Open Days 2020
Sunday 3 to Sunday 17 May and
Sunday 14 to Sunday 28 June
2:00pm to 5:00pm each day
If you can't visit during our Open Days, please click below for a number of alternate dates and ways to visit.
As a family home, the Hall welcomes visitors to just 30 open afternoons each year. Do you long for a sense of serenity? To step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life? Then you need to visit during one of our Open Afternoons. Escape for an hour – as you step through the Gatehouse arch, and into the mediaeval courtyard, you will find yourself in an oasis of soothing peace and quiet where time has stood still; and as you step inside England’s oldest continuously inhabited manor house you will see why it has been described as “so stunningly beautiful it should be wildly famous – and yet it is not”. And that is the beauty of Markenfield – it is a hidden gem, waiting for you to discover it.
Markenfield is surrounded by 700 acres of its own farmland, and whilst there may be the occasional tractor, you will notice a certain stillness in the air and a sense of calm – we call it the Markenfield effect. Markenfield is not for everyone – we have very limited mobile reception, and no Wi-Fi. There is no 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. You are visiting our home – we want you to feel welcome and a sense of belonging.
After navigating the mile-long drive, parking is in the One Acre Paddock alongside the moat. Historically you would have been met by our two Black Swans, but sadly not this year due to “Ottergate”. Passing under the Tudor Gatehouse (now the administrative hub of the Estate) the peaceful quadrangle opens up and you will walk past beautiful planting (we may not have a shop, but we do have a plant stall) and on into the house.
Once your eyes have adjusted to the cool shade, you will notice the first of our wonderful Volunteer Stewards waiting to greet you. During our Open Days we have a Steward in each of our rooms – they are a font of knowledge, and visitors are welcome to ask as may (or as few) questions as they like.
Within the Hall, visitors can explore the Undercroft downstairs, as well as the fabulously-named Dogs’ Entrance and the medieval vaulting of “the most unusual Utility Room in North Yorkshire”. On the first floor the Great Hall awaits – its soaring ceiling and comfortable sofas providing a welcoming contrast, as you take in one, whilst sitting on the other – and then on into the medieval Chapel and Four Poster Bedroom beyond. For further information on access please click HERE.
After spending time in the Hall, there is then the opportunity to take in the Moat Walk, which gives you the opportunity to see the Hall from all sides, and to appreciate not just splendid architecture but splendid planting too – as featured in Country Life.
Frequently asked questions...
Do I need to book? No, there is no need to book during the Hall’s 30 Open Days. Simply come along between 2:00pm and 5:00pm (last entry is 4:30pm).
How much does it cost? Adult entry is £10, Seniors £6 and Children / Concessions are £3. We do not have the facility to take cards at present, so please bring your loose change.
Whereabouts are you? Markenfield’s only entrance is off the A61, three miles south of Ripon. Sat-navs can lead you a merry dance, so we suggest that you look at our Directions page HERE.
How long will a visit take? We recommend allowing an hour to an hour and a half for visits – it depends how much time you spend talking to our Stewards, or sitting and soaking up the atmosphere.
Do you have a restaurant? No we don’t. As a family home, it is quite hard to find room to seat people in the main house. There are lots of lovely tearooms in nearby Ripon.
Can I bring my dog? Dogs are welcome at the Hall – we currently have a Farm Dog and two Gardener’s Dog. Until a couple of years ago we also had an Office Dog and a Hall Dog too.
During Open Days parking is in the One Acre Paddock, where there is plenty of shade. Dogs are welcome in the Courtyard and on 3/4 of the Moat Walk – the remaining 1/3 is through farmland, which does generally contain livestock; and we therefore ask that dogs are kept out of that field.