Markenfield Hall is open for pre-booked groups throughout the year – with the exception of the 30 afternoons when it is open to the general public. Further information on our tours and the Hall can be found below, and Sarah Robson our Administrator can be contacted on 01765 692303 to check availability and take you through the booking process.
Markenfield is a small house (comparatively speaking), and as such we have a small staff – both figuratively and literally… the person who answered your phone call is the one who will be serving your cake at the end of your tour. This personal touch, combined with the fact that we take a limited number of bookings each year, allows us to welcome you to a tranquil Markenfield.
It isn’t for everyone – we have very limited mobile reception, and no Wi-Fi. There is no gift shop, no café and there are no digital interactives. There are no teasels on chairs to stop you sitting down – in fact, sitting down is actively encouraged.
What we do have are friendly, welcoming Guides who can gauge their tour to the interests of your group. We have an Administrator who aims to make the booking process as simple as possible, and were are always happy to hold dates for you whilst you juggle coach companies, lunch bookings and additional venues. Did we mention we also have exceedingly good homemade cake…?
The cost of a tour at Markenfield Hall is £12 per person for groups of 10 people and over (no concessions and no HHA membership discount) and a fixed fee of £120 is charged per tour for groups of 10 people or less.
Tea, coffee and a variety of cakes can be provided for groups for an overall price of £16 per person (including the tour) and a fixed fee of £160 is charged per tour for groups of 10 people or less.
The Hall is just three miles south of the Cathedral City of Ripon, with its bustling Thursday market, independent shops and tearooms (not to mention its three museums); and within 20 minutes of attractions such as Fountains Abbey, Newby Hall, Norton Conyers and Ripley Castle. A visit can be combined with half a day at any one of these beautiful sites to create a day out with as much history / shopping / cake as you choose. Further information about Ripon, and contact details for its attractions, can be found HERE.
Guided tours at Markenfield last between an hour and a half and two hours, followed by time for your group to wander around the Hall and outside around the moat walk. We generally recommend that you allow around two hours in all for your visit, or two and a half if you are having cake – allowing your friends and colleagues to take their time and ask as many questions as they like.
The Courtyard to the front of the Hall is flat and therefore suitable for wheelchair users. There is one main staircase within the house with wide, shallow treads. There are two small landings on the stairs and we often place chairs on these landings to break up the climb.
The Hall is becoming increasingly recognised for its small, but beautiful, gardens; which in 2020 will feature in Country Life magazine. They are all contained within the moat and can be seen when doing the Hall’s Moat Walk. This is available – at least in part – all year round, but occasionally parts of it will be closed due to cows! If your group is a gardening club, or particularly horticulturally-minded, do let us know and we can organise a part-garden and part-house tour for you.
Frequently asked questions...
Below are some of the questions we are asked most frequently – please do get in touch if you have any other queries.
to contact the Administrator please
telephone 01765 692303
Do you have a loo? We do – we have two. One is in the Hall’s original lock-up and was once described as “the most interesting lavatorial experience I have ever had” by a lady emerging from it. The other is in the Gatehouse. Both are on the ground floor, but the Lock-up has two steps down into it.
Your drive looks quite narrow, will a coach fit? It will – we can take up to a 52-seater. Bigger coaches can get in, but will struggle to get back out. We have recently removed a wall to make exiting easier.
Do you have a restaurant? We don’t, no – but that doesn’t mean you go hungry. We have teamed up with The Harrogate Cake Lady, a lady after our own heart, who creates the most wonderful cakes. We set out tables and chairs in the Undercroft (or outside if the weather is glorious, but we tend to favour inside) and can serve tea and cake before or after your tour. We don’t usually like to name-drop, but as well as the Harrogate Cake Lady we also serve Yorkshire Tea and Taylor’s coffee.
If The Harrogate Cake Lady’s creations are not enough, you could indulge your group in afternoon tea – lovingly prepared by The Dusty Miller. Word of Elizabeth’s afternoon tea is spreading and (don’t tell anyone) if you look in our visitors’ book you’ll find more than a few comments declaring it better than Betty’s…
Will there be other groups there at the same time? No – yours will be the only one at that time of day. We do occasionally have one in a morning and one in an afternoon, but never the twain shall meet.
What is a group? You don’t have to belong to a historical society, or be a history buff, to enjoy our tours – we regularly welcome WIs, sewing groups, book clubs and the like. If you can get together 10 people or more you constitute a group in our eyes. If you can’t quite scrape together ten people – do give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.