Keeping it short today but there are two links if you would like to find out more.
I have come across a rather interesting article on the British Library Blog. For those of you who like your Jane Austen you may recall that Lizzie Bennet’s opinion of Fitzwilliam Darcy went a sea change once she clapped eyes on his stately pile in the country. Sight seeing isn’t a modern phenomenon but what I didn’t realise was the by the eighteenth century many house owners had recourse to guide books. The British Library cites the example of Burghley House and Duncombe Park. Sadly there were no references to halls leading me to wonder whether Houses and Parks were deemed to be of greater merit than halls – of course, its an interesting question but sadly not one I have an answer to.
It also turns out that some houses allowed anybody to wander around whilst others only allowed the quality to take a turn around the long gallery. Today of course many halls are in the care of organisations other than the families that originally owned them.. There are exceptions though. Burton Agnes Hall in EastYorkshire is a Jacobean hall, though like Hardwick Hall the remnants of the earlier medieval hall is close by. It is still a family home.
Newby Hall, another Yorkshire hall, is also a family home and like the two properties identified above the Adam style gem was built close to the medieval hall which fell into ruin.
The rebuilding of older halls continued into the nineteenth century. Nidd Hall is an example of the later phase of hall building by a Victorian businessman who was buying it to the idea of the gentry. Brodsworth Hall, pictured at the start of the post, tells a similar story – leading to the question how many of these rebuilds came about because men with aspirations visited older halls and when the opportunity arose built one of their own?
The next post will be abut Nunnington Hall and Bonnie Prince Charlie…and another Christmas Ghost story.