41. Hellifield Peel underwent major structural changes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The east wall has a seventeenth century mullion and transom window and the windows on the north wall are Georgian. However, many of the original medieval features remain. Although Hellifield Peel is on private land a footpath runs past it, allowing the public to study this roofless ruin.

Hovingham Hall (18th century)
Hovingham, North Yorkshire
For over 400 years Hovingham has been the home of the Worsley family. The Palladian house was built between 1750 and 1770 by Thomas Worsley to his own design and is unique being entered through The Riding School.

King's Manor (15th century)
York, North Yorkshire
This group of largely Grade I medieval buildings is a vivid evocation of the past. Originally the Abbot's House of St Mary's Abbey, the King's Manor served the Tudors and Stuarts as a seat of government, becoming a school and residences in the 18th century. The history of the King's Manor weaves a continuous thread in the history of York since medieval times. Following the Dissolution of the monasteries, the Manor was retained by the Crown and allocated to the Council of the North. It became the official residence of the President of the Council in 1561 and was gradually enlarged and extended westwards. Much of the building work was done during the reign of Elizabeth I. In the late 16th century, under the Earl of Huntingdon (President of the Council from 1572 to 95), residential wings and a service building were added. Ashlar work in the Manor after the 1560s is of reused stone from St Mary's Abbey. The Huntingdon Room in the Elizabethan extension has an impressive plaster frieze with the arms of Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon. The Stuarts stayed regularly at the Manor en route from Edinburgh to London, and in their time a new U-shaped building created the present, curiously irregular first courtyard. The 17th century Council Chamber is now the Refectory. The decorative doorway at the main entrance is Jacobean. The building now houses several departments of the University of York.

Kiplin Hall (17th century)
Scorton, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Kiplin Hall stands near the River Swale in the beautiful Vale of Mowbray, between the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. The Hall was built as a hunting lodge in the early 1620s for George Calvert, Secretary of State to James I, later the 1st Lord Baltimore and the founder of Maryland, USA. Its design was unique in Jacobean architecture, with central domed towers on each side of a tall symmetrical pavilion in mellow red brick. Four families linked by marriage owned Kiplin for almost four centuries, increasing the estate, making changes to the building, and adding to its collections of fine paintings and furniture. Recent restoration work has brought the Hall back to life as a comfortable and welcoming Victorian family home.

Langcliffe Hall (16th century)
Langcliffe, North Yorkshire
The history of Langcliffe Hall is closely entwined with the history of the Dawson family who have lived there for most of the last four centuries, this being their main residence. But Langcliffe Hall was here before the Dawson family arrived. The local historian, Thomas Brayshaw thought the Hall may have originated as a Grange for Sawley Abbey (Salley) and certainly Sawley owned this property before the dissolution. It is thought that most properties in Langcliffe were obtained as a block on the dissolution of the monasteries by Lord Thomas Darcy. Later Nicholas Darcy 'sold' most of the land on 500 year leases mainly in 1591. The earliest date stone in the Parish is now displayed above the Hall's main doorway showing the initials of S (for Henry Somerscale) 1602 E.R.44., so the Hall is technically Elizabethan but the main early fabric is typically Jacobean in style.

Longley Old Hall (14th-16th century)
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Longley Old Hall is a timber framed Grade II* listed manor house. It was owned by the Ramsden family, the Lords of the Manors of Almondbury and Huddersfield, from about 1540 until 1976. Architectural evidence points to the oldest parts of the Hall dating from the mid 14th century to the early 15th century. The earliest specific reference found so far is an Inquisition record of 1574, but an entry in William Ramsden's Commonplace Book of 1544 refers to purchasing timber to repair his 'house at Longley'. The structure is a mixture of medieval, Tudor, Jacobean and Victorian building work. Parts of it were demolished at unknown dates and the timbers re-used in the later works. It is open for pre-booked guided tours at Easter, Summer and Christmas bank holidays, and by appointment for private viewing for groups of 12 to 25 visitors. For evening visits in winter the Hall is lit by candlelight and open fire. Individual tours or smaller groups are available by special arrangement.

Lotherton Hall (19th century)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
In continuous occupation since the 7th century, Lotherton takes its name from an Anglo-Saxon settler called Hluttor whose farm or 'tun' occupied the site in early times. By 1086 records suggest that a hall or manor house had been built here and, during the Middle Ages, a number of tenants are recorded as having lived on the site, including such well known Yorkshire families as the Nevilles and the de Hothams. Colonel Frederick Gascoigne, inherited the property in 1893 [and] extended and remodelled the house and gardens to create a charming home for his family. In 1968 they presented the Hall to the City of Leeds, together with its park, garden and art collections. These, along with items brought from Temple Newsam House and Leeds City Art Gallery and objects bought specially for the house since it opened as a museum in 1969 are what visitors to the house see today, a lasting testimony to an ancient Yorkshire family and support of the arts by the people of Leeds.

Manor House Museum
Ilkley, North Yorkshire
Situated within the beautiful surroundings of the Wharfe Valley, one of Ilkley's oldest buildings, the Manor House, has been converted into an attractive museum and art gallery. On the ground floor visitors are given a glimpse into Ilkley's past while the first floor galleries provide the venue for a regularly changing programme of temporary exhibitions. While being a major exhibit in itself, the Manor House also stands on the remains of the Roman fort of Olicana. Only a short section of defensive wall remains exposed at the back of the building, but Roman artefacts from the fort and surrounding area are on permanent display inside the Manor House, together with prehistoric artefacts and information about the development of Ilkley as a Victorian spa town.

Markenfield Hall (14th century)
Ripon, North Yorkshire
Markenfield Hall was built by Canon John de Markenfield, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Edward II, in 1310. The King granted him permission to fortify the house: the Scots were raiding England as far south as Ripon, where many were kicked and survivors taken as hostages.

Moulton Hall (17th century)
Moulton, Richmond, North Yorkshire
This compact stone manor house dates from 1650. It has a very fine carved wood staircase.
National Trust

  Neswick Gardens
Neswick, East Yorkshire
A fine country manor, which has been restored to its former glory, is Neswick Gardens that stands stately behind decorative walls and in beautifully cared for gardens.

Newburgh Priory (12th century)
Coxwold, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Newburgh Priory is a fine stately home in a superb setting with breathtaking views across wide lawns and a fish pondto the Kilburn White Horse in the distance. The house was the country seat for the Belassis family in the 16th and 17th century. Originally an Augustinian Priory from 1145 providing priests for the surrounding churches in return for gifts of land and money from the rich landowners. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell's head is entombed in a secret chamber within the walls! Belonged formerly to the Earls of Fauconberg and presently the home of the Wombwell family.

Newby Hall and Gardens (17th century)
Ripon, North Yorkshire
Newby Hall, near Ripon, is the Yorkshire home of Mr & Mrs Richard Compton. Featured in BBC television's 'Heirs & Graces', this beautiful late 17th century house, with much of the interior later designed by Robert Adam, was built in the style of Sir Christopher Wren. The house has a friendly, tranquil atmosphere. The main rooms contain some fine 17th and 18th century furniture; the long table in the hall dates from the Middle Ages. The parlour and the dining room have good 18th century plasterwork. King James's Room, where James II stayed in 1679 when he was Duke of York, has kept its 17th century appearance. The house has some fine paintings, and the hall in particular is hung with splendid portraits and hunting scenes. Family and other costumes are displayed in the library and in the best spare bedroom. These displays are changed annually.

Norton Conyers (14th century)
Ripon, North Yorkshire
Norton Conyers is a mid 14th Century house with Tudor, Stuart and Georgian additions. It has been the home of the Graham family since 1624.

Nostell Priory (18th century)
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
The priory, dedicated to St Oswald, was founded in the 12th century. The friars continued there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in the 16th century. The present building was constructed to the north of the old priory and was created over a period of 50 years from 1735 and involved two architects. Many pieces of furniture were made especially for the house by Thomas Chippendale to designs by Adam. Nearly every room contains examples of Chippendale's work. Nostell's art treasures include Brussels tapestries by Van der Borcht and paintings by such notable artists as Holbein, Pieter Breughel the younger, Van Dyck and Hogarth. A highlight of the Nostell is the six feet high doll's house, complete with its original fittings and furniture, that stands at the foot of the south staircase. It was commissioned by the 4th Baronet in the mid-18th century and is one of the most remarkable doll's houses in England. Family tradition maintains that it was the work of James Paine and Thomas Chippendale.

Photo courtesy of TourUK.com
Nunnington Hall (17th century)
Ryedale, North Yorkshire
Nunnington Hall has had a long architectural history. Most of the house appears to date from the late 17th century but records show that a house existed on the site for some centuries before. Inside, the elegant rooms are decorated in typical late 17th century style with moulded panelling and the doorcases have broken pediments. National Trust: The sheltered walled garden on the bank of the River Rye, with its delightful mixed borders, orchards of traditional fruit varieties and spring-flowering meadows, complements this mellow 17th-century manor house. From the magnificent oak-panelled hall, three staircases lead to the family rooms, the nursery, the haunted room and the attics, with their fascinating Carlisle collection of miniature rooms fully furnished to reflect different periods. Nunnington is also noted for its changing programme of temporary exhibitions and 100 per cent organic management of the garden.
National Trust

Oakwell Hall (16th century)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Oakwell Hall is a late-16th century manor house set in a tranquil rural oasis in the heart of the West Riding conurbation. Nestling close to the M62 motorway and just a few miles from the major cities of Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, Oakwell was immortalised by Charlotte Bronte in her novel 'Shirley'. With its historical connections, wide open spaces, wooded areas, ponds, streams, walks and abundant wildlife, is truly a countryside oasis in what is predominantly an industrial area.

  Old Manor House (15th century)
Barmston, East Yorkshire
The site of The Old Manor House at the west end of the village is now occupied by Old Hall Farm. The only parts remaining of the original house being that of the right wing. The house was built by the Boynton family during the reign of Elizabeth 1. The moat which surrounded the original house can still be seen.

Ormesby Hall (18th century)
Ormesby, Middlesborough, North Yorkshire
This is a mid 18th century mansion with 17th century wing. Set in 270 acres of parkland, the Hall has notable fine plasterwork and a restored Victorian kitchen and laundry. There are also interesting permanent model railway layouts. An attractive garden complements the 18th century working stables.

Ripley Castle (16th-18th century)
Ripley, North Yorkshire
Around 1320 Sir Thomas Ingilby married the heiress of the estate and obtained permission from the King to hold a weekly market in the village beside what was to become Ripley Castle. In the mid-15th century his descendant, Sir John Ingilby, constructed the oldest surviving part of the present group of building. This crenellated stone gatehouse stands to the west of the village market place. The present house, however, dates from two building phases. In 1548 - 55 Sir William Ingilby erected a three-storeyed semi-fortified tower of a type still popular in the north of England. In 1783 - 86 another Sir John Ingilby commissioned John Carr of York to build a new house next to the tower, on the site of the medieval hall and adjoining buildings.

Scampston Hall & Walled Garden (19th century)
Malton, North Yorkshire
Scampston is home to a superb collection of paintings, porcelain and furniture. The pictures include works by Thomas Gainsborough, Samuel Scott, Richard Wilson and others. Also a restored walled garden.

Sewerby Hall and Gardens (18th century)
Sewerby, East Yorkshire
The house was built 1714-1720 by John Greame. Bow wings and a portico were added in 1808-1811. Later additions include an Orangery and dining room. Various ground floor rooms are set out in Georgian, Regency or Victorian style and the exhibition area includes a permanent display on the history and landscape of the East Riding of Yorkshire. The second floor houses the mayor's parlour, Mayoral Regalia displays and further photographs and paintings. these period rooms will allow you to lose yourself in a different era. As you stroll past the beautiful art and elegant furniture of these magnificent period rooms try to imagine the opulence of eighteenth century life at Sewerby Hall. The galleries display temporary exhibitions of artwork and photographs.

Shibden Hall (15th century)
Halifax, West Yorkshire
For over 300 hundred years Shibden Hall was the home of the Lister family, but the house itself is even older, first built in about 1420. Many generations of people and their families have lived and worked here, and all have left their mark on its history. The house is an accumulation of objects of many dates, providing evidence of how people lived throughout Shibden's time as a family home. Set in 90 acres of rolling parkland with a range of attractions including woodland, walks, an orienteering course, children's rides, miniature railway, pitch and putt and a boating lake, Shibden is the perfect venue for a family day out.

Sion Hill Hall (20th century)
Kirby Wiske, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Sion Hill Hall was designed in 1912 by the renowned York Architect Walter H. Brierley 'the Lutyens of the North'. With its fine lines, unique character and well planned layout, the house was described by the Royal Institute of British Architects as being of 'Outstanding Architectural Merit' and one of the best country houses to be constructed before the Great War. The House contains the H.W. Mawer collection of fine antique furniture, porcelain, paintings and clocks all in superb room settings. The Hall stands in its own grounds with lawns and level gravel paths. There is also a falconry centre on the grounds.

Sledmere House (18th century)
Driffield, East Yorkshire
Sledmere House is the home of Sir Tatton Sykes, 8th Baronet. There has been a Manor House at Sledmere since medieval times. The present house was begun in 1751 by Richard Sykes and extended in the 1790's by Sir Christopher Sykes 2nd Baronet. The building that Sir Christopher Sykes extended and redecorated in the 1780's and 1790's was gutted by a fire in 1911, but through careful restoration most people still think of Sledmere House as a eighteenth-century house. Visitors are welcome to share the peace and quiet of the parkland and woodland walks, to wander through the Rose and Parterre and enjoy the views of the beautiful chapel which is housed in the grounds.

Somerset House (18th century)
Halifax, West Yorkshire
The mansion was originally known as Royd's House or Royd's Mansion and was erected in 1766. The owner of the mansion was John Royd, a merchant banker and trader who was born in Soyland. It was designed by John Carr, the renowed Yorkshire architect. The imposing symmetrical building, also had well maintained grounds which extended as far as Powell Street and the Victoria Theatre. One of the most striking aspects of the interior of the building, which has still retained much of its former glory is the beautiful, ornate carved plasterwork on the walls and ceiling of the first floor salon. Royd had commissioned the Italian, Guiseppe Cortese to carve the plasterwork, much of which represents members of the Royd family.

Photo courtesy of TourUK.com
Stockeld Park (18th century)
Wetherby, North Yorkshire
Stockeld Park is an impressive stone-built Palladian villa set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by parkland. The house was built in 1758 - 63 for William Middleton, a member of a Roman Catholic family who had owned the manor since 1318. The architect was James Paine, one of the leading country house designers of the mid-18th century. The fine collection of 18th and 19th century furniture and paintings was introduced by the Foster family.

Sutton Park (18th century)
Sutton-on-the-Forest, North Yorkshire
Sutton Park is a charming and lived-in house, built of mellow brick in 1730 by Thomas Atkinson. The House contains beautiful eighteenth century furniture, paintings mostly from Buckingham House, now Buckingham Palace, and an important collection of porcelain. Magnificent plaster work by Cortese. The House is a fine example of early Georgian architecture overlooking beautiful parkland. It is filled with a rich collection of treasures all put together with great style and always filled with flowers from the garden.

Photo by Moira Allen
Studley Royal Manor and Water Garden (17th century)
Ripon, North Yorkshire
The Studley Royal Estate, a separate estate from Fountains Abbey until 1767, was inherited by John Aislabie in 1693. After his expulsion from Parliament in 1721 (following the South Sea Bubble scandal) he devoted himself until his death in 1742 to creating the Water Garden. His visionary scheme to transform what had been a wild, wooded valley was completed by his son William, who purchased the Abbey ruins in 1767 and landscaped the Seven Bridges Valley and Abbey grounds. The Water Garden, with its formal, geometric design and its extraordinary vistas, was inspired by the work of the great French landscape gardeners but is entirely individual in character.

Temple Newsam House (16th century)
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Temple Newsam is a magnificent Tudor-Jacobean house known as 'the Hampton Court of the North'. The house is named after the Knights Templar who acquired the estate in the mid-12th century. The house has gone through many renovations over the years and contains a large collection of artworks and other items.

Wentworth Castle (18th century)
Stainborough, Barnsley, South Yorkshire
Wentworth Castle, a grade I listed building, is the home of Northern College for Residential Adult Edcucation. The gardens and 500acre landscape surrounding it are, historically, among the most important in the country, having been designated grade I on English Heritages's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. They contain rare surviving features, such as the serpentine watercourse and formal wilderness garden, as well as the structures amongst the first of their kind to have been constructed in a garden, such as the mock castle. In total there are 26 listed structures on the site, including temples, oblisks, statues and an orangery. The Gardens were laid out in the 18th century by Sir Thomas Wentworth (1672-1739), 1st Earl of Strafford (second creation) and his son William, 2nd Earl (1722-1791), initially as a result of a bitter feud with another branch of the Wentworth Family.

Wycoller Hall (16th century)
Skipton, North Yorkshire
Wycoller is a small, pretty hamlet, just over the border in Lancashire. In the 16th century Wycoller would have been a busy farming and weaving community, but the coming of the power looms led to the village's decline, and a hundred years ago Wycoller was all but abandoned. Over the years the stone from twenty or thirty buildings was taken and used elsewhere, and nowadays there are just a handful of well tended buildings, and the ruins. The ruins of Wycoller Hall dominate the village, and are believed to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. The Brontes lived in nearby Haworth, and would almost certainly have visted Wycoller at some time. The Hall was built for the Hartley family towards the end of the 16th century.

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