Over 700 years of history
Markenfield is the seat of the Grantley family – builders of nearby Grantley Hall – and is the much-loved family home of the widow of 7th Lord Grantley and her second husband. Together, Lady Deirdre and Ian Curteis continue the restoration of the Hall and the wider Estate.
The story of Markenfield is one of the saddest and most romantic in English history...
Medieval Markenfield remains largely untouched, and is amongst a small number of moated manor houses that – to this day – could still be recognised by their original builder as they are so little-altered. The Hall’s fortunes were deeply entwined with those of nearby Fountains Abbey prior to the Reformation, and this great house acted as one of the most important centres of The Rising of the North in 1569, which was to be its tragic downfall. This act of Treason by Sir Thomas Markenfield saw the Estate swiftly confiscated, and it slumbered on in relative obscurity until 1761 when it was purchased by Sir Fletcher Norton – later to become Lord Grantley, First Baron of Markenfield, a title still held by the family to this day.
Now tucked privately away along a mile-long winding drive, the Hall is not visible from the road. A glimpse of the imposing east wall cannot be seen until visitors reach the Old Medieval Road. But for a quirk of fate – and a Turnpike Act of 1777 – Markenfield would have been one of the most recognisable houses in Yorkshire, and the nearby A61 would run along this now-Bridleway just 200 yards from its facade.
Markenfield’s history can largely be divided into five periods, which can be explored using the menu to the left of this page. You will also find further information on the family’s most famous member, Caroline Norton – of whom we are extremely proud.