Taitlands is situated just to the south of Stainforth on the Settle Road. It is a single phase building where the house and gardens were planned as an integral whole and not much altered over the last 150 years. A combination of an integrated design with a high level of preservation gives the site its significance. Features include a walled kitchen garden, carriage drive, specimen trees, sundial and coach house. The house was a youth hostel until 2007, but its current use is unknown.
The house and gardens were built and developed for Thomas Redmayne, a wealthy mill and quarry owner, and his wife Jane between 1831 and 1848. In 1862 the house passed to Thomas Redmayne's son, Henry. It was sold by auction in 1868. It was bought by the Stackhouse family who remained there until 1911 and eventually became a Youth Hostel in 1942.
Detailed DescriptionThe gate piers to the east were clearly designed to provide an imposing entrance to this gentleman's small mansion when approaching form the north or south.
A ha-ha separates the garden to the south of the house, from the adjoining pasture. This indicates the planning of the site to provide uninterrupted views from the principal room of the house. The room from the house to the south is now obliterated by large copper beech. Some of the lower branches could be removed to help restore the view. There are also sycamore and cherry trees. The cherries are short-lived and may die soon, whereas the sycamore could be removed. The walls on the north and west boundaries which enclose the service part of the site are of dry-stone walling like that of the surrounding fields.
The grounds to the east of the house are enclosed by the semi-circular sweep of the carriage drive which is dotted with individual (specimen) beech and sycamore trees giving a mini parkland effect. They are described in the 1868 sale particulars as gardens and pleasure grounds. (Stainforth History Group 2001: 64). These grounds, together with its imposing Ionic entrance portico with four fluted columns and a cast iron balcony, emphasises the importance of the house.
The area to the south-west of the site includes some specimen trees and due west of the house (aerial photo of 1970 Stainforth History Society book) shows four parterres with cross paths with sundial or feature at axis of paths. No traces remain of these. There is now also an unsightly telegraph pole. There were double doors with coloured glass which lead into the conservatory on the west side of the house. Although the conservatory no longer exists, this glass may have been a frieze which went around the conservatory, as it was not unusual for a Victorian conservatory to have one. Also on the outside there are the remains of an ornate shape around the doorway which had a bee painted in a deep turquoise (a 1920s colour). Old vine eyes hold the wire (in a diamond pattern) away from the wall. There are also signs of supports for benches around what was the outer wall with planting spaces at each side of the ornate entrance. The remains for red/cream caustic tiles are on the floor. The remains of the base of the conservatory show it was built of stone, but was brick-lined and with a stone capping above.
On the north-west of the site is the service area for the house and family, including the walled kitchen garden. The kitchen garden has an entrance for the use of the family from the formal garden. The gate piers are more ornate than those used by the gardeners. The fair-faced or dressed stone is on the family side with the plain side into the wall.
The walled garden is now (2003) a complete wilderness. All the borders are gone and the paths have been removed. No-one can remember how wide the borders were. As a rule of thumb they are usually as wide as the height of the wall. Amongst self-seeded trees remain some of the old fruit trees. The south-facing wall has been raised at some stage, presumably to protect the blossom on the higher branches of the fruit trees. On the lower west side of the garden are three apertures with stone dressing around on both sides of the wall. This may have been to release any frost rolling down the slope. There are traces of a glasshouse in the north-east corner of the walled garden, which is shown on the Ordnance Survey map from around 1900. Traces of path edging were found in the car park to the north. Again the aerial view shows there may have been a path dividing the walled garden in a crucifix form.
Beyond the walled gardens to the north-west is a coach house and stabling with a dovecote in the west-facing wall. To the west of the coach house and facing east is a free-standing section of wall containing 14 bee boles. To the west of this wall is a small building which may have been a pig sty but more likely kennels, as the low retaining walls have the remains of iron railings. Pig-sties were more unusual for gentlemen. Previously elms (now gone), would have given the garden shelter form the north-west.
Other buildings include a former servants' cottage and sheds. The trees in this area are mainly sycamores with an avenue along the northern boundary. Yews and evergreens screen the service buildings from the main house and carriage drive.
Taitlands is a single phase building where the house and gardens were planned as an integral whole and not much altered over the last 150 years. A combination of an integrated design with a high level of preservation gives the site its significance.
It is a Grade II listed building with two ridge staicks to the hipped roof in the style of the Webster firm of Kendal. It was one of the first houses to provide its own gas: carbide was the source of gas produced in a tank behind the coach house. The family aspired to the landed gentry. Jane Redmayne (nee Brown) was from a local family. They had employed four men in the garden.
The following extract is from Chris Partrick's Evaluation of Taitlands (for his MA):
"Substantial polite buildings, let alone designed landscapes, are rare in the Yorkshire Dales: a map search conducted last year in connection with a joint National Park/Yorkshire Gardens Trust project yielded around 120 potential sites for investigation, although the vast majority of these were simply the gardens of manor houses, vicarages, large villas etc. Unlike other parts of the former West Riding, there are relatively few typical industrialists' mansions in the area, perhaps because of its remoteness: railway lings to the West Riding conurbations were not established until the latter half of the 19th century.
Taitlands is therefore is important in the overall Dales context in that it is a relatively late (largely) single-phase building where the house and grounds were planned as an integrated whole. Similarly, neither the house nor grounds have been altered much over the last 150 years, so a number of features ranging from the original tree planting scheme to the beeboles and the coach house and other ancillary buildings have survived. It is the combination of an integrated design with a high level of preservation which lends the site its significance, and which is recognised at least locally: ‘The house, ancillary buildings and grounds contain a lot of important features, some of which are in danger of crumbling away and being list. It is hoped that it can all somehow be preserved for the future' (Stainforth History Group 2001:63).
- House (featured building)
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- Description: Tuscan sundial base around 146cm high with pronounced entasis and inscribed TR 1840 on the base, the dial and gnomon are now gone.
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- Gate Piers
- Description: East entrance to the curved driveway has a pair of gate piers with pyramidal caps flanked by a curved stone wall linking additional posts on each side.
- Garden Building
- Description: The Coach House is dated RTJ 1831.
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- Description: A ha-ha separates the garden to the south of the house, from the adjoining pasture.
- Description: The grounds to the east of the house are enclosed by the semi-circular sweep of the carriage drive.
- Specimen Tree
- Description: There are individual (specimen) beech and sycamore trees giving a mini parkland effect.
- Description: The remains of the base of the conservatory show it was built of stone, but was brick-lined and with a stone capping above.
- Kitchen Garden
- Description: On the north-west of the site is the service area for the house and family, including the walled kitchen garden. The walled garden is now (2003) a complete wilderness. All the borders are gone and the paths have been removed.
- Garden Building
- Description: Other buildings include a former servants' cottage and sheds.
- Victorian (1837-1901)
Yorkshire Gardens Trust