Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Planned to Perfection

Friday saw a wedding at the Hall - and we are happy to report that a good time was had be all, despite Mother Nature's best attempts to put a dampener on proceedings!

We have never had a Wedding Planner in charge of a wedding at the Hall, so it was with some trepidation that we launched in to the setting up of things on Thursday morning...

Needless to say that our fears were unfounded. Carol from Beau Belles was fantastic - a lovely person who had only her Bride's best interests heart. 

The day ran smoothly and without a hitch. Carol and yours truly sat at the back of the Ceremony and both shed a tear as the vows were said. The Civil Ceremony was followed by an Anglican Service of Dedication in the Chapel taken by Canon Keith Punshon.

Now for a spot of "product placement"! We are very proud to have links with some of the area's finest services and suppliers when it comes to weddings. 

The flowers (pictured left) were supplied by Lance at Caine Florists in Harrogate and the official photographs were taken by Nicola Martindale in Ripon. Both did our happy couple proud.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Putting the Great back in to Great Hall

The Great Hall of a mediaeval manor house would have been a splendid sight - built and adorned to impress visiting noble men and dignitaries alike. Pigmentation can still be seen on the walls at Markenfield indicating that the walls would have been a wonderful rich red colour, and at one point they were even panelled in oak (those oak panels now grace the walls of the Bishop's Palace in Ripon).

But not so the Great Hall at Markenfield. 

After the Rising of the North in 1569, the house and its land was confiscated from the de Markenfield family for high treason and given to Thomas Edgerton - the first in a long line of absentee landlords - and so began a period in the Hall's history that saw it fall in to a state of disrepair. Inhabited by a series of tenant farmers, it was recorded in 1855 as being used as a grain store along with the neighbouring Chapel. 

Fletcher Norton - later to become the first Lord Grantley - effectively saved the house in 1761 as it was he who re-roofed the Great Hall making it water tight and safe from the elements - every surveyor and builder knows just how quickly a house deteriorates once the weather gets in. 

The 1980s restoration under the direction of 7th Lord Grantley left the Great Hall largely untouched, and the image at the top of the page shows the Great Hall some time in the 1990s.

The restoration of the Great Hall began in the winter of 2003-4 with the re-instatement of the massive keystone fireplace, followed by the installation of the giant oak book-stacks the following winter.

Further details of the restoration can be found here CLICK in an article for the Heritage Conservation magazine.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

That's the way to do it!

Barrowford Over 50s
Parking at Markenfield is always a thorny issue - but it is perfectly possible with a bit of common sense and some expert manoeuvring, as this coach from Lancashire shows.

One of the first questions we are always asked when it comes to groups (and sometimes even weddings) is "will a coach fit up the drive?". The answer is yes, it will. The Farm has a lot of big machinery that makes its way up and down the drive each day, added to that the number of articulated lorries that visit either dropping off or picking up making the drive quite a busy place at times. They never cause a problem -  it just goes to show that large vehicles will - and do - fit.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

This green and pleasant land...

Never let it be said that Yorkshire folk are not a hardly lot - the clouds are dark in the sky and heavy rain showers are forecast, yet we still have a paddock full of cars and numerous people taking in the spectacular views around the Moat Walk. The walk starts in the main car park and follows the Moat around all four sides of the house. The north side is particularly fascinating as it shows numerous mysterious features such as blocked windows and doors - the origins of which are lost in the mists of time.

The walk offers views of the Hall that are not normally seen by visitors:

The north side of the farm buildings

The west range of the house and orchard beyond
 The Moat Walk is open whilst the House is open to the public - from now until Saturday 14 May and again from 19 June to 2 July 2pm to 5pm daily (last entry to the house is 4:30pm). So why not come along and see if you can spot the two black swans as they paddle majestically around...