Scale House 6636

Skipton, North Yorkshire, England, North Yorkshire, Craven

Brief Description

The grounds are of great interest. Their evolution from a simple late-17th-century courtyard design, through a late-19th-century picturesque woodland and walled garden to a mid-20th-century formal compartmentalised series of gardens may all be traced on Ordnance Survey, tithe and estate maps.

History

The original late-16th-century house faced south lying west of the old road from Rylstone to Skipton. In the mid-17th-century it had become a Quaker stronghold with a Meeting House in an adjacent barn but after 1677 the Quaker connection was broken. The property then became principally a gentleman's residence although it was owned by absentee landlords in the early-19th-century and leased to tenants.

Detailed Description

A photograph taken in 1863, when the property was sold to Captain Henry Blake, shows the house with a late-17th-century façade, a front walled courtyard and imposing entrance gates piers. These gate piers were moved to their present position on the entrance of the south-western approach to the house from a new main road from Rylstone to Skipton. This had replaced the old turnpike in 1851. Scale House was extensively altered and enlarged by Henry Blake after 1863, when the entrance was altered from the south side of the house to the west to face the new road. It was probably at this time that the new entrance drives from the north-west and the south-west were made. A lodge was also built at the north-west entrance, with the 17th-century gate piers going to the new south-west way in to the property. About 1911 a classical portico was erected over the main entrance on the west front.

In 1939 the grounds were landscaped by the grandfather of the present owner and a series of elaborate garden projects put in hand. From the evidence of the 1909 25 inch Ordnance Survey map the gardens had previously been quite simple with mixed woodland to the north and south-west. There was also a belt of woodland to the west of the main road which would shield the house and approach drives from the Skipton to Grassington railway. In 1939 the garden was extended south and south-east into pasture or park land.

The house is now approached by a tree-lined drive from the south-west which leads to a terrace in front of the entrance portico. Below the terrace steps lead down to a former rose garden now planted with rhododendron, azaleas and mature specimen trees including two very large Wellingtonias, probably of late-19th-century origin. To the south of the house, beyond a lawn, steps lead down to a sunken, walled and yew-hedged rectangular enclosure laid out as a formal rose garden in the 1939 re-modelling. It has a half moon lily pond below the steps, stone paths and a central plinth where formerly there was a lead statue of a cherub leaning on either a bear or wolf and holding a grotesque mask in his left hand..

The 1939 map shows an elaborate layout of paths and flower beds of which traces remain. North-east of the rose garden are the remains of a large rockery now overgrown with trees and shrubs. Immediately to the north-east of the rockery a stone flagged and stepped path leads up through a stone piered pergola to a rectangular walled flower garden with a fan-shaped extension. At the south-east corner of this extension stone steps lead up to a hexagonal summer house. A 1950s cine film shows that there was a herbaceous border along the east wall of this garden. This rectangular enclosure is bisected by a stone path terminating with a terracotta/stone well-head (possibly a copy) at the northern end and the whole is laid down to grass.

Further up the hill from this former flower garden are the remains of a large kitchen garden, while directly above and to the east of the house is the late-19th-century walled garden and greenhouses shown on the 1909 25 inch Ordnance Survey map. The walls on the north, east and south sides are stone lined with brick on their inner faces. The north wall is around 15 feet high with potting sheds abutting on its outer face. On the east wall are the remains of collapsed greenhouses. On the west side the garden wall is low and solely of brick. Steps from the entrance in this wall lead down to the house. There was a second entrance to the walled garden for gardeners in the north wall nearer to the service areas of the house.

The grounds are of great interest. Their evolution from a simple late-17th-century courtyard design, through a late-19th-century picturesque woodland and walled garden to a mid-20th-century formal compartmentalised series of gardens may all be traced on Ordnance Survey, tithe and estate maps.

The house has since been sold and much restoration is being carried out.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The original late-16th-century house has been extensively altered and enlarged, particularly after 1863.
  • Drive
  • Description: The house is now approached by a tree-lined drive from the south-west.
  • Terrace
  • Description: There is a terrace in front of the entrance portico.
  • Rose Garden
  • Description: This is a former rose garden now planted with rhododendron and azaleas.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: There are mature specimen trees including two very large Wellingtonias, probably of late-19th-century origin.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Rose Garden
  • Description: To the south of the house, beyond a lawn, steps lead down to a sunken, walled and yew-hedged rectangular enclosure laid out as a formal rose garden in the 1939 re-modelling.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Pond
  • Description: The rose garden has a half moon lily pond below the steps, stone paths and a central plinth where formerly there was a lead statue of a cherub leaning on either a bear or wolf and holding a grotesque mask in his left hand.
  • Rockery
  • Description: North-east of the rose garden are the remains of a large rockery now overgrown with trees and shrubs.
  • Pergola
  • Description: Immediately to the north-east of the rockery a stone flagged and stepped path leads up through a stone piered pergola to a rectangular walled flower garden with a fan-shaped extension.
  • Well Head
  • Description: There is a terracotta/stone well-head (possibly a copy) at the northern end.
Kitchen Garden
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Rylstone
History

Detailed History

The original late-16th-century house faced south lying west of the old road from Rylstone to Skipton. The 1838 Rylstone tithe map (NYCRO 1799/392) shows an enclosed courtyard garden south of the house, an orchard to the east and a walled area with trees to the west. In the mid-17th-century it had become a Quaker stronghold with a Meeting House in an adjacent barn but after 1677 the Quaker connection was broken. The property then became principally a gentleman's residence although it was owned by absentee landlords in the early-19th-century and leased to tenants.
References

Contributors

  • Yorkshire Gardens Trust