Thursday, 28 April 2011

A Golden Welcome Awaits...

Well, summer finally seems to have arrived in our tiny slice of Yorkshire. The cows are in the fields and the golden (some may say garish...) yellow that covers a lot of the countryside at this time of year has seemingly surround the Hall leaving it looking as though it has an outer moat of green fields! There are duckings on the moat, hares racing around the fields and - most importantly - the sun is shining!

 Markenfield throws open its doors to the public on Sunday, so we have been busily preparing for the (hopefully) hundreds of people that are simply waiting to flock through our door.

The Hall will be open from Sunday 1st to Saturday 14th May from 2pm to 5pm each day. We hope we'll see you soon!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Master of all he surveys

One of the first Projects undertaken by The Friends came to fruition last year with the completion of the restoration of Beechey’s portrait of Fletcher Norton, First Baron Grantley of Markenfield, and its frame. The portrait has hung in the Dining Room at the Hall for many years, underneath centuries of dust, dirt and wood-smoke.  The restoration work was funded by The Leche Trust, a Trust that works to help conserve historic houses and their contents.  The funding process was assisted by the Heritage Conservation Trust, a charity associated with the Historic Houses Association, that supports the restoration of works of art that are of historic or artistic importance in historic houses.  The portrait was cleaned and restored by Harrogate-based David Everingham, whilst the frame was repaired and restored by Lincolnshire-based Paula Reeve.  

As a condition of the funding, the portrait has to be on display to the public. Last year, he sat on a purpose-made easel in the fireplace of the Great Hall - but it was always thought that he was a bit precarious, and he really got in the way during weddings! So, the decision was taken to raise him up and pop him in to the blocked-up window in the west wall of the Great Hall. From there he can look out over the Great Hall, which must have changed beyond all recognition to him; a solid roof, clean damp-free walls and now a much-loved and used family room. He also gets to look out across the Hall in general - a building that has not changed at all in the subsequent seven generations, and which he would recognise in an instance.


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Host of Golden Wedding Celebrations!

The north-east corner of the moat
Well, the weekend dawned bright and sunny - the host of golden daffodils that line both the drive and the moat were in full bloom and all was set for a beautiful - and busy - weekend.

We have a number of highly dedicated Volunteer Stewards that help to run the Hall when it is open to the general public, and two of those Volunteers were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary with a lunch at the Hall on Saturday. 

We had set everything up on the Friday and now we just had to await the arrival of the happy couple and their family. 

The swans decided to put on a display just as they arrived - performing a lovely little courtship dance of neck-weaving and bobbing - which added to the occasion.

There is evidence of nest building along the north-side of the moat, so there may well be the patter of tiny webbed feet during the Hall's open days this year. Watch this space for further information.

The Great Hall looked beautiful set out for the anniversary lunch, and we're happy to report that a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Markenfield joins the C21st...

Welcome to the very first Markenfield Hall blog... the Hall is currently being dragged kicking and screaming in to the C21st - it has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and now its very own blog!

Here you will find behind the scenes news, views and even the odd history lesson as and when the need arises! 2010 was a landmark year in the Hall's history, being the 700th anniversary of the Licence to Crenellate. We welcomed hundreds of visitors through the door and look forward to doing the same this year when the Hall opens its doors for the first time on Sunday 1 May.

We also have a wide variety of events coming up courtesy of The Friends of Markenfield, including a summer musical event, talks and walks. Further information can be found on the Hall's website or from the Administrator at or on 01765 692303

We very much look forward to welcoming you to our little slice of history...