Summary

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Brief description of site

Grassington Hall is reputedly the oldest inhabited house in the Dales, with parts of the building dating from the 13th century. It was refurbished during the 19th century, and many of the present garden features date from this time. Features include a tree-lined entrance drive, walled kitchen garden and a modern terrace.

Brief history of site

The late-13th-century hall block was probably the work of Robert de Plumpton. In the 19th century, following a period of neglect, the site was drastically refurbished by the Duke of Devonshire's estate. After a further period of decline it was restored by the present owner.

Location information:

Address: Garrs End Lane, Grassington, BD23 5BB

Locality: Wharfedale

Local Authorities:

North Yorkshire; Craven; Grassington

Historical County: North Riding of Yorkshire

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 98 Grid Ref: SE001643
Latitude: 54.0746 Longitude: -1.99996

Key information:

Form of site: garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: house

Site first created: Before 1604

Main period of development: Mid 19th century

Survival: Extant

Description

The present entrance drive to the hall, made about 1870, is from the road which leads to Conistone. The fine wrought iron single span gate is hung between ball-topped stone piers and beside it is a separate pedestrian gate set in the low boundary wall. The present owner has a map dating from around 1870, showing the garden after the 19th-century changes. Much of the layout shown on the map still survives. The boundary of the property and the drive were lined with trees, many of which remain, including on the north and west some fine chestnuts and sycamores.

The area around the house was laid out as a terrace by the present owner, who bought the property in 1981. The walled kitchen garden, which lies to the north-east of the house, is shown on the 1870 and 1909 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps. It has since been reduced in size and is now planted in a formal manner with two lines of trees pollarded into lollipop shapes. On the north wall of the kitchen garden is a modern temple-shaped summer house, possibly on the site of a greenhouse. The principal entrance to this garden from the south is through an iron gate set into a new wall. The west wall of the kitchen garden has two doors, both leading into a flower garden. Beyond this garden is a curving stone path below the northern boundary wall. The path leads to a modern gazebo and steps back to the main part of the garden, which is laid out to grass.

The north and west sides of the garden are planted with shrubs and mature trees. To the east of the house is a modern greenhouse and further garden area. The original entrance to the property was through an arched doorway, now reduced in size, in the south-east boundary wall. This leads to a lane which runs alongside the southern boundary wall into the Market Place to the east from the Conistone road in the west.

Site designation(s)

The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade II* Reference 8/37

Principal building:

Hall Created 1250 to 1299

The oldest parts of the hall date from the late-13th century, but it was radically altered in the 17th and 19th centuries.

Designation status: The National Heritage List for England: Listed Building Grade II*

History

The late-13th-century hall block was probably the work of Robert de Plumpton. It was owned in the late-16th century by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, who sold it in 1604 to its tenant, George Lister, who made major alterations. In 1634 George Lister sold Grassington Hall to the Topham family, who lived there for much of the rest of the 17th century. In the 19th century, following a period of neglect, it was drastically refurbished by the Duke of Devonshire's estate for use by his lead agent as dwelling and offices. After a further period of decline it was restored by the present owner.

Site timeline

1981: The present owner bought the property, which had been in decline.

Features

summerhouse

On the north wall of the kitchen garden is a modern temple-shaped summer house, possibly on the site of a greenhouse.

gazebo

Modern gazebo.

greenhouse

Modern greenhouse.

drive

Feature created: 1870

The present entrance drive to the hall, made about 1870, is from the road which leads to Conistone.

gate

The fine wrought iron single span gate is hung between ball-topped stone piers.

gate piers

specimen tree

There are some fine chestnuts and sycamores.

terrace

Feature created: After 1981

The area around the house was laid out as a terrace by the present owner, who bought the property in 1981.

kitchen garden

Feature created: Before 1870

The walled kitchen garden, which lies to the north-east of the house, is shown on the 1870 and 1909 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps. It has since been reduced in size and is now planted in a formal manner with two lines of trees pollarded into lollipop shapes.

References

Organisations associated with this site

Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Historic England Role: Designating Authority

Contributor or Recorder Yorkshire Gardens Trust

Images

  • Grassington, the walled garden

    Grassington, the walled garden