First ‘major country house in the last 200 years’?

I’m always grateful to receive feedback from readers and was intrigued by a recent email from Peter. He queried a quoted assertion on the home page that the new Ravenswick Hall was the first major country house to be built in Yorkshire in the last 200 years.

I’d gleaned this from newspaper articles such as this one or perhaps it was this one that described the new hall this way.

Anyway, Peter responded very politely with the following: (I’ve added some images to illustrate).

“Yorkshire is a big county and had massive wealth – and so lots of new house building – throughout most of the C19th century. But within just say 20/25 miles round Kirkbymoorside zone, since the Second World War there has been Settrington Hall, and Garrowby House and extending another 10 miles, Sunderlandwick Hall, all on the Ravenswick scale and at least, if not more, architecturally distinguished.

Sunderlandwick Hall
Sunderlandwick Hall

Then going back to say 1870 or so, to the south: Warter Priory, Tranby Croft (out of my 25 mile zone I admit), Londesborough Park, and Carlton Towers, four huge and original houses.

Carlton Towers
Carlton Towers

Within five miles of Ravenswick are Welburn Hall and Nawton Towers.

Nawton Tower
Nawton Towers

In the 25 mile zone, to the east Ganton Hall and Wykeham Abbey, to the west Crathorne Hall, Rounton Grange, Smeaton Manor, and Sion Hill.

Ganton Hall
Ganton Hall

To the north Gisborough Hall.

Gisborough Hall
Gisborough Hall

Not to mention old Ravenswick itself, which was a big house if not especially architecturally wonderful, in its previous incarnation!

Ravenswick Hall
The original Ravenswick Hall

And I must give a mention to Gledstone Hall near Skipton which looks as though it was an inspiration for Ravenswick – built in 1926 designed by Lutyens.

Gledstone Hall
Gledstone Hall

I would bet there are at least sixty houses in Yorkshire built in the last 200 years bigger than the new Ravenswick and of great architectural distinction.

Which is not to undermine what is being done and it is good to think there are patrons who will build on such a scale and in such style in these troubled times. Well done the anonymous man with the cheque book – but he should refute absurd claims, whoever started them”.

Note from editor: thank you Peter. While I take slight issue with the original Ravenswick Hall being any where near the scale of what is replacing it, many of those you have cited are indeed major country houses too. I will duly amend my home page.

Comments are always welcome – it is good to know Peter gave this blog a big thumbs up.

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