Byram Park 642

Castleford, England, North Yorkshire, Selby

Brief Description

Byram Hall has an associated park and pleasure grounds. The site is still largely intact and has accompanying buildings.Byram Park was an important estate for the Ramsden family for 300 years following their acquisition of it in 1618. By the early 18th century, they had created a park and gardens to complement their large mansion but the designed landscape that remains in part today was a result of work carried out in the late 18th century by Sir John Ramsden, 4th Baronet. In 1782, he called in the foremost landscape gardener of the time, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to prepare a plan. Brown died the following year and the plan is now lost, so we do not know for certain what, if anything, of the plan was carried out. The archives of the time are also lost but contemporary reports indicate that the lake was constructed soon after and the sale of trees show that areas, including the early 18th century deer park were being cleared for open parkland. By the middle of the 19th century, Sir John’s grandson, the 5th Baronet, significantly increased the woodland around the estate and reinstated some of the avenues that had been removed a century earlier. He also remodelled the lake and developed the pleasure grounds to the north of it, adding formal gardens and glasshouses to the 18th century orangery. While most of the Hall has now gone, the woodland much reduced and the parkland turned into arable farmland, many features of the designed landscape remain including the lake and the walled kitchen garden

Visitor Facilities

Not open to the public.

Terrain

The site of the mansion, immediate gardens and lake lies between 9m and 14m AOD, with the ground to the west rising to between 18m and 22m AOD. Byram Park’s underlying geology is limestone bedrock (Brotherton Formation) with sand deposits in the east and sand and gravel in the south west. This is overlain with freely draining lime-rich loamy soil in the west and loamy soils with naturally high groundwater in the east, both primarily under arable cultivation.

  1. SETTING

The former Hall, gardens and lake lie in flat farmland with sections of woodland to the west on slightly higher ground and to the north primarily. The site lies in the Selby District Local Landscape Character Area: River Aire Corridor.

Detailed Description

  1. 1.1 ENTRANCES AND APPROACHES
  2. 1.1.1 North Lodge

Dates from at least 1845 as referred to in the tithe apportionment. Modernised in 1960s and 2 storey wing added to SW/NW side. Wall lowered at junction with New Lane and A162. Entrance enlarged and rebated when McCloys moved to the lodge in 1968. Garden with haha on south and east side created in the 1960s. Area planted with trees and shrubs. Former carriageway to Hall ploughed into adjacent field prior to the 1960s (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.1.2 Byram Lodges

Built between 1788 and 1799, twin lodges of which southern one survives (Grade II, NHLE: 1148537), reputedly by John Carr.

  1. 1.1.3 Southern Approach

From Byram Lodges, there was a carriageway that went directly north east towards the southern part of the Hall, going over a tunnel that hid the service road to Byram Farm. This was in place until the late 19th century when it was changed to run due east (along what is now Byram Park Road) until it met the new avenue that was planted due south of the Hall.

  1. 1.2 PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS
  2. 1.2.1 Byram Hall

Now mainly demolished with exception of service wing that is listed Grade II (NHLE: 1167514), reputedly by John Carr, late 18th century. West service wing is dilapidated and unfit for habitation, the east wing was destroyed by a fire in the late 1980s ((John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.2.2 Stable Block and Coach house (Grade II, NHLE: 1316674)

Late 18th century with later additions, reputedly by John Carr. The north side was coach houses with upper floor accommodation and the east building was stabling, later used as poultry houses and piggeries. All these buildings were damaged beyond use by mining subsidence (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.2.3 Orangery (Grade II, NHLE: 1167525)

Late 18th century reputedly by John Carr. Orangery and cottages were converted into a modern dwelling in the late 1950s (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

Glasshouses were added at back with more glasshouses to the sides. A report from 1908 claimed that the latter were erected ‘more than 20 years ago by Messrs. W. Richardson & Co., of Darlington’ and described the former as ‘two ranges of fruit houses, four in each range. These were erected by the late Mr. Ormston [sic, Ormson], of Chelsea, about the year 1860, and they are still in good condition. They are lean-to structures, divided into four compartments, each about 40 feet long and 16 feet wide. Six are planted with vines, and two with Peach trees’ (The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 11 April).

At the time of the sale in 1922, the glasshouses were listed as: The Conservatory, 72ft x 24ft; 2 Orchid Houses, 24ft x 21ft; Fig Case, 18ft x 9ft, Peach Case, 18ft x 9ft; 2 greenhouses 24ft x 21ft (Pickersgill 1996, 14). One these must have been a cool orchid house as George Taylor, Sir John’s gardener, was reported to be growing pleiones here in 1914 (Wilson 1914, 81). Building behind orangery formerly part of cottages and a bothy. Steps and terraces remain but not front glasshouses (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

Gatepiers (Grade II, NHLE: 1148534) of late 17th century origin were to the south of this (the listing says north but shows it south on the map). Ha-ha and retaining wall to the south are listed Grade II (NHLE: 1167532), 19th century with wall possibly earlier.

  1. 1.3 GARDENS AND PLEASURE GARDENS

No archival evidence remains of the gardens of the late 17th and early 18th century and they were probably removed during the landscaping and rebuilding of the Hall in the 1770s and 1780s. The pleasure gardens around the lake may date from the late 18th century but the addition of a bridge across the lake in 1826 may indicate further work was done then.

The formal gardens between walled kitchen garden and orangery were constructed after 1850. The triangular section to the north was a rose garden. The gateway, railings, wall and piers are listed Grade II (NHLE: 1148535) and were created between 1860 and 1862 by the architects, W.G. Habershon and Pite (The Building News, 15 August 1862). The northern entrance to the formal garden was the entrance to the greenhouses and now is in poor condition. A second entrance exists but is not usable (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

There are three tunnels in the pleasure grounds that allowed the gardeners to move between the working areas that still exist. In the enclosed formal gardens, a pair of yew hedged areas remain (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.4 KITCHEN GARDEN

The walled kitchen garden shown on the 1852 1st edition OS map may date from the construction of the lake in the 1780s. It is divided in two with a central section that may have been a hot wall, as there are possibly boiler houses at either end. In the southern half is a long building, possibly a glasshouse. It may have been rebuilt in the mid 19th century as this is the date given in the listing for the east wall (Grade II, NHLE: 1296836). By 1905, the southern range of glasshouses had been expanded and they may have been the ones referred to in the following advertisement:

Tenders in one amount for the whole are invited for Bricklayers, Masons and Excavators’ Work in connection with a Range of New Glass Houses to be erected for Sir John W. Ramsden, Bart. at Byram’ (Yorkshire Evening Post, 12 October 1896).

By 1922, there were the following in the kitchen garden: 4 Vineries, 30ft x 15ft; Vinery, 40ft x 24ft; Peach House, Tomato House, Carnation House, 40ft x 10ft, 2 Vineries, 35ft x 15ft. fruit room, forcing house, boiler with 2 boilers, grape room, potting shed and open pot Shed, 2 pits 50ft x 9ft (Pickersgill 1996, 14). The glasshouses became derelict and were removed. The bothy is now stabling and the orchards, paddocks and livery yard (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.5 PARK AND PLANTATIONS
  2. 1.5.1 Deer Park

To the north and west of the Hall, it may be the ‘Park’ shown on maps by Warburton c. 1720 and Jeffrey c. 1771 as an area with a picket fence and created in the late 17th or early 18th century. Avenue leading from North Lodge was replanted as all of existing mature elms had died from elm disease (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

  1. 1.5.2 Byram Park

The western section created by 1817, possibly to the plan by Brown. The eastern section around Byram Farm probably dates from the mid 19th century.

  1. 1.5.3 Wilks Wood

The oldest named part, dating from before 1793.

  1. 1.5.4 Whin Covert Wood

Part of the early 19th century landscaping, shown on Greenwood map of 1834

  1. 1.5.5 Woolen Sykes Wood

Part of the early 19th century landscaping, shown on Greenwood map of 1834. Was remodelled in the late 19th century to include straight rides or walks through it

  1. 1.5.6 Annet Royd Wood

Added between 1834 and 1845

  1. 1.5.7 Burton Common Wood

Following the enclosure of Burton Salmon in 1824, part of this former common land became part of the Byram estate before 1843 (NA IR 29/43/81). It was later extended north before 1881.

  1. 1.5.8 Swandam Wood

Originally perimeter planting dating from between 1834 and 1845, it was expanded before 1881 (NYCRO ZYJ) to include straight rides or walks through it.

  1. 1.5.9 Goose Hill Wood

Dating from the late 19th century, this has a series of complex rides or paths, the purpose of which is unknown.

  1. 1.5.10 West Spring Wood

Dating from before 1881 (NYCRO ZYJ)

  1. 1.5.11 Great Hagg Wood

Dating from the late 19th century

  1. 1.5.12 Leatherbelly Wood

Created before 1880, reference to ‘thinning plantations’ in 19-25 February 1881 & ‘erecting 110 yards iron fencing’ in 5-11 March 1881 (NYCRO ZYJ)

  1. 1.5.13 Smeathalls Wood

Created before 1880, reference to ‘cutting Spanish Chestnuts in plantations’ in 19-25 February 1881 & ‘thinning oaks and Spanish Chestnuts’ in 26 February-4 March 1881 (NYCRO ZYJ)

  1. 1.5.14 Brotherton Plantation

Created c. 1881(NYCRO ZYJ)

  1. 1.6 WATER

The lake or ‘Fishpond’ dates from the 1780s but was substantially remodelled between 1860 and 1862. Projecting curvilinear viewing platforms flanked by two landing stages were added and all were accessed via a long walk. There is a small lake to the north of the Hall dating from the second half of the 19th century. The steps and terrace to lakeside are in good condition, however the lakeside jetties and steps were damaged during WW2 when the property was requisitioned and subsequently collapsed (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

Features
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: A palladian lodge.
  • Orangery
  • Description: Grade II
Ha-ha, Lake
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

Not open to the public.

Directions

Byram Park lies 5 m north east of Pontefract and next to the town of Brotherton.

The estate is bounded on the west by the former Great North Road (now A162) from Byram Lodges in the south to the junction with New Lane in the north. The northern boundary runs from the Great North Road, along New Lane to the outskirts of Burton Salmon village. It then skirts just south of the hamlet Byram-cum-Poole and along the northern sections of the woodlands, Poole Belt, Goose Hill Wood, Burton Common Wood, Swandam Wood and finally West Spring Wood. The western boundary starts at the south west corner of West Spring Wood and continues south along the edge of Great Hagg Wood to Birkin Lane. The southern extent of the estate is marked by Birkin Lane to SE 497 254 when it follows the southern edge of Sutton Belt woodland.

Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Byram cum Sutton
History

Historical Use

Detailed History

  1. 1. HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE
  2. 1.1 Estate owners

In 1618, ‘the manor of Byram ... the manor house late in the occupation of Sir John Ramsden’ was sold to William Ramsden of Longley Hall by Francis Nevill of Chevet and John Farrer of Ewood (or Eawood, Halifax) (WYASK DD/RA/F/29/32). Prior to this, the ownership of the manor and ‘capital messuage’ or manor house is unclear.

It was possibly owned by the Stapleton family as part of their lands in the area and passed to the Scargill family when Sir Warin de Scargill (d1326) married Clara, heiress and daughter of Robert de Stapleton. In 1498, the Inquisition Post Mortem of William Scargyll Esq, written 23 January 1498 said that when he died on 20 December 1498, he was ‘seised of… Manor of Byrom, ten messuages, 100a. land, in Byrom, worth 40s., held of the king, as of the duchy of Lancaster, service unknown. William Scargill, knight, aged 30 and more at the time of his death, is his cousin and heir, viz. son of William his son’ (PRO 1915). By 1515, Sir Robert Waterton of Walton ‘was seized in demesne of the manor of Byram and of 20 messuages in Byram, worth altogether £26 16d a year after expenses’. (NA C 131/261/12). There are further property transactions in Byram during the 16th century but none mention a ‘capital messuage’.

William Ramsden died in 1623 and his son, Sir John, in 1646 and it appears both of them kept Longley Hall as their main base. Sir John’s grandson, also John, became the first of the family to make Byram his main residence, possibly after he married Sarah Butler in 1670. By 1672, he had a substantial house of 26 hearths as recorded in the Hearth Tax of that year and in 1689 was made a Baronet. His son, Sir William (2nd Bt) baptised at Brotherton in 1672, succeeded him in 1690, followed by his son, Sir John (3rd Bt) in 1736. John’s mother was the heir of her brother, 3rd Viscount Lonsdale and on her death in 1764, he inherited her estates and ‘a large fortune’ (Leeds Intelligencer, 16 October 1764).

Sir John (4th Bt) succeeded to his estates aged 14 in 1769 and was the owner for the next 70 years, during which time he made significant improvements both to the Hall and the surrounding landscape. He outlived his son so his grandson, Sir John William, became the 5th Baronet in 1839, aged 8. Like his grandfather, he too had a long tenure of Byram ending in 1914. His son Sir John Frecheville (6th Bt) preferred to live at their estate at Bulstrode in Buckinghamshire and eventually sold the Byram estate in lots between 1922 and 1924. During the 1930s, the Hall became derelict and it was partly demolished in the 1950s.

Key owners responsible for the development of the designed landscape and the dates of their involvement:

Sir John Ramsden 1st Bt (c. 1670 – 1690)

Sir William Ramsden 2nd Bt (1690 – 1736)

Sir John Ramsden 4th Bt (1769 – 1839)

Sir John William Ramsden 5th Bt (1839 – 1914)

  1. 1.2 Early history of the site

Byram (or Bryom) first appeared as a settlement on John Speed’s map of the West Riding of Yorkshire c. 1611 and the earliest reference to the main house was in 1648 when Oliver Cromwell stayed at ‘Bryon [Bryam] House near Pomfret [Pontefract]’ (Forrest 1871, 44). Exact details of the grounds around the house occupied by Sir John and then his son, Sir William, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries are not known. However Thoresby noted in his diary for 2 May 1712 that he ‘walked to Byram-hall, was very civilly received by Sir William Ramsden, who showed me some good pictures and very curious gardens, and that part where his pheasants breed. Returned through the Park to Houghton’ (Hunter 1830, 93). The house named ‘Birom’ is shown on John Warburton’s map of c. 1720 within a park, enclosed by a picket fence, suggesting a deer park existed at this time.

A sketch made 1719-20 by Samuel Buck (BL Lansdowne MS 914) for John Warburton shows the south side of the Hall with an inner and outer courtyard, each having a pair of entrance gates. The middle range of the building has four stories. It is connected to two wings with the western section also having four stories and a crenellated roof. In contrast the eastern section is plain with only two stories. This house was rebuilt or remodelled in the 1770s, possibly by John Carr. Jeffrey’s map of c. 1771 shows the house located on the southern side of a somewhat square park enclosure. The park boundary is again clearly marked with a picket fence symbol and the parkland mainly to the north of the Hall is a layout seen on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, surveyed between 1845 and 1849, where the ‘Deer Park’ is marked. It is listed on the tithe apportionment of 1845 (NA IR 29/43/82) as the ‘Park’ measuring 147 acres.

The approach to the house also seems to have changed, creating a half-moon on the south court of the Hall with an avenue of trees extending south to a (possibly new?) road from Brotherton, skirting north of Sutton and then onto to Birkin. Sir John Frecheville Ramsden reported to Dorothy Stroud in 1943 that: ‘The approach to the house in the 17th and 18th century had been by a fine avenue of Spanish Chestnuts 120 ft wide and some 600 yds long with a little false perspective in it’ (SM, Box 5). There is another possible carriageway from the west of the Hall leading to the Great North Road and then onto Brotherton (via Burton Lane?).

  1. 1.3 Chronological history of the designed landscape
  2. 1.3.1 1779? – 1839

Sir John (3rd Bt) came of age in 1776 and three years later, he was clearly keen to develop the Byram estate and its landscape as this report by the Vicar of Brotherton shows:

Memorandum 1779. About the middle of this Year Application was made to me by Mr John Crowder Steward to Sir John Ramsden … to exchange some lands… to which I readily consented… However I found Cause to afterwards to retract [sic] The Matter of Fact was this … The Field being thus situate made it rather an Object to Sir John… that he might make it his own Property & convert it into a Park… This gave great Offence to Sir John.’ (WYASW WDP74/6/1)

In July 1782, he was visited by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, who sent ‘a survey of Byram by John Spyers containing 373 Acres’ to Sir John (RHSA f159). Brown then prepared ‘a General Plan for the Alteration of the Place’ (ibid), which was sent the following December. Brown died in February 1783 and the plan is now lost, so it is impossible to confirm which parts of the plan, if any, were executed. However the following year, a visitor to Byram recorded work on the grounds being undertaken:

I found all well here, & ye Bart [Sir John] in perfect health and spirits. The place much done, and much undone, & in such a profusions (who does not like a profusion) of improvements, that throw them about by shovels full at ye door.’ (WYASK DD/RA/F/2c/40)

Confirmation of the work by 1792 comes from Sir John Byng’s diary who recorded that, ‘Byram Park, Sir John Ransden’s [sic] about which, and around the pleasure ground, I rode at my leisure: it is a verdant, well-wooded place, with a goodish house and an extent of made water. But the timber and shade are the beauties, and rare ones they soon will be’ (Bruyn-Andrews 1936, 31).

Byng was presumably referring to the removal of trees from the landscape as there were regular sales of wood from 1785 when 88 oaks and 17 ashes were offered to buyers (The Leeds Intelligencer, 19 April). Later sales were of oak and ash trees in Wilk’s Wood (The Leeds Intelligencer, 18 March 1793) and 130 oak trees ‘standing in the Park at Byram’ (The Leeds Intelligencer, 23 April 1798). There was a further clearance in 1801 in ‘Fir Wood’ of 319 oaks, 50 ash trees, 53 beech trees and 27 oaks in the hedgerows of the fields next to it (The Leeds Intelligencer, 6 April). This is perhaps the area of woodland shown on Jeffrey’s map to the south west of the Hall and the old park boundary.

Sir John Frecheville Ramsden commented in 1943 that ‘There are however at Byram signs of the nefarious ideas of Capability Brown and his like. The approach to the house…had been by a fine avenue of Spanish Chestnuts [that] … was partly destroyed in the vicinity of the house, and the ‘return to nature’ signalised by a new approach by a winding beech avenue. Terraces and a forecourt destroyed and the cows on one side and fallow deer on the other fed up to the windows’ (SM, Box 5)

Clearance of trees continued in the park and surrounding woodland:

To be Sold by Auction…All those Oak, Ash and other Timber Trees, standing and growing in the Park and Woods at Byram…consisting of upwards of 278 Numbered and 113 Cyphered Oaks, 115 Numbered and 29 Cyphered Ash, 1 Numbered Elm, 1 Numbered Alder and 2 Numbered Walnut Trees. Part of the above Timber is of large Dimensions’ (The Leeds Intelligencer, 2 March 1807).

70 Oak trees of large dimensions now growing in the Park at Byram also 4 large oak timber trees with other oak and poles felled and lying in Birkin-Lane near to the village of Sutton’ (The Leeds Intelligencer 19 March 1810)

300 Oaks, 111 Ash, 80 Elm, 80 Beech and 1 Sycamore were offered for sale (The Leeds Intelligencer, 4 March 1811) and 492 ‘Oaks growing in Park and Grounds at Byram and in Byewater’s Wood adjoining’ (The Leeds Intelligencer, 4 April 1814)

The map by Greenwood, surveyed in 1817 and corrected in 1834, shows the new lake and the parkland extending south west to the Great North Road. There are also two carriageways to the south shown on Greenwood’s map, one to the twin lodges on the main road north. These were in place by 1799, when a visitor observed ‘At Byram, one mile beyond [Ferrybridge], I stopped to see the new Lodges built by Sr John Ramsden’ (Ousby 1992, 93). Ramsden had acquired land in 1788 from Sir Christopher Sykes in the neighbouring township of Sutton (HHC U DDSY/89/1&5) and neither the lodges nor the carriageway are shown on the sale plan (U DDSY/89/4), so they must post date this.

An early 19th century painting by the Rev Richard Hale (LULSC YAS Mackenzie 5.15.4) shows the south front of the Hall with the courtyards removed and open grassland to the south.

  1. 1.3.2 1839 – 1914

The absence of any detailed estate maps means that the 1st edition OS, surveyed between 1845 and 1849, is the first clear view of the redesigned landscape. The main feature was the long sinuous lake called the ‘Fish Pond’ to the east of the Hall. It was crossed by two bridges with the western one being a three-arched cast iron footbridge made by Sandford & Co in Rotherham in 1826 (Pevsner and Radcliffe 1967, 621). There was an island at the top of the southern section. The water was surrounded by trees and to the north of it was the walled kitchen garden, orangery and pleasure grounds.

The parkland had been extended to the south and east, although the eastern half, marked as parkland on the 1st edition OS map, was still closes or fields of grass that were rented out in the tithe apportionment made in 1845 (NA IR 29/43/82). There was a lodge to the north off the road to the hamlet of Byram cum Poole, with a curving avenue of trees opening into the parkland west of the house, but no distinct carriageway depicted to the Hall. Additional perimeter planting had been added to the north including ‘Burton Common Plantation’ and ‘Annet Royd Wood’. To the north west of the Hall in the Deer Park was a long rectangular building marked ‘Barn’ within woodland, possibly a deer shelter. The 25” 1892 OS map shows more detail with a small enclosure abutting the barn and the area was enclosed, possibly to facilitate containing deer. An icehouse was positioned on the south side of the enclosure and the area surrounded by trees.

Sir John William (5th Bt) attained his majority in 1852 and began to make changes to the designed landscape as his son recalled: ‘My Father restored the straight approach the avenue, forecourt &c’ (SM, Box 5). This was done in late 1881, as the accounts record ‘transplanting Spanish Chestnut trees in Avenue in front of the house’ between 26 November and 2 December (NYCRO ZYJ). By 1890, he had greatly expanded the woodland surrounding the estate, most notably in the north with ‘Cow Close Plantation’, ‘Goose Hill Plantation’ and the extension of Burton Common Plantation and in the east with ‘Swandam Wood’. Chris-crossing these woods and the parkland were straight tree lined paths that were in place by 1881, when there is a reference to ‘carting dead Laurels Swandam Rides’ (NYCRO ZYJ). The area that had previously been the site of the ‘Coppering Kiln’ west of North Lodge was landscaped as ‘planting in the Brotherton plantation’ was recorded between 16 and 22 April 1881 and ‘planting on Brotherton quarries’ between 31 December 1881 and 6 January 1882 (NYCRO ZYJ).

The lake’s shape was radically altered and the northern edge straightened with the terrace designed by W. G. Habershon & Pitie between 1860 and 1862 (they also designed a terrace at Warter Priory) (HMC 1862, 91 & The Building News, 15 August 1862). The iron bridge remained but the wooden one to the east had been removed due to the remodeling. By 1890, the orangery had a terrace in front of it and a glasshouse to the rear, dating from 1860 (The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 11 April 1908). There were further glasshouses to the east of it. A new pond had been created to the north of the Hall. The courtyard to the south had been restored together with the avenue south.

A visit in 1879 said the park ‘abounds in magnificent old trees’ and they saw the conservatories (The Leeds Times, 23 August). Ten years later, another visitor records their ‘walk…[from Burton Salmon station], and through Burton Salmon and Poole, brought the party to the main entrance to the park [North Lodge?]…Sir John, we believe, is a great lover of tree and plant life, and it would seem that nature has chosen this as one of its most favourite spots…The laburnums, dotted here and there, were like so many jewels, and the red and white May [hawthorn] skirting the walks softened the sea of green which lay around it…As the party approached the hall…extensive meadow gave place to well-kept lawns, and the flower beds, though not yet in bloom, spoke highly for the skill and management of Sir John’s head gardener. A large quantity of statuary situated in different parts of the gardens and the stone carved terraces above the ponds completed an almost ideal scene. Two striking features about the trees were their great age and gigantic bulk, the branches of many having to be supported by iron girders’ (The Huddersfield Chronicle, 1 June 1889).

A series of photographs (HEA CC52/00682 and CC52/00686) taken between 1890 and 1910 show the formal gardens that lay between the walled kitchen garden and the orangery and to the north of the wrought iron gates. Behind the formal beds are tall yew hedges. There are reports in the accounts of ‘pruning yews in pleasure grounds’ in April 1882 and ‘transplanting yews in garden’ in October 1884 (NYCRO ZYJ). A further photograph of the rose garden, taken by the same photographer and published in 1911, was also surrounded by tall hedges and has some of the statues mentioned in the newspaper report above. It was described as ‘one of the best features of the stately garden at Byram Park’ (Holmes 1911, xxii). A rosery is mentioned in the Gardener’s Accounts for November 1884 (NYCRO ZYJ).

In front of the orangery, on either side of the steps, was a Cedar of Lebanon and an acacia tree (Holmes 1911, xxiii). Around the lake were shrubs including rhododendrons (Pickersgill 1996, 1) and it was claimed that ‘Byram Park’s show of rhododendrons is one of the finest in the country’ (The Leeds Mercury, 25 March 1919). There is a record of ‘transplanting rhododendrons’ in November 1883 (NYCRO ZYJ). The lake was planted with water lilies and also arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) in 1906 (The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 18 May 1907). In 1883, the accounts record ‘making a new road in the garden’ (NYCRO ZYJ), this may be the tree-lined avenue that stretched along the northern eastern edge of the pleasure grounds.

A report from 1908 described the area:

The glasshouses and kitchen garden are situated on the eastern side of the residence. The paths leading thereto pass through well-kept grounds that are furnished with fine forest trees, and groups and individual specimens of shrubs in variety. Yews are especially abundant and healthy. I was informed that the owner takes a special interest in these trees…The walks alluded to pass by the upper portion of a natural lake, views of which are obtained through the shrubs and trees that are planted down to the edge of the water. The lower portions of this lake extend through enclosed grounds, and about the middle portion it is bounded by a balustrade wall with a broad path on its northern side. On a large grass terrace above it there are groups of Dutch paneling in clipped Yew, some old Cedars of Lebanon, groups of Thuja occidentalis, specimen plants of the Golden Yew, with here and there beds for the accommodation of summer-flowering plants.’ (The Gardeners’ Chronicle, 11 April)

  1. 1.3.3 Later history

After Sir John William’s death in 1914, the gardens continued to be maintained by George Taylor, the head gardener until 1919 when he was appointed to the Ramsden estate at Bulstrode. He had worked at Byram for over 30 years and was described as a ‘well-known landscape gardener’ (Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 3 May 1919). The mansion, its associated buildings and 1,461 acres were sold three years later to John Todd and Thomas Place of Northallerton but it was the presumed rich coal seams which were the main attraction for Airedale Collieries who paid £30,500 to Todd and Place on the 1 October 1923.

The mansion and park were put up for sale for the third time in July 1924, when Airedale decided that the reserves were not economically viable. The purchaser of all bar 49 acres was William Walker, who paid £12,500 (Pickersgill 1996, 21). The lots included the Hall and park (197 acres), Gardens (38 acres), Home Farm (341 acres), North Lodge (81 acres) and Byram Lodge (34 acres) (Pickersgill 1996, 20). The rest of the estate covering 2,600 acres was sold in July 1922.

Following Walker’s purchase, a lot of woodland was felled. The Hall fell into disrepair, as did the other buildings and the gardens. Byram was requisitioned by the military in the Second World War and some features were removed to enable vehicular access, including the steps leading to the embanked long walk (John McCloy, pers. comm.).

It was sold again in August 1945 and the derelict parts of the Hall were dismantled. The new owners, the McCloy family, restored large parts of the former parkland into usable arable land, following the wartime occupation by the military (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 28 May 1954). In March 1950, Mr McCloy presented a set of stone steps and gate pillars from Byram Park to the newly opened Friarwood Valley Gardens (Heritage England Listing for Friarwood Valley Gardens, NHLE: 1001514).

Period

  • Late 18th Century
  • 18th Century
Associated People

People associated to Byram Park

References

Contributors

  • 5. REFERENCES Books and articlesBruyn-Andrews, C. (ed) 1936. The Torrington Diaries containing the tours through England and Wales of the Hon John Byng, Volume 3. London, Eyre & Spotiswode.Forrest, C. 1871. The History of the Antiquities of Knottingley in the Parish of Pontefract. London, H. Williams.HMC 1862. International Exhibition 1862, Official Catalogue of the Fine Art Department. London, Truscott Son & Simmons.Holmes, C. ed. 1911 The gardens of England in the northern counties. London: The Studio.Hunter, J. 1830. The Diary of Ralph Thoresby, Vol. II. London, Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley.Ousby, I. (ed) 1992. James Plumptre’s Britain: The Journals of a Tourist in the 1790s. London, Hutchinson.Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E. 1967. The Buildings of England, Yorkshire West Riding. London, Penguin Books.Pickersgill, D. 1996. Reminders of Days Gone By: A History of Byram Hall and Park. Unpublished pamphlet.PRO 1915. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (1498-1504): Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII. London, HMSO.Wilson, G. ed. 1914. Orchid World, Volume 4. London, Norman & Co.Primary sources British Library (BL) Lansdowne MS 914 Drawing: ‘The South Prospect of Bryom Hall. The Seat of Sir William Ramsden Bart’ by Samuel Buck, 1719-20.Historic England Archives (HEA)CC52/00682 Photograph of the gate piers and ornate wrought iron gate to the west of the Orangery in the grounds of Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00684 Photograph of an ornate gateway in a walled garden at Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00686 Photograph of a view of the formal gardens at Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00687 Photograph of avenue of trees in the grounds of Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910Hull History Centre (HHC)U DDSY/89/1 Draft. Notice of Sale: 519ac. at Sutton, 3 Apr 1788U DDSY/89/4 Plan to accompany printed particulars of sale of land at Sutton, 3 Apr 1788U DDSY/89/5 Notes on draft conveyance [of 519ac. at Sutton] from Sir Christopher Sykes to Sir John Ramsden, 12 Nov 1788National Archives (NA)C 131/261/12 Writ. Debtor: Robert Waterton, knight and Creditor: John Rudstone, citizen and draper of London, £1000, September 1515IR 29/43/81 Tithe apportionment for Burton Salmon, 1843 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 29/43/82 Tithe apportionment for Byram-cum-Sutton, 1845 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 30/43/81 Tithe map for Burton Salmon, 1843 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 30/43/82 Tithe map for Byram-cum-Sutton, 1847 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 24 May 2017]North Yorkshire County Record Office (NYCRO)ZYJ Byram Hall Woods Accounts 1881-1885; Gardeners Accounts 1881-1885Z.1323 Byram Hall Gardeners’ Accounts 1886-1890Royal Horticultural Society Archives (RHSA)f159 Lancelot Brown Account Book, f159Sir John Ramsden Bart for Byram in Yorkshire; July 1782, A Survey of Byram by John Spyers containing 373 Acres - a fair and neat Drawing made of it with Proper References to the Contents at one Shilling Pr Acre including Mr Spyers Expences £18 13s 0d. A General Plan for the Alterations of the Place sent to Byram in Dec 1782. A journey to Byram myself in 1782Soane Museum (SM) Box 5 Stroud Papers Sir John Ramsden to Stroud, 11 February 1943West Yorkshire Archive Services, Kirklees (WYASK)DD/RA/F/29/32 The acquisition of Bryam in Brotherton (c1645)DD/RA/F/2c/40 Letter from Mr Weddell to Mrs Weddell from Byram, 8 August 1783West Yorkshire Archive Services, Wakefield (WYASW)WDP74/6/1 Brotherton Terrier begun by ‘John Law Vicar of Brotherton in the Year 1778’NewspapersSheffield Daily TelegraphThe Gardeners’ ChronicleThe Huddersfield ChronicleThe Leeds IntelligencerThe Leeds MercuryThe Leeds TimesYorkshire Evening PostMapsWarburton’s map of Yorkshire, c. 1720Jeffrey’s map of Yorkshire, c. 1771Greenwood’s map of West Riding of Yorkshire, surveyed 1817 and corrected 1834Ordnance Survey 6” 1st edition, surveyed 1845 to 1849, published 1852Ordnance Survey 6” Rev edition, surveyed 1905, published 1908Ordnance Survey 25” 1st edition, surveyed 1890, published 1892Ordnance Survey 25” Rev edition, surveyed 1905, published 19075. REFERENCESBooks and articlesBruyn-Andrews, C. (ed) 1936. The Torrington Diaries containing the tours through England and Wales of the Hon John Byng, Volume 3. London, Eyre & Spotiswode.Forrest, C. 1871. The History of the Antiquities of Knottingley in the Parish of Pontefract. London, H. Williams.HMC 1862. International Exhibition 1862, Official Catalogue of the Fine Art Department. London, Truscott Son & Simmons.Holmes, C. ed. 1911 The gardens of England in the northern counties. London: The Studio.Hunter, J. 1830. The Diary of Ralph Thoresby, Vol. II. London, Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley.Ousby, I. (ed) 1992. James Plumptre’s Britain: The Journals of a Tourist in the 1790s. London, Hutchinson.Pevsner, N. and Radcliffe, E. 1967. The Buildings of England, Yorkshire West Riding. London, Penguin Books.Pickersgill, D. 1996. Reminders of Days Gone By: A History of Byram Hall and Park. Unpublished pamphlet.PRO 1915. Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (1498-1504): Series 2, Volume 2, Henry VII. London, HMSO.Wilson, G. ed. 1914. Orchid World, Volume 4. London, Norman & Co.Primary sources British Library (BL) Lansdowne MS 914 Drawing: ‘The South Prospect of Bryom Hall. The Seat of Sir William Ramsden Bart’ by Samuel Buck, 1719-20.Historic England Archives (HEA)CC52/00682 Photograph of the gate piers and ornate wrought iron gate to the west of the Orangery in the grounds of Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00684 Photograph of an ornate gateway in a walled garden at Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00686 Photograph of a view of the formal gardens at Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910CC52/00687 Photograph of avenue of trees in the grounds of Byram Hall, 1890 – 1910Hull History Centre (HHC)U DDSY/89/1 Draft. Notice of Sale: 519ac. at Sutton, 3 Apr 1788U DDSY/89/4 Plan to accompany printed particulars of sale of land at Sutton, 3 Apr 1788U DDSY/89/5 Notes on draft conveyance [of 519ac. at Sutton] from Sir Christopher Sykes to Sir John Ramsden, 12 Nov 1788National Archives (NA)C 131/261/12 Writ. Debtor: Robert Waterton, knight and Creditor: John Rudstone, citizen and draper of London, £1000, September 1515IR 29/43/81 Tithe apportionment for Burton Salmon, 1843 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 29/43/82 Tithe apportionment for Byram-cum-Sutton, 1845 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 30/43/81 Tithe map for Burton Salmon, 1843 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 10 January 2018]IR 30/43/82 Tithe map for Byram-cum-Sutton, 1847 [Source: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/ accessed 24 May 2017]North Yorkshire County Record Office (NYCRO)ZYJ Byram Hall Woods Accounts 1881-1885; Gardeners Accounts 1881-1885Z.1323 Byram Hall Gardeners’ Accounts 1886-1890Royal Horticultural Society Archives (RHSA)f159 Lancelot Brown Account Book, f159Sir John Ramsden Bart for Byram in Yorkshire; July 1782, A Survey of Byram by John Spyers containing 373 Acres - a fair and neat Drawing made of it with Proper References to the Contents at one Shilling Pr Acre including Mr Spyers Expences £18 13s 0d. A General Plan for the Alterations of the Place sent to Byram in Dec 1782. A journey to Byram myself in 1782Soane Museum (SM) Box 5 Stroud Papers Sir John Ramsden to Stroud, 11 February 1943West Yorkshire Archive Services, Kirklees (WYASK)DD/RA/F/29/32 The acquisition of Bryam in Brotherton (c1645)DD/RA/F/2c/40 Letter from Mr Weddell to Mrs Weddell from Byram, 8 August 1783West Yorkshire Archive Services, Wakefield (WYASW)WDP74/6/1 Brotherton Terrier begun by ‘John Law Vicar of Brotherton in the Year 1778’NewspapersSheffield Daily TelegraphThe Gardeners’ ChronicleThe Huddersfield ChronicleThe Leeds IntelligencerThe Leeds MercuryThe Leeds TimesYorkshire Evening PostMapsWarburton’s map of Yorkshire, c. 1720Jeffrey’s map of Yorkshire, c. 1771Greenwood’s map of West Riding of Yorkshire, surveyed 1817 and corrected 1834Ordnance Survey 6” 1st edition, surveyed 1845 to 1849, published 1852Ordnance Survey 6” Rev edition, surveyed 1905, published 1908Ordnance Survey 25” 1st edition, surveyed 1890, published 1892Ordnance Survey 25” Rev edition, surveyed 1905, published 1907