PRESS RELEASE: MARKENFIELD STRIPPED BARE
Visitors to Markenfield Hall who arrive by car are greeted by the imposing sight of the Hall’s Tudor Gatehouse as they approach, but this entrance is a relatively modern addition – in Markenfield terms at least.
Walkers who gaze up at it from the Old Mediaeval Road below, en-route to nearby Fountains Abbey, are looking at it the way that visitors would have done 700 years ago. But for a quirk of fate – and a turnpike act of 1777 – Markenfield would be one of the most recognisable houses in Yorkshire as the nearby A61 would run along this now-Bridleway just 200m from its façade.
Some historians have thought, and indeed it would make sense, that this East side was the site of the original entrance to the 1310 house (see sketch) and that side of the Hall is built more defensively than the rest.
This East Wing of the Hall has been home to the Hall’s tenant farmers for the past 45 years and they have tended the East Garden within the moat all that time. Now however and the gardens have come back under the care of the Hall’s Owner Lady Deirdre Curteis. With her eye for detail and the vision of Head Gardener Giles Gilbey the garden is undergoing a transformation to bring it more in keeping with the rest of the borders around the Hall.
The enormous undertaking of removing all the original planting began back in April and has been on hold due to a couple of unforeseen birds’ nests, but will be restarting next week as the young have now flown.
Visitors can see the work progressing when the Hall opens its doors to the public from Sunday 11 to Sunday 25 June (2:00pm to 5:00pm each day). Further information can be obtained from the Hall’s website www.markenfield.com or from the Administrator on 01765 692303.