Markenfield Hall | Ripon
Tucked privately away along a mile-long winding drive, just three miles south of Ripon, Markenfield has been described as Yorkshire’s best-kept secret. Not visible from the road, a glimpse of the imposing east wall cannot be seen until visitors reach the old Mediaeval road near to the top of the drive. 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 200 yards away.
As it is, the house is approached from the A61 Ripon to Harrogate Road along a humble farm track, past agricultural buildings and farm workers’ cottages. Parking at the side of the moat, visitors approach the building on foot – walking over the bridge that now serves the house in place of the former drawbridge – and the moment the Mediaeval Courtyard opens up as visitors pass beneath the Tudor Gatehouse never fails to astound.
Open: 4 to 19 May and 15 to 30 June 2013
2:00pm to 5:00pm each day (last entry 4:30pm)
Rarely open to the public until 2001, in 2013 the Hall will be open for just 32 afternoons by kind permission of the Owners.
Visitors to the Hall park in the One Acre Paddock and walk along the side of the moat, where they will be greeted by the two resident Black Swans, before approaching the imposing face of the Tudor Gatehouse (now the Hall’s administrative hub).
Through the Gatehouse, the peaceful quadrangle opens up and visitors walk past beautiful planting and on in to the Undercroft where they are met by the first of our wonderful Volunteer Stewards. We have a Steward in each of the rooms – they are a fount of knowledge and visitors are encouraged to ask as many questions as they like.