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Monday, 19 September 2016

Beningbrough through 300 years

Visitors to Beningbrough Hall, which celebrates its 300th anniversary, can gain an insight into the changing fortunes, previous owners and uses of the land in a display of photography, maps and local memories.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Sutton Hall open day branches out with some oak tree detective work

Historic manor house, Sutton Hall Resort, near Thirsk, throws open the gates to its gardens on Saturday (10 September) for its second open day.

And this time, managers and staff at the self-catering resort want to try to identify the person who donated the Nelson’s Oak tree in the grounds.

Will someone twig? An appeal for information about this oak tree
has been made at Sutton Hall Resort.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Major musical talents at Markenfield

Two musical talents are brought together for an evening at Markenfield Hall on Sunday (11 September) Dr Richard Shephard, musical director of the York Mystery Plays and Richard Mantel, general director of Opera North.

Dr Shephard's life in cathedral music began at an early age and his tales and anecdotes from behind the scenes at some of the most important cathedrals in the country including York Minster.

Richard Mantle will lead the St Wilfrid's Occasional Singers who will bring the evening to a close
by performing Dr Shephard's arrangement of Alcuin's Sequence to St Michael which he composed to mark the re-dedication of the chapel at Markenfield back in 2001.

My Life in Cathedral Music takes place at 7pm. For ticket details, email info@markenfield.com

Monday, 13 June 2016

Swan absence is over as Sylvia makes welcome return and with a mate

Sylvia, Markenfield Hall's black swan, is back following a two-month exile. And she's back with her new mate.

It's a welcome sight at the historic home because Roland, her previous mate was was killed by an otter in April after a spree that saw more than 50 carp consumed on and around the moat.

Owner Lady Deirdre Curteis said: "We've had black swans on the moat at Markenfield
continuously since the 1980s, when my husband and I were given a pair as a 'house-warming' present.

"They have become synonymous with the hall and our visitors have really missed seeing them. We've missed seeing them too. They develop personalities and become a part of the family. Sadly we lost Roland, and Sylvia was then removed for her own safety until we were sure that the otter had moved on."

Suggested names are being sought for Sylvia's new mate. Ideas via email info@markenfield.com or the hall's Facebook page.

Visitors can see the swans in residence now that the hall has opened its doors to the public until Sunday 26 June, 2pm to 5pm. Further information: www.markenfield.com

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Got any images of historic Markenfield?

Photographs and postcards brought in by visitors and volunteers have prompted a call for early memories of the historic Markenfield Hall, near Ripon.

Each item has given the hall owners what they describe "a tantalising glimpse of a long time gone."

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Make a beeline for Stillingfleet during National Insect Week

Yorkshire’s leading wildlife experts will put gardens in the spotlight at an event near York for National Insect Week when it runs from 20-26 June.

Pond-dipping, bee identification walks, moth-trapping, bird-ringing, owl pellet dissection and scout and guide badge activities have been lined up at Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens on its fifth wildlife day.

Organiser Vanessa Cook, who has been welcoming wildlife into her RHS partner garden for over 35 years, wants to enthuse people about what’s in their gardens and how to share even the smallest of spaces with animals, birds and insects.

She said: “It’s very easy to make our gardens more wildlife friendly and by acting together we can help stop the decline of some of our important and iconic creatures. This is a fun day out where you can learn a lot and make a difference.”

Among the organisations attending the event are British Trust for Ornithology, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, East Yorkshire Bat Group, North Yorkshire Rotters, Yorkshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, Yorkshire Mammal Group, East Yorkshire Bat Group.

Further information: stillingfleetlodgenurseries.co.uk

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Last of the Markenfields remembered at historic home service

A tenth annual requiem mass is to be held in the Markenfield Hall's chapel in memory of the suffering experienced by the the family owners back in the sixteenth century.

This Saturday's (22 August) service commemorates the lives of the last members of the Markenfield family before the house was confiscated by the Crown for high treason and they were exiled to poverty.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Markefield smashes visitor records

Markenfield Hall's opening fortnight smashed all its records, thanks to a fifty per cent increase in people through the door.

Particularly popular with walkers ... Markenfield Hall.

The historic home, which stands three miles south of Ripon tucked privately away along a mile-long winding drive, has long been described as a hidden gem.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Tractor festival might pull a record

Enthusiasts and families from across the country will gather in North Yorkshire this summer for the leading vintage tractor show and its world record attempt to attract at least a thousand of the agricultural workhorses.


The Yorkshire Vintage Association is calling on owners of the Ferguson, Massey Ferguson and Massey Harris marques to join them for the shot at the world record.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Border control at Markenfield to bring about transformation

The garden borders within Markenfield Hall's berm – the strip of land between the hall and moat – have been undergoing a transformation

For the past 45 years, they have been tended meticulously by the hall's tenant farmers but have now come back under the care of owner Lady Deirdre Curteis.

Work began in late January removing heathers and traditional bedding plants. Since then, three giant conifers that had obscured some fascinating architectural details on the south gable of the farmhouse wing have been removed and four apricot trees have been planted against the curtain walls of the courtyard to form a framework against which the new planting plan could come together.

Re-planting will be completed before the hall opens its doors to the public again on the afternoons from 2 to 17 May and from 13 to 28 June.

Also on display in the great hall will be an exhibition charting the history of the borders from when visitors were greeted by a greenhouse in the 1960s through all the work that has taken place from the stripping through to the re-planting including details on the plants.

Further information: www.markenfield.com

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Animals and people take centre stage at Stillingfleet Lodge

A menagerie of wire animals and a collection of willow people will be found in the gardens at Stillingfleet Lodge near York this August.

The exhibition showcases the work of two artists, Harrogate wire animal creator Chris Moss, and Derbyshire’s Carole Beavis, whose willow cyclists helped celebrate the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Running alongside the outdoor exhibition, in the caf矇 is a collection of water colours by Rachel McNaughton from Bardsey near Wetherby. Known for her paintings of flowers, she is a professional associate of the Society for All Artists.

The exhibition will be open on from 1pm to 5pm on 1,2,3,6,8,13,15,16,17,20,22 27 and 29 August. Check with the attraction for entry costs.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Women's wartime role recognised

Aunt Kay.
In the book, Elsie and Mairi Go to War, the two central characters aged 18 and 30, are madcap motor-bikers who met while roaring round the Hampshire and Dorset lanes.

When war was declared Elsie wrote to Mairi that there was 'work to be done', and suggested they go to London to join the Women's Emergency Corps.

Eventually recruited to the Flying Ambulance Corps, to help wounded Belgian soldiers, one of their colleagues in the Corps called them 'Valkyries
in knickerbockers.'

Author Diane Atkinson will speak about her book and the vital role that women played in World War One at Markenfield Hall on Saturday 26 July. The talk will highlight the role of  Aunt Kay, sister of 5th Lord Grantley. Kay Norton left home at the age of 21 and began her “bachelor girl’s life” in London.

Lord Grantley was drafted to France to St Addresse near Ypres  and his memoir describes some of
his time there.

Further information about the talk, which begins at 7.30pm, is available at www.markenfield.com

Friday, 23 May 2014

RHS Harlow Carr is buzzing

Harlow Carr's Royal Horticultural Society garden has joined forces with the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association to expose the secret life of bees during an open weekend.

The event from Saturday 31 May – Sunday 1 June will lay bare the inner workings of these busy insects. Visitors will be able to view inside the garden’s working hive with professional beekeepers, as well as watch demonstrations on candle, honey and skep making.

The weekend forms part of the garden’s May half term event, Let’s Go Native focused around British wildlife and plants. Other activities include birds of prey flying shows, the chance to meet hedgehogs and bats, a miniature onsite farm, a native tree trail, and mini wormery and craft workshops.

Further information: www.rhs.org.uk/harlowcarr.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Philippa Gregory at the Hall

Markenfield Hall's Literary Lectures in the Library get off to a good start when internationally renowned historian and writer Philippa Gregory kicks off the series in June.

She will be speaking about her life, her work and her forthcoming book The King's Curse, which is the final book in much acclaimed Cousins' War series.

Ian Curteis, of Markenfield, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Philippa Gregory here to the hall. Markenfield is such an historic building, steeped in over 700 years of history. To have a history writer of such renown is really a match made in heaven for the hall and for the audience."

The talk takes place on Tuesday 3 June at 3pm. Further information: www.markenfield.com

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Forget the swan song! Simon is back at the hall with a lady friend

Simon the Black Swan has returned to historic Markenfield Hall on the outskirts of Ripon and he's brought a lady friend.

The good news is a far cry from last autumn when Simon was sent away from the hall for safe keeping after a fox killed Scilla the small female. During the winter months, he spent time with  'Swan Man' Mr Todd at Sutton Bank.

Now, he's back with Sylvia, a juvenile female described as dusky brown tinged as if dusted in cocoa powder.

When Lord and Lady Grantley began the restoration of Markenfield Hall in the early 1980s, they were given a pair of Black Swans as a house-warming present by friend Peter Olney, who at that time was curator of birds at the London Zoo. Since then, there have been Black Swans on the moat.

Visitors can see Simon and Sylvia when the historic home opens its doors to the public from 3 to 18 May and from 14 to 29 June 2pm-5pm each day.

Further information: www.markenfield.com

Monday, 21 October 2013

Goldsborough Hall has christening off to a right royal tea

Master George's christening
back in 1923.
The owners of Goldsborough Hall in Knaresborough will be celebrating the royal christening of Prince George on Wednesday, and marking the fact that 90 years ago King George V was at the hall for the christening of his grandson, Master George.

On 25 March 1923 the British Royal family celebrated the christening of King George V’s first grandchild, Master George Lascelles, at his daughter’s Yorkshire home, Goldsborough Hall.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Vintage cocktails at Goldsborough

Goldsborough Hall’s butler Barry Dowson (right) serves up the Princess Mary’s Pride – a cocktail created by Savoy Hotel barman Harry Craddock for the Yorkshire Princess on her marriage to Viscount Henry Lascelles in 1922.

Owners of a stately home, on the outskirts of Knaresborough, are turning back the clock to the roaring Twenties in celebration of the return to the small screen of hit series Downton Abbey – set on a fictional Yorkshire estate.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Victorian cuisine on the events menu at the Mansion House

York's Mansion House hosts a Victorian event tomorrow (Sunday 22 September) as part of the city's Food and Drink Festival.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Markenfield service remembers the family faithful

Markenfield Hall story for BeautifulNorthYorkshire.com
A requiem is to be performed on Saturday morning for the last of the Markenfield Faithful.

The event will remember last members of the family to live at historic Markenfield Hall on the outskirts of Ripon before the house was confiscated by the Crown five centuries ago.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

It's an open and shut case as new Shandy Hall gate comes into line

A new gate at Coxwold's Shandy Hall in the North York Moors National Park is more than just an opening to an historic hall and gardens.

Trainee Blacksmiths Fred Suffield (left) and Adam Baillie from Chris Topp
 and Co admire their handiwork at Shandy Hall.
The gate’s design is a playful nod to Laurence Sterne, the 18th century writer who lived there, and to his masterwork, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-68).