Sunday, November 28, 2021
Parlington Hall, Aberford, West Riding, Yorkshire, England

I first learned of Parlington Hall in the early 1990's at the time it was the office of an Art Licensing Operation, and I was engaged to undertake a sampler CD-ROM of classic artists work, I still have a few left from the production run! I was impressed from the beginning on seeing the magnificent Cedar of Lebanon gracing the grounds of the former hall, this caused me to wonder about the place... what was the history of Parlington Hall? What had happened to cause it's destruction? Who had lived in the hall?

I never got much chance to look into the history, and to be honest, if I hadn't been offered the opportunity to set up my office
at the Hall, then perhaps the lost history of Parlington would have remained just that! My tenure at the Hall enabled me to carry out a lot of detailed ground investigations, to such an extent that my efforts were rewarded with an article in the BBC History Magazine in the Summer of 2008, some six years after my archaeological activities had started.

When I moved in I asked around, neighbours, few as they are to the Hall, What did they know of the demise of the Old Mansion House? where was the old Hall, relative to the remains which still stand? Why was it left to fall apart? When was it demolished? No-one had a precise answer, so started my investigations.
This site sets out what I discovered, please read on!
If you're new to the site, I suggest you start off at The Parlington Hall section.
Or use the navigation buttons on the page.

Recent Entry Pictures Revisited.

Hover your mouse over the picture for info! To move to the next image hover over the small band of image on the left or right.

Expand 1 Panel | Expand 2nd Panel | Expand 3rd Panel | Expand 4th Panel | Expand 5th Panel

Notes about the above pictures.

The five images are taken from earlier versions of the home page.
(1) The first is the Triumphal Arch taken in 1908 by Godfrey Bingley, a highly regarded photographer of the day, his photographic collection is in the Brotherton Library, Leeds Unversity. This picture is shown with the permission of the library and is copyright. More information on the 1783 Arch is available in the Estate Section here.
(2) The view of Parlington as it was at around 1880 from the lawn, south of the hall, the Cedar of Lebanon is just visible on the right of the picture, in the middle distance is the fountain. Full details of the hall are here.
(3) A modern view, 2005, showing the remains of the hall, a part of what was the West Wing, which was used for utility rooms; still room, housekeeper's room, stores etc. Full details of the hall are here. Over to the right in the imge is the open excavation of the cellar, a discovery detailed here: Cellar discovery
(4) A photograph from around 1860 of the main entrance, Porte Cochere, a detailed account of the items in the house at the auction of 1905 is here.
(5) An aerial view of one of the farms sold in the sale of 1964; South Lodge Farm (Lot 4). Full details of the sale are here.

Parlington Web Site

Nellie's Tree [Added: 30/10/2018]

Who would have thought it, a beech tree in Parlington, grafted in the early years of the twentieth century by Vic Stead to form a letter N the initial of the love of his life, becomes UK Tree of the Year 2018.

Beech tree wins UK tree of the Year Award 2018

More info about the tree here: Nellie's Tree

Parlington Development [Added: 15/3/2017]

Sadly there is a prospect of Parlington disappearing from the greenbelt and being turned over to a new town. The history written here won't change, but how the history of the place will be written ten, twenty or thirty years from now may be very different. So much so in fact that much of the place will be unrecognisable. I hope this never happens, there are plenty of places which would be better suited to a new town. Destroying Parlington to achieve a new settlement is clearly the final realisation of the original purchase of the estate in 1964!

If you feel you would like to oppose the development you can apply to Leeds City Council, one easy way to do this is to visit and complete the form, then submit the email you receive to the council.

Parlington on Facebook

Parlington Hall on Facebook!

Checkout the Parlington page. After all this time I have discovered it is easier to get new articles and comments out to the world via Facebook, do have a look and comment if you like!

Giving away the Triumphal Arch! [Added: 07/06/2013]

A historian and academic, Alex Lock who wrote his PhD dissertation about Sir Thomas Gascoigne 'Sir Thomas Gascoigne (1745-1810): Catholicism, politics and estate management in the late eighteenth century' at Leeds University, has recently uncovered an interesting record in the National Archives about the Triumphal Arch at Parlington.
It seems that at the suggestion of none other than Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, who first raised the idea, the Triumphal Arch was considered as a gift to the USA to commemorate their bi-centenary in 1976 of the American declaration of Independence. After much discussion within the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) it was decided, 'that neither Sir Thomas Gascoigne nor his arch have much serious historical significance', and the idea was dropped. Well I'm horrified! On one level we might think it would have raised the profile of Parlington in the national conscious, but at another level it shows a cavalier disregard of our own heritage and national monuments. The very idea of bureaucrats measuring up the old arch ready for dismantling and boxing up for shipment to the USA is quite enough to make me weep. The significance of the arch is that it is, where it is!! Moving it destroys its intent for which Sir Thomas had it constructed. The point about Sir Thomas and his significance at that time, is something that Alex is hoping will be re-addressed following the acceptance of an abridged version his dissertation for publication in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. I fully support his view that Sir Thomas was significant.
Visit the section on the Triumphal Arch here.

Walk Round Barnbow

I had a walk around Barnbow recently, taking a stroll from off the Garforth to Barwick road just lower down than the golf course. You follow the path of the Cock Beck, and then away up the hill to where the old Gascoigne home used to be at the brow of the hill. Barnbow Hall was abandoned and eventually demolished, sounds familiar!

A few photographs in a slideshow below. mostly taken around the Cock Beck near where the coal pits used to be to the east of the munitions site.

A Fallen Beech... So What! It's been a long Winter! [Added: 30/03/2013]

Beech tree falls on Folly!

A recent meeting at Lotherton of local folk who have contributed to the knowledge of historical events and people, saw me talking with lots of local residents, but one thing which stood out was the alert I was given to the abrupt re-arrangement of the landscape down at the folly by the former lake. The photograph above shows a huge bough from an adjacent tree which has collapsed and fallen right across the folly! Naturally I had to investigate as any further disintegration of the site would be a sad loss. Fortunately, as if the Gascoignes' themselves were watching over the structure, the fallen trunk and branches have collapsed between the two remaining sections of masonry, so although I'm sure the ground must have been shaken badly nothing is apparently any the worse for wear to the remaining walls.

However, any fallen tree is fair game for the woodsman and his men to rip down to log size, so I fear the work on the ground needs to be supervised. Often in the past, such a windfall, [Pun intended] becomes the focus of attention, and care of the adjoining man made structures has been ignored, witness the lost gateposts by the Gamekeeper's Cottage! I will alert the estate managers to the issues. For more information on the folly and the former lake, go here in the Estate Section.

Recent Snippets of Information

Some items of information get lost amongst the larger articles, so I am adding these snippets of information to the home page with links where appropriate.

Clippings Section [Added: 2/10/2012]

The Clippings Section has been re-organised and new articles added from various newspapers. Particularly interesting are the various military events, Sham Fights as they are referred to in some articles! It seems that from the 1860's right through until 1916, Parlington was the home of many army manoeuvres, over fifty years in fact. You wouldn't know it today if you were to stroll through the estate. Some years ago a person who I met at one of my history talks explained how they had found a cannon ball on Parlington Lane, but with the fictitious battles organised by the old Colonel, and knowing that he had his own cannon, as were sold in the sale of 1905, I can't say I'm surprised.

Lotherton Hall Exhibition [Added: 10/03/2013]

An exhibition at Lotherton Hall from 22nd March 2013 - 31st January 2014 subject: Duty Calls is one of a series organised at historic houses throughout the region in association with the Yorkshire Country House Partnership. I have contributed some of my findings concerning the military and Parlington, along with some photographs and the cuttings from Victorian newspapers recording the numerous army manoeuvres devised by Colonel Frederick Charles Trench-Gascoigne. Discover more about the exhibition on the Lotherton Hall web site, to save you having to mine down into the depths of the site, here is a direct link.

New Site in the Offing [Added: 06/03/2013]

The Parlington site is 10 years old this year, and I still have a lot of material to publish, also new pieces of information continue to come to light. Further the server that the site operates from along with the technology used, [Lasso a long established commercial software for creating dynamic web sites] is running on an old version which requires upgrading. So I am redesigning the whole thing, using some quite different technology called Modx Revolution. Presently the site is in very early stages of building and is not worth visiting as there is little in the way of new content. This will change in the next month or so and I will invite people to review the new design and the manner in which the site works, stay tuned!

Snapshot of the new Interface

snapshot of the new design

Reasons to be Cheerful!

I have had a lot of things on my plate over the last twelve to twentyfour months which has reduced my ability to add new articles. However things are picking up on that front and with the new site I hope to provide some key insights into the history of Parlington Hall and its long gone inhabitants! The new design carries on where this one left off, same colours, as I'm told it suits the historical context, a slight herrinbone pattern has been added to the background pale blue and more advanced features such as inlaid shadows and vertical print emphasize the styling. The content area will be wider and the pages formed more in the style of a book, for ease of reading and to improve how it works on the new breed of iPad's and other Tablets! Email me if you would like to view and comment on the development version, just go here.

Mystery Lady in Oil Painting [Added: 1/10/2012]

The family section carries a header picture of a painting by Nancy Raynor, in 1852 of the family in the Drawing Room, it is thought the painting was commissioned following the birth of a son to Isabella and Frederick, the preceeding year. Amongst the people in the painting is one lady sitting on a settee in conversation with Elizabeth. Her identity is not known, but a recent find of a death notice from The Leeds Mercury of June 1857 indicates that the lady in the painting might have been the aunt of the two Gascoigne sisters. More information here in the Family Section.

drawing room painting 1852

About the Fly Line, from the 1960's [Added: 19/9/2012]

A pamphlet comprising just eight pages of copy, by a then, 1964, little known researcher, has recently come to light. It describes the route of the private railway from Garforth to Aberford some forty years after its closure, now a further forty six years on I contrast the continuing changes to the route, here in the railway section.

Update to Sir Thomas Gascoigne Details [Added: 17/8/2012]

Recently revealed baptism paper of Sir Thomas, following his birth in Cambrai, France in 1745, in the Family Section here.

Upcoming Event September 2012 [Added: 12/4/2012]

[Added: 15/8/2012] Vacancies are reducing fast, at this date only 6 places remain. Sorry now fully booked! Also various people who will be attending have suggested we de-camp to the Arabian Horse for a refreshing drink afterwards, in lieu of the picnic idea. let me have your thoughts, please.
Heritage Open Days 2012 In the late summer there are Heritage Events occurring around the country, titled Heritage Open Days and I have been asked if I would host one at Parlington, how could I refuse! The full details of the events are available here: About Heritage Open Days. The Parlington event, the itinery will be added later, takes place on the 9th September 2012 at 2:00pm, essentially it is a walk and talk, and I hope, weather permitting, to conclude with a bring your own picnic at a suitable location at the end of the tour. It is worth recalling that during the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Parlington often hosted visits from all comers, providing they had applied in writing to the Estate Office! A look in the Local Section will show some of the earlier activities. The number of attendees will be limited to around 30 to 36, and we already have four, so if you would like to take part sign up by letting me know on the contact page here. If we are over subscribed, it may be possible to do another event in the future.

A Prospective Development Plan for Parlington

A sketch plan of a redevelopment of Parlington, is critiqued by me, and judging from the responses received, my views are 100% supported, the architects proposals are decidely poor, have a look and send me your observations Development Proposal

Update to the Stained glass Finds [Added: 31/3/2012]

The Gascoigne sisters were reputed to be adept at the craft of stained glass, and created many pieces themselves, here are a few examples of their efforts, in the artifacts section

Mobile Site [Added: 24/2/2012]

The site is rather large to convert in total to a mobile interface, and in any event I'm not convinced anyone would want to read all the articles, and view the many pictures using a mobile phone, to me it would seem like purgatory! However I am persuaded that a limited series of pages might be worth while, particularly if they were changed regularly, if only to pass the time when commuting by rail! The site renders happily on an iPad and looks great, or so I'm told. So no need to change anything for that device, although I have started to modify the page width to suit wider screens and tablet devices. The new pages on the old Georgian Gardens House are all in the new style, which is rather more like a makeover of a BMW, you have to think about what has changed!

The site now has an alternative web address for mobile users also I have put in place a script which will divert mobile users who enter the home page on the main site, i.e. here, by recognising the type of device being used... clever stuff!

Incorrect Links [Added: 26/1/2012]

Due to a re-arrangement of some of the sections an error was made in the various links to the section on the Gascoigne mines in Garforth, this caused the server to send an error message! I have now sorted the problem out... I hope, let me know if you discover any broken links as the site is now so big it is possible to miss things, thank you!

Photos from around Parlington during 2011 [Added: 12/12/2011]

A selection of monochrome photographs frpom around Parlington, Aberford, Lotherton and Towton from this year [2011]. Link from here or in the pictures menu above.

Grand Staircase [Added: 6/12/2011]

Amongst the many questions I have about Parlington Hall one has always niggled me; was there a grand staircase? If the answer could be teased out of the bits of data that have been uncovered over the years, it is surely worth stating, my latest article covers the subject, if you wish to learn more click on the link in the Hall Section from the menu above or click on the button marked "Staircase" in the Recent Additions menu above!

Parlington Secondary School [Added: 27/11/2011]

I keep an eye on the server logs and have noticed a number of searches regarding Parlington Secondary School, it is possible that people could have visited the site and having been delivered the home page, which alternates for purposes of general interest, they may not have found the picture of the school as it is one of the alternative views from a previous version. To correct this oversight, and I should have known visitors would have wanted to see the old school! click here to see an aerial view of the school.

Castles & Country Houses Section [Added: 14/10/2011]

A new section dealing with British Country Houses and Castles, will in time grow to cover as many properties as I can get round to! The research I have undertaken on Parlington has led me to take a more observational view of the buildings and other structures that dot our landscape. I hope the new section will broaden the appeal of the site to those who enjoy our historic properties and in particular like my photographic take on them. Due to the large number of pictures in this section, the downloads will be a little slow!

New Home Page Navigation System

A new navigation system for the home page has recently been introduced, [June 2011] Beside each section button is a small disclosure triangle, indicating a drop down sub-menu which appears when you hover your mouse over the button, similarly additional sub-sub-menus appear and where relevant, again a small triangle is shown, from the sub-menus. Therefore with this system every section is available at the touch of the mouse from the home page!
The tricky part is getting the thing to work in multiple Browsers, irritatingly, as usual, Internet Explorer was the most problematic. I have given up on IE 6 or earlier, the whole site now requires IE 7 or later. I strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Safari as they are musch better Browsers and comply with all the modern web standards, only IE 9 comes close, but it is still clunky. Also Firefox 4+ works fine, along with Opera 10. But Opera like IE doesn't do rounded corners on the buttons.

Clipping of the Navigation System

New navigation system on Parlington home page

Also new is a small NEW icon in the menu where an article has been added or updated, these are time sensitive and expire one month after insertion!

Home Page, Information

This page is a synopsis of some of the pages contained within the site, as new articles are added a brief description is placed on the home page with links through to the section concerned, sometimes it is necessary to follow through to get the full picture!

Aberford Royal Wedding Celebrations [Added: 1/5/2011]

Montage of the Royal Wedding Celebrations, Aberford

Many of the residents of Aberford enjoyed a fine afternoon in the sun celebrating the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Katherine Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pictures from the Aberford occasion are here in the pictures section.

Mining Engineer Awarded Silver Service. [Added: 23/4/2011]

James Wormald Silver Service 1873

The image above is of the silver plated service presented to the Garforth Coal Mines Engineer, James Wormald in 1873, following his successful efforts to staunch a serious flood in the Sisters Pit at Garforth in that year. The five piece service was bought after the auction by Lotherton Hall's Collection Fund, so rather than being lost to a private collector, the service is on view at Lotherton Hall in the display, on the first floor, of artefacts associated with the mining history of Garforth.
The full article about the discovery of the plate and the mining floods is in the mines section.

Dacre Letter [Added: 2/3/2011]

A letter sent on January 23rd 1882 by the Vicar of Saxton to Colonel Frederick Trench-Gascoigne at Craignish in Argyleshire [The Gascoigne summer retreat] about the grave of Lord Dacre in Saxton Churchyard; verifying the local rumour that he was buried along with his horse after the battle of Towton, Palm Sunday 1461. In the 550th anniversary year of the battle, it seemed a good time to add the information. Click here to view the letter. The page is written for the latest Browsers as it uses a a dynamic font for the text. If you have Safari, Chrome or the latest versions of Firefox or Explorer you should see the text rendered similar to the image.

The Spirit of Lotherton [Updated: 22/03/2011]

Sadly Bill Burlingham died on the 18th March 2011, I last met with him late last year, on the occasion of the return of the Parlington painting. It seems his health deteriorated after Christmas and he died peacefully whilst asleep over Friday/Saturday last. The funeral is to be held at St Ricarius, 11:30am Monday 28th March. Bill was the last direct connection with the Gascoigne family and had many interesting tales of his time working for the them, unfortunately many of his memories are now lost to us, save those that his family may recall and the notes that fellow historians Martin and Pauline took for the book.

spirit of lotherton

A book about the twentieth century Gascoignes and their chauffeur, Bill Burlingham, was launched today at the local pub in Saxton, The Greyhound. Bill who was the second chauffeur after Louis Hawkett (details here), is in his 95th year and still lives on the Lotherton Estate. If you would like a copy of the book by local historians Pauline Robson and Martin Tarpey, please contact Pauline here, it's a snip at £5.00 and has 117 pages, making it only four pence per page!

An incident recorded in Chapter 8 of the book was very poignant to me, it goes as follows: "Bill was concerned when the Colonel (Frederick Richard Trench-Gascoigne) replaced his car with a powerful V8 Ford, because he thought the car was far too fast for his elderly employer. He was proved right when the Colonel with Bill in the passenger seat, drove the new car to Parlington. He drove too fast through the avenue of trees leading to the Triumphal Arch, lost control, hit a tree and severely damaged the car."

Additions to the Servants Page [Added: 10/3/2011]

A recent email from a friend about one of the servants at Parlington, prompted me to look up some notes I had made regarding the 1901 census, so I decided to add the same information to the site on the servants page in the family section here. I have set out the names of the individuals against the servant photograph from 1908, it may be useful to any researchers of family history.

Photograph of the Approach to the Dark Arch [Added: 3/3/2011]

The recently obtained photograph of a family sitting on the retaining wall beside the railway line, which was featured here on the home page, has been added to the railway section, along with a brief article about it.

A Poem about the Parlington Lake [Added: 28/2/2011]

I was discussing the articles on the site the other day with a friend who often reviews the work and points out any glaring errors in my spelling etc. [This is useful because I use a basic text editor, BBEdit, to create the pages and it is not designed to produce a word processor like document, it's for writing html code or other script languages, for example to get an apostrophe in a word like it's I have to write ' which is the html code for an apostrophe and not available in a word processor, if I failed to insert the appropriate code you would see some gobbledy-gook.] Anyhow, returning to the point it was suggested that the level of content is now so great that people often never come across some of the most important articles, as they lie deep in the innards of the site. One such candidate is the former lake, which used to exist over the road from Garforth golf course. The following is a poem written by an unknown poet about the boat house at the lake, the full article is here!


Nestling amid o'er-arching trees
	The boat-house sleeps;
Lulled by the whi'spring of the breeze,
That steals like lover's reveries,
Over the lake's calm, crystal deeps!

O! 'tis a lone and tranquil spot,
	where cowslips dwell;
And many a blue forget-me-not,
And many a bright and beautiful plot,
Of daisy, primrose, and harebell!

Wild hyacinths and woodbine sweet,
	Bloom all around;
It seems a place where fairies meet,
And trip the sward with aery feet,
While Oberon in sleep is drowned!

And bark! upon the ambient air,
	Low songs are welling;
That tell of joy which we can share
When all alone and floating there,
Upon the water's silent swelling!

Bright scenes in other lands that smile,
	I can recall;
	But Parlington! thy lake and isle;
Thy waterfall and ruined pile,
To me are brighter than them all!

					J. P. H.

It seems cruel that such a delightful location has been erased from the world, a clear example of environmental vandalism.

Alders & MacKay Engineers [Added: 19/2/2011]

A recent discovery at Lotherton Hall [by me] of a gas meter from the nineteenth century got me wondering why it was at Lotherton and whether it had a Parlington connection! Have a look in the Artefacts Section for more information on this curiosity.

History Talks at Parlington [Added: 19/2/2011]

One of the fondest memories of things I recall about Parlington, was the space around the remnants of old place, which afforded me the opportunity to do talks to interested groups of visitors usually local History Societies. Only once did we have a problem when the York Georgian Society visited and the coach on which the guests arrived became stuck under the overhanging branches of a yew tree! Parlington, at any point in its long history, was by no means a great architectural masterpiece, but having escaped the fate of being replaced by a modern housing estate, the land it used to sit on affords a great opportunity to comprehend how generations of our forebears enjoyed the domain. To this end setting up some awnings and tents in the summer months, with artefacts found, for visitors to view and pictures on display of how it used to be, followed by some home baked food or as on a couple of occasions a BBQ, were a truly great times; and I know from the many contented vistors who expressed their gratitude that it was a worthwhile enterprise, sadly no more! But for those who couldn't visit for whatever reason, you might like to view some of the pictures of the gardens being set up for an event. I have posted a few photographs on Flickr here. Along with some extra photgraphs of the cellar which I discovered here.

Aberford Fair 26th February [Added: 14/2/2011]

A fair for local crafts et cetera at the Aberford Village Hall from 9:00am on Saturday the 26th will see me displaying some of my many photographic Giclée prints, if you want a local print or just want to browse pop by. A preview of some arty shots is here

James Wormald, Engineer, saves the pit! [Added: 12/2/2011]

In 1873 James Wormald prevented a total disaster by stopping the flooding of the Gascoigne Sisters pit in Garforth, present day site of Tesco supermarket. The details are here in the Mines Section.

Handwritten Book from 1770

The home page, recently featured the newly discovered handwritten manuscript from an unknown admirer of Sir Thomas Gascoigne, titled Extracts from Crevier's Live's of the Roman Emperors, [pictured below] the details have been moved to the Family section of the site.

Local Photographs, morphed into Stylish Pictures

A collection of local photographs which I have modified digitally, were featured at the head of the page over the period before and after Christmas 2010, they are still viewable should anyone like to see them here.

Upcoming Artices [Added: 17/12/2010]

A recent picture which has come to light, shows one of the engines used on the Garforth to Aberford Railway, the occasion is clearly something special, as many people are gathered around and on the engine and carriages, posing for the photographer. The picture here is a provisional one as I have not yet got to the original to scan it properly. On the rear of the photograph it states: From Garforth to Aberford
Parlington Estate
Gascoigne, name of people, coal mines on estate, this was a new engine, carried coal between these two places at mines on estate.
The full article is in the Railway Section here.

Additions to Gascoigne Family and Boer War [Added: 15/12/2010]

Following a reader contact about a photograph on the site of troops disembarking at Cape Town, South Africa in February 1900. I have been able to discover a little more information, especially about the ship... SS Winifredian.
The page is in the Family section here.

New Photograph of the Hall [Added: 14/10/2010]

A recent auction on ebay for a postcard of the Hall before the second world war (pictured above), went for £33.00 well over my budget, I was very disappointed not to get it as these cards often uncover some small detail of information that helps in determining the state of things at that time. So I contacted the seller who had taken a scan of the card and came to an agreement with him for a digital copy of the card! How good is that, in modern parlance, I say!

The effort was well worth it, the postcard scan has revealed a number of details which were previously uncertain. I will set out these in a new article in the near future. But in the meantime the two areas highlighted by the red boxes are the points which have revealed new information. One very small detail is that the postcard is titled Partington Hall, now whether the publishers never noticed the error, or because they were not local never realised the error we will probably never know. Was this error the reason it sold for such a premium on eBay, I would love to hear from the buyer.

The ebay seller indicated that writing on the reverse of the card mentioned 1941 along with a few names, could these have been army service personnel at the site who bought the card at the local post office and it was never sent? I suspect this will remain a mystery!

Yet Another Postcard of Parlington [Added: 17/12/2010]

A postcard taken in the 1950's, of the Hall. A view I had already had on a multi-view card has been obtained, this one, shown below, is a single picture and therefore has more detail. I had made some assumptions based on the smaller multi-view card which this version verifies, this information will be compiled into the larger article I am preparing as mentioned in the previous paragraphs above.

1950's Postcard of Parlington Hall and gardens

Irish House of Commons Painting [Added: 22/10/2010]

A short article about the painting by Francis wheatley, The Irish House of Commons (1780) which used to hang at Parlington in the Dining Room is here in the artefacts section.

The Rally that wasn't

Sadly as I have reported on Parlington Day to Day, the hoped for rally event is not going to happen, this is a real shame, it could have done a great deal to get more visitors into the village, especially the various pubs.
Tags: rally, classic cars, UK Rally of the Tests

Ice House Concept [Bringing it back to life] [Added: 05/09/2010]

The Ice House deserves better than the slow death it is currently consigned to, do look at my ideas for re-developing the structure, here in the Estate section.

The Gascoigne Spa [Added: 21/08/2010]

Whilst it is common knowledge that the Gascoigne Family held sway over the locality of Aberford, Garforth, Saxton, and Lotherton, it is not well known that they owned a Spa. Visit this new page which has information about it, along with some recent photographs taken around Boston Spa, like the one featured at the head of this page

New Information on George Fowler Jones [Revised: 18/08/2010]

I was contacted recently by a distant relation of the architect George Fowler Jones*, who lives in Chile. The South American line stems from the son of GFJ, Harry Mckenzie Fowler Jones, who emigrated to Chile. Bruno who is the three times Great Grand Child of GFJ has a collection of photographs on Flickr which cover the latter part of the nineteenth century thro' to the mid nineteen sixties. A number are of GFJ and his home in Quarry Bank, Malton, North Yorkshire. One, reputedly GFJ's last photo, taken of the Study at his home has a picture of the Gascoigne Almshouses above the fireplace! The collection of 798 now 838 as of 18/08/2010, photographs are available here:
*George Fowler Jones was closely involved with the Gascoignes' throughout his career, his first commission was the Aberford Almshouses in 1843-4.

A Very Small Detail [Added: 03/07/2010]

Sometimes the smallest details can reveal a great deal about the period of use, one such very small bit of evidence recurs on repeated occasions in the form of a humble roofing nail. The Hall was generally slated in Westmoreland blue slate, but the less important areas, i.e. not the main residence, stables, servants quarters etc. were slated with welsh blue slate. Not as decorative but certainly more durable and better for precise thickness control. When the stables block was demolished in the late 60's, some concerned individuals took the opportunity to stack the old slates for re-use in the future, in the forty odd years since they have grown into the landscape, but are useful from time to time when something can be built using these excellent building materials! However from time to time the hole pierced through the slate for the nail to fasten the material to the roof battens, when it was stripped retained the copper nail. (Copper because it does not corrode.) On close inspection the said nails are monogrammed by the manufacturer, in this case; HW. How impressive is it that a humble nail was so highly treasured that they marked each one with the manufacturers emblem, or initials, I wonder what HW stands for?

Mill Pond, Aberford

Aberford Millpond

The mill itself is to the left of Ivy Cottage, which is on the right, with the mill in the middle distance. The water level is considerably higher than the present level of Cock Beck, so quite a lot of the water course must have been altered in more recent years.

Skyrack Reference to Parlington Park [Added: 11/12/2009]

A short article has been added to the clippings section here, featuring an editorial column from May 1893 in the Skyrack Courier. Yet again this is an article unearthed from the British Library by David Teal, who is rapidly becoming my number one researcher!

Ivy Cottage, Aberford [Added: 11/12/2009]

A postcard dated 1904 of the cottage adjacent to the former mill on Cattle Lane, was won on eBay recently, an article about it contrasting the place as it is nowadays is in the Aberford section here.

Parlington Army Camp WW2 [Added: 22/06/2010]

I continue to receive new bits of information from my various readers and recently was sent the header picture of the Army Camp at Parlington, which was morphed into the Secondary school for Aberford in the 1950's. A larger pop-up version is available by clicking on the image. Some key points to notice:
• The Cock Beck is using the northern arch of the bridge, indicative that the bridge was constructed to accommodate the overspill from the mill through the main and southern arches.
• The tennis courts are still in existence, and are to be refurbished soon by the Parish Council.
• On the far right can be seen parts of Aberford Church House, used as the officers quarters during the war.
• Parlington Drive is in the bottom left of the picture, an old coach or charabanc is visible in the corner of the picture.
• The area was demolished after the school was taken out of service, and eventually in the nineteen nineties a small housing estate Parlington villas was built on the site.

Contact me about Parlington School and Former Army Camp

If you have any recollections of the old school and photographs please contact me as I would love to discover more about the place. Thanks to Sandra and John Ackroyd for this picture. Click Here to view

Podcast about Aberford [Added: 26/05/2010]

A local resident of Aberford who died in the early 1980's took the trouble to explain what he remembered of the place from his early years. The story starts from around the end of the Boer War, when he recalled the torch lit procession to Hook Moor to commemorate the victory by the Empire! His story was recorded on audio tape and has been digitalised by me with some enhancements to improve the vocal quality.

To listen to the first podcast click here
To listen to the second podcast click here
To listen to the third podcast click here

Duel 1807 [Added: 16/05/2010]

(From The Hull Packet (Yorkshire, England),Tuesday, June 9, 1807) A duel took place on Monday morning last, a few miles from York, between Mr. Mellish and the Hon. Martin Hawke, in which Mr Mellish was wounded, but it is understood not dangerously. They are both in the interest of Lord Milton. - Sir Thomas Gascoigne's son [Tom, later killed in a riding accident see here] was second to Mr Hawke; and Mr. Lee to Mr. Mellish.

The Duelist Martin Hawke

Looking at one of the characters involved in the duel, the Hon Martin Hawke, for whom Tom Gascoigne seconded, it was easy to identify him, he was the grandson of Admiral Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke of Towton born in 1705; there is a pub in Boston Spa, called the Admiral Hawke, and the Gascoigne family owned the Spa in the village! The admirals son, Martin Bladen Hawke, 2nd Baron Hawke of Towton was the father of the dueler. His father had married Cassandra Turner, and Martin was their fourth child. Confusingly Cassandra Turner was not related to Mary Turner the wife of Sir Charles Turner, who after the death of her first husband married Sir Thomas Gascoigne, and was the mother of Tom Gascoigne! Her daughter born to her first marriage to Sir Charles Turner, Mary, married Richard Oliver and following the death of Sir Thomas Gascoigne in 1810 her husband inherited the Gascoigne estates, with a lifetime interest. Martin Blaiden Edward Hawke was born in 1777 and died in 1839, so he was 30 years old at the time of the duel. I wonder what the duel was over!

A Bit of History about the Hawke Dynasty

The 1st Baron Hawke, was sent to Minorca after the debacle created by Admiral John Byng. From Wikipedia: Hawke was sent to replace Admiral John Byng as commander in the Mediterranean in 1756. Byng had been unable to relieve Minorca following the Battle of Minorca and he was sent back to Britain where he was tried and executed. Almost as soon as Minorca had fallen in June 1756, the French fleet had withdrawn to Toulon in case they were attacked by Hawke. Once he arrived off Minorca, Hawke found that the island had surrendered and there was little he could do to reverse this. He decided not to land the troops he had brought with him from Gibraltar. Hawke then spent three months cruising off Minorca and Marseille before returning home where he gave evidence against Byng. He was subsequently criticised by some supporters of Byng, for not having blockaded either Minorca or Toulon.
Later in 1770 Hawke, in his role as First Lord of the Admiralty, mobilised the Royal Navy to re-establish British rule over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. See details on wikipedia here.

Sudan Expedition 1855 [Added: 02/05/2010]

The reception which Captain Gascoigne had at Garforth yesterday on his return from the Soudan [Sudan] was very enthusiastic. Captain Gascoigne, who was formerly an officer in the Horse Guards, is the son of Colonel Gascoigne of Parlington Park. He went to the Sudan in a civil capacity, but on his arrival became attached to the staff of Colonel Burnaby... Read the full article about Captain Gascoigne here

The Fish Fountain [Added: 09/04/2010]

One of the first pictures to come to light when I began the research into Parlington Hall was a view from the south east corner of the gardens towards the Conservatory and Drawing Room. The photograph came courtesy of the Garforth Historical Society but the origin was unknown, in the foreground of the photograph is a rocky outcrop in the centre of a pathway with a curved piece of stone protruding from the top. The item was identified on the 1908 ordnance map and indicated as a fountain. Only last year did the full story become clear about its fate. Visit the article in the Artefacts Section here

Shooting Party [Added: 17/02/2010]

There are a number of panorama photographs on the site which are in the picture section, however another use of a panorama picture is to set in context the location of an incident, whilst a normal photograph may display the location it is often difficult to place it to other known objects, the pop-up window from this link available by clicking here will reveal a landscape in the vicinity of the tragic shooting accident of 1885 which is set out in an article in the Odd Tales Section here. If you roll over the image a prominent feature from each of the five areas will be highlighted!

The Triumphal Arch [Added: 15/02/2010]

The Triumphal Arch, designed by Thomas Leverton is the lasting monument to the final Gascoigne, Sir Thomas Eighth Bart. who died without heir in 1810. These long winter months have been the gestation period for a truly realistic virtual version of the structure, carefully created by Pip my eldest daughter. She has slaved long hours into the night to create this delightful scene, stylized to represent how it might have been after it was completed in about 1785. Because it is created in 3D it can be reproduced at any size, but the landscape is partly made up of some of my photos, so they are the limiting factor in creating a printed version, but we are hoping to produce a gicleé print of A2 width (17"), copies of this will be available shortly on In the meantime you can view a larger version in a pop-up window, by clicking here

Parlington During WW1

1914 Parlington

Following the talk on Parlington I gave at Lotherton Hall on 31st October 2009, one of the visitors has uncovered from her family archive a photograph of Parlington Hall taken in 1914. Mrs. Gillian Roberts sent me a copy of the picture, and I am really pleased that this new discovery increases our understanding of the activities at the old place in the early years of the twentieth century. To add a silver lining to the find some of the people in the picture are identified in a key plan which accompanied the photograph.

The four people gathered to the right in the picture are from right to left Mr T. H. Prater [Agent for the Gascoigne Estates]; Mrs F. R. T. Trench-Gascoigne; Mrs Cameron [Later married to Leeds City Engineer]; Mrs. G. H. Walker [Mother of Air Chief Marshall Sir 'Gus' Walker (retired 1975) he was famed for bombing the German Battle Cruiser the Scharnhorst in Brest harbour]. Moving to the centre of the picture, the soldier being taken on stretcher from the makeshift horse-drawn 'ambulance' and the three St. John's Ambulance Brigade [Barkston Ash Division] are not known. The two nurses looking towards the wounded soldier being carried from the cart, to the right Mrs. T. B. Ellison [Lady Supt. SJAB of Garforth the grandmother of the Mrs Roberts who has contributed the photograph] and next Miss Lydia Dent [Rose Court, Garforth] Unfortunately the remaining figures are not identified.

The picture makes it clear that Parlington was also used like Lotherton as a military hospital. However the picture shows the arrival of new casulties. [See new note at the end of this paragraph, titled Skyrack Article August 16th 1915] Clearly a photo opportunity, but is most definitely taken in the summer months, whereas contemporary records indicate the Lotherton received the first casualties in November 1914. From: Leeds in the Great War, by William Herbert Scott "Their beneficent work at Lotherton Hall started on November 21st, 1914, eighteen beds being provided until July, 1916, when the number was increased to thirty-five, with the result that a hundred men found accommodation and treatment here in the six weeks immediately following. When the hospital closed on March 28th, 1919, 655 patients had been treated."

Skyrack Article from August 16th 1915 [Added: 03/01/2010]

The following article from the Skyrack casts light on the photograph and the presence of wounded troops at Parlington.

The Aberford and District Volunteer Training Corps paraded on Monday for a field day and inspection by Colonel F. R. T. T. Gascoigne, of Lotherton Hall. The company paraded at 11.00 a.m. Under the command of Platoon Commandant Childe, in the absence of Commander T. H. Prater, who was unable to be present owing to the serious illness of Mrs Prater. The number of members of the Corps on parade was about 60, and all wore the official brassard. The men went through various drills and formations preparatory to a march through the village. Lunch was partaken of in the spacious drawing-room at Parlington Hall, and afterwards toasts were drunk to the King, to the Commandant, and to Mr Miller, the instructer. At 2.30 p.m. The men were lined up for inspection by Colonel Gascoigne, who afterwards took the salute. The men went through their evolutions in very smart style, eliciting expressions of approval from the colonel, who in a short address, said he should be doing less than his duty if he did not offer them a word of congratulation on the result of the afternoon's parade. It showed that their heart was in their work, and that they understood that it was their duty to do their utmost towards the defence of their country, if the occasion demanded. He stated that great credit was due to the instructors and officers for the efficiency of the corps, and he was very grateful for the honour of inspecting them. Afterwards the corps were entertained to tea at the invitation of Mrs Gascoigne and Mrs Prater, and others present, in addition to the volunteers, were Mr Lund (Becca Hall), Mrs E O. Simpson (Hazlewood Castle), Col. And Mrs Gascoigne, Mrs Miller and children, and the nurses and wounded soldiers from Lotherton Hospital. After tea a vote of thanks was given to Mrs Gascoigne and Mrs Prater, and the proceedings terminated after a very enjoyable day.

The article is good evidence that the photograph is of a similar event as described in the newspaper, but if the date of the photograph is correct, it would have preceded the date Lotherton became a hospital. This suggests that the date may be wrong, perhaps recorded some years after the occasion and the year was confused. However it provides a good explanation for the wounded soldiers being brought to Parlington.

Location of the Photograph

The picture, is taken on the lawn in front of the south elevation, the grass is very well kept and the hall itself has the look of a well used old house. Strikingly there are two other patients, leaning out of an upper window of the drawing room block, no doubt acknowledging the arrival of more casualties from the western front. The hall photo directly after this paragraph is from a similar angle, the red square indicates the approximate view taken in the 1914 picture.

Area of the hall shown in the hospital picture

It is poignant that only a week before the receipt of the ambulance/hospital photograph the picture below was discovered, showing the same drawing room in the final stages of demolition.

The Last picture of Parlington? [Added: 8/11/2009]

Drawing Room final stage

I am indebted to David Teal who uncovered an article in the Skyrack Express about the final throws of Parlington in March 1961, I am equally pleased that my research, which pointed to the decline of the old hall as a gradual process is vindicated by his discovery. The photographs of 1952 taken by the National Monuments Record, photographer Herbert Felton, clearly show the hall in its final stages, but they have concluded that because it was being demolished, that it happened at that time, whereas my research led me to believe it was merely another stage in its long descent into oblivion. The above photograph shows the last lump of the Drawing Room still standing in March 1961.

The photograph is looking east towards Aberford, and still extant at that time is one of the glorious Cedars of Lebanon which dominated the garden. This tree was beyond the conservatory and can be seen in the view beyond the window, in the only interior shot of Parlington painted by Nancy Raynor in 1852. The significance of this picture cannot be underestimated as it clearly shows the massive masonry which made up the back wall of the Drawing Room. This would have been part of the external wall of the hall before it was extended in 1800 to create the Drawing Room. The masonry shows an opening to the left of the wall which accessed the stairway behind the Drawing Room, this formed a part of the earlier structure, perhaps dating as far back as the sixteenth century. Recent finds of painted wall finishings validate the existence of this early structure.

The details from the Skyrack article have been added to the Clippings Section here.

The Auction of 1964 [Added: 5/11/2009]

The Parlington Estate was sold on 2nd of October 1964 at the direction of Mrs Yvonne Studd-Trench-Gascoigne, if you would like to see the extent of the sale visit the first hall page, at the foot of the paragraph titled: "360 Years as a Family Home: Left to ROT, for another 55 Years." This is a must for anyone who bought a property in Aberford, after that date, maybe your house was amongst the sale.

Parlington in the news, in days gone-bye. [Added: 28/10/2009]

Recent research into local newspapers has uncovered a wealth of previously unknown aspects of Parlington, originally I added these in the sections I though appropriate, but I now have so many I have decided to group general items into one new section, called "Clippings". This has forced me to make some changes to the navigation, so the Contact button and also the link to the Parlington blog site are now grouped in the far right column.

The Gascoigne Collieries in Garforth [Added: 21/10/2009]

A new section titled Mines has been added to the site, over time I hope to include a considerable amount of information about the collieries. Parlington Hall was a major beneficiary of the profits from the mining activity, therefore it seems appropriate to include here some of the history.

Fatal Colliery Accident At Garforth Colliery
The Leeds Mercury, Thursday, August 20, 1896
A shocking accident occurred yesterday morning at the Sisters' Pit belonging to the Garforth Colliery Company, by which John Wardle Allison (45) lost his life. Allinson was employed at the pit as a shaftman, and about a quarter to five o'clock he and a pit joiner named John Coates were descending in the cage, taking with them a wooden trap door. The door projected over the side of the cage and about twenty yards from the bottom of the shaft it caught the landing stage leading to a pumping engine. Before the cage could be raised sufficiently to allow the door to be released the latter fell down and knocked Allinson out of the cage, he was precipitated to the bottom of the shaft and was killed instantly. This was the third serious incident that occurred in the Sisters Pit in three years, the two earlier accounts can be found in the mines section.

Parlington Talk at Lotherton Hall [Added: 11/09/2009]

I am giving a talk at Lotherton Hall on Saturday 31st October, 2:00-3:00 pm, it is open to all comers and is advertised at Lotherton and on their web site. The talk is a computer based 'slide' show, dealing with the uncovering and discovery of the demolished mansion house of the Gascoigne family and tracks what has been unearthed, literally in some cases, in recent years. Included are some unique photographs taken in the nineteenth century, that have provided new insights into the hall! There is also the ongoing mini exhibition of Parlington artefacts on the first floor landing in the display cases at Lotherton Hall.

Country Life Magazine [Added: 04/09/2009]

The latest copy of Country Life [September 2nd 2009] carries a response to a reader's enquiry about a painting of Parlington Hall. I have added the article on the Blog site as it is topical, but sadly it offers some false information.

CAUTION to POACHERS and OTHERS [Added: 19/07/2009]

From an advertisment placed in the Leeds Mercury, Saturday, August 26th 1820:- Whereas the Woods, Plantations and Grounds, within several Manors of Sherbourn [Sherburn in Elmet], Saxton, Aberford, Parlington, Barwick with Scholes, Sturton, and Garforth, belonging to R.O.GASCOIGNE, Esq. Having of late Years been much injured by Depredations committed by Poachers and Others;

This is therefore to give Notice,

That Mr. Gascoigne has been under the painful necessity of placing SPRING-GUNS and MAN TRAPS in the above named woods, Plantations, and Grounds. It is therefore earnestly requested that no Qualified Persons will sport within the said Manors without his consent, and as proper Persons are appointed to look after the Game, all Trespassers will be prosecuted to the utmost rigour of the Law.

Lakeside Bazaar [Added: 17/07/2009]

Garforth Church New Organ Fund -
Arrangements are being made for a fancy bazaar in connection with this fund, to be held, by kind permission of Colonel and Mrs Gascoigne, in the grounds at Parlington Lake, at the latter end of this month. The bazaar will be held in marquees, at the lake side.
from The Leeds Mercury,Tuesday, June 10, 1873.

An article in the same paper in August of 1873 about the Aberford Horticultural Society event, also at the lake is featured in detail here in the estate section. If other articles can be found about the usage of the lake as a venue for local events, it will demonstrate that the locale was a popular venue, not just with the Gascoigne family and friends but also with the wider general public from the neibourhood, abeit at the behest of the Gascoignes.

Barnbow, the residence of the Gascoigne Family before Parlington.

An article from the Leeds Mercury dated February 4th 1888 sets out the fact that houses in the county of Yorkshire were recorded in the Ordnanace Survey where a date of establishment was indicated.

A "W.P.B." of London wrote:- I believe it is not generally known that the surveyors for the Ordnance survey maps (6in. scale) made notes of dated houses. This does not appear to have been done systematically, more's the pity, but according to the taste of the officer in charge of the surveying party. some officers seem to have kept a look out for dates; others have evidently taken no notice of them. However, there are a good many recorded altogether, and we must be thaknful for small mercies. I send a list of those houses in the West Riding noted in the maps as having dates. The survey was made in 1845-50, and time and the modern "improver" (so-called) have already between them removed some of those dates to my own knowledge, and I fear many others also must be lost.

I think it would be very desirable to place on record at once all dates on houses earlier than the present century. Yorkshire is especially rich in such. In almost every town and village you may see houses with dates on them, many of them seventeenth century. I feel sure that there are very few readers of the Weekly Supplement who could not contribute to such a list, and I sincerely hope it will be taken up.

A list of some forty-eight houses were scheduled by the writer as having been recorded by a Captain Tucker, he continued whom great praise is due for thus rescuing these interesting facts from the chance of oblivion.

Map No. 204 Barnbow Hall Date 1677

No mention is made of Parlngton Hall, despite the fact that it had been acquired by the Gascoignes in 1545, the earliest in the list was Hazelwood Hall (Castle) dated 1286 also map 204. Another old property listed is Kiddall Hall 1400 again on map 204.


The previous paragraphs draw a similarity to a more recent practice of the Ordnanace Survey; that is the disbandonment of the benchmark system sited on prominent structures all across the UK, in favour of a satellite based system. There is one such benchmark on the eastern end of the Dark Arch, on the facing archway on the northern side, about eighteen inches above the ground level. If we run out of power we may come to regret this practice!

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