THE MARKENFIELD IRREGULAR: Issue 35
ARCHIVES are not always about the distant past. The story of Markenfield continues and even now is creating or recording what is happening here today for future generations. Janet Senior, who of course wrote the authoritative The Markenfields of Markenfield Hall, and Dr Maryon Dougil have, weekly for over a year now been reading through and cataloguing boxes of twentieth century papers, letters and reports – in particular relating to the 1980s restoration.
We had already acquired the working papers of the architect of that time John Miller, with all his sketches, proposals and ideas; many never carried out. These will now live alongside such things as the Condition Report of 1962 which proposed that the mediaeval first-floor entrance directly into the Great Hall – a grand exterior staircase over the present front door – be rebuilt… to read more please click HERE
The Markenfield Irregular: Issue 34
MARK-IN-FIELD. The most elegantly carved mediaeval tomb in Ripon Cathedral is that of Sir Thomas Markenfield (d. 1398) in the North Transept. And most curious
is his unusual collar, which shows a couchant stag within an elaborate fence round a little field. Many learned essays have been written to prove that this was a badge marking his adherence to the House of Lancaster; others think it is simply a play on the family name – Mark-in-Field (a “mark” being your quarry in a hunt) similar to the mediaeval humour shown by a rebus in heraldry.
A similar image has now been identified, sketched onto the back of a letter written about 1590. It is in the form of a pendant, and has a little ring at the top. The letter, now in the North Yorkshire County Archives, was written by William Mauleverer, a relation of the Markenfields by marriage, setting out his case to claim some of the… to read more please click HERE
THE MARKENFIELD IRREGULAR: ISSUE 33
Markenfield has acquired a most intriguing 7″x5″ sepia wash sketch of the house from the north-east, dated 1825. It is by George Cuitt the Younger of Masham (1779-1854) who in his day was well known. One’s first impression is that very little has changed: the N side of the moat, which forms the foreground, is much rougher and irregular, there is what appears to be a mooring post as if those who lived there kept a boat on the water, and there are little gates and walls illustrating how the house and land was at this stage divided between two tenant farmer families – the Harrisons and the Hawkesworths. To read more, please click HERE to open Issue 33 of the Irregular.
THE MARKENFIELD IRREGULAR: Issue 32
A DISCOVERY. Property forfeited during the 1569 Rising of the North was disposed of to loyal and trusted advisors to Queen Elizabeth. Markenfield was such a property – the Markenfield family having taken such a leading role in the rebellion – and was gifted first for a fixed 21 years to Laurence Meres and then, in perpetuity, to Sir Henry Gates, MP. (1515 – 1589).
Alan Robiette has discovered that Trinity College Dublin has a manuscript New Testament, in Wycliffe’s English translation, which dates probably from the early 15th century and once belonged to Gates. This retains his handwritten notes on the flyleaves, recording the births of all his children – down to the hour of the day, as well as the date and place of each birth – and the names of their godparents. In his own words… To read more, please click HERE to open Issue 32 of the Irregular.
THE MARKENFIELD IRREGULAR: Issue 31
OTTO THE OTTER is a character we earnestly wish had never become part of the Markenfield story.
We first became aware that something was badly wrong when three or four large deadfish were found nightly on the banks of the moat, partly brutally eaten and then discarded. They were descendants of Koi Carp and Tench that the Tenant Farmer’s son had introduced to the waters a few years ago when a few inches long, and had grown to the size of a goodly Salmon. First thoughts were that the culprit was a Fox. Then perhaps a Mink. It was clear that the brute, whoever he was, would visit two or three nights running, gorge himself, and then pause for a few nights to recover before returning… To read more, please click HERE to open issue 31 of the Markenfield Irregular.
THE MARKENFIELD IRREGULAR: Issue 30
A NASTY SURPRISE. It had never crossed Markenfield’s mind that it might one day be approached by a specialist land agent wishing to acquire a substantial field in the centre of the Estate, to develop a solar panel farm. The land concerned is directly opposite the Dutch Barn on the drive and could have beeneither 18 or 34 acres, which would then be covered by many hundreds of identical solar panels, all leaning the same way and with the ancient farm land beneath deliberately rendered sterile. The agent’s letter included a list of all the special designations of land which would have made such a solar farm impossible, such as proximity to anything of historic or of environmental importance. As Markenfield farmland was apparently none of these things and was indeed nothing special, he did not foresee planning problems.
The reply was Thank you but no thank you. That should have been the end of the matter; but one must not forget the Government’s determined drive to switch from fossil fuels to the renewable… To read more please click HERE to download the 30th issue of the Irregular.