Parlington Hall :: The Twentieth Century

Header Picture

A photograph of The Hall taken from the gardens to the south, thought to date circa 1920's. This is the same photograph albeit from a different postcard that is shown on the introduction page, with a cross on the area of the Drawing Room window, but whereas that image was used in a five way view, this single view is larger and shows more detail to the east and west of the property. On the right (East) can be seen the conservatory and to the left behind the evergreens is the West Wing which remains to this day.

Slideshow of Historical Pictures

Click on the timescale below to view the decline of Parlington over the twentieth century. The left side is around the beginning of the Twentieth Century the right, the Nineteen Fifties.

To move through the slideshow click on the right of the image to move forward and on the left of the image to move back.

The popularity of postcards, particularly in the early part of the twentieth century, has proven to be a rich seam, to use a coal analogy. Additionally when a card has been posted there is always the chance that some observations may add to the knowledge about the hall.

Early Twentieth Century, postmarked 1912, Postcard.

Parlington Hall Looking past the Cedar of Lebanon

Aside from the postcard described in the introduction on the previous page, there are two more cards which contain useful information, the first of these, pictured above, was posted in August 1912 by a fellow called Dick writing to his brother and sister in Pinchbeck, Spalding, Licolnshire. In the final sentence he states, They are pulling this place down. To visit Aberford at that time, it is likely that the traveller would have taken a train to reach Garforth and then a second trip down the Aberford Railway on the High Flier. From here as the train passed at the back of the Dark Arch as it slowly trundled along towards Aberford, it would have been natural to view the Hall.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

The second postcard sent to a Miss Snelling in Pinner, Middlesex in 1932 where the sender states ...This is a view of the house they are letting go to ruin, I think I have told you about it. Additionally in a note on the head of the card it states We had a game of Hide and Seek in here Sunday morning it was a bit creepy I must say. Although the card was sent in 1932, the photograph from the Parkinson & Roy Studios in Leeds is from around the turn of the century, so either it had malingered a long time in a local shop, before being purchased and sent in 1932, or the card was still in production, years after it was photographed.

The cards demonstrate that the demolition of Parlington was a rather casual affair, almost as if pieces were cherry picked as they were required at Lotherton or other Gascoigne properties. However it was obviously a place of great local intrigue! You can just imagine a game of hide and seek in the dusty old building, with the floors creaking and the window shutters clattering in the wind and then from time to time a shattering sound of breaking glass as a local youth pitched a stone through one of the old sash windows. The same sash windows in the West Wing recently repaired a huge expense with Heritage Glass, the original glass is less than 2mm thick! In fact some pieces found amongst the demolition material are only 1mm thick.

A Day out at Parlington!

On the old railway bridge Around the Pump

From time to time pictures surface that help to explain how life used to be! These two pictures are just such an example, obviously both taken on the same day, they show four ladies enjoying a summers day at Parlington, believed to be in the 1930's. Beatrice Selby [later to become Mrs Ward], I believe on the right in the lower picture sitting on the pump framework. Beatrice Selby lived in the Gardens House [Although the data received describes it as the Gardener's Cottage] Amazingly a reader who contacted me about the hall, had some information about her relatives who worked for the Gascoigne Family and it transpired that she was one of the ladies in the pictures, an Eleanor Gateneby who is standing in the centre left in the lower picture.

Eleanor was employed at the hall during the late twenties and early thirties, she married a Harry Nicholson and continued working at the hall until she started her family, her granddaughter is the person who contacted me about the Parlington connection. Eleanor's mother was one of the residents of the Aberford Almshouses until her death in 1947 and had previously worked for the Gascoigne family.

Returning to the pictures, the first is the only photograph of the simple footbridge which spanned the railway as it ran behind the Dark Arch. The centre section appears to be darkened by the smoke from the train passing beneath. When it was dismantled is unknown, but the foundation plinths can still be seen on the Dark Arch side [The north side] above the wall of the tunnel. The 1908 Ordnance Survey shows the bridge, clearly built to permit the Gascoignes access to the Deer Park.

The second photograph shows the ladies around the pump, this still exists today, but in a sadly dilapidated state. Behind the group is the arched window of the Servants Hall, this picture therefore shows that even this old part of the hall was intact upto the nineteen thirties. This does tie in to the removal of the main entrance to Lotherton and validates the approximate sequence of demolitions carried out during the twentieth century.

Since this section was written, new information has come to light about the pictures of the ladies gathered round the pump and on the footbridge, see the Artifacts Section Page 8.

Hand Pump

The pump in 2006, held together with clamps and other bits of wire! Sadly a number of people who have inspected the pump have not been able to come up with a satisfactory plan to reinstate it. The mixture of wrought and cast iron are not an easy combination to restore. The pump was the victim of an over zealous delivery driver, we believe. In more recent times the area adjacent to the pump was subject to the massive load of a refuse wagon and the ground fell away revealing a reception manhole leading to the main well as the picture below!

Hand Pump

On the right of the picture are the pump diaphrams for lifting the water, in total the well is around 40 feet deep and is clearly very old, being stone lined. It was probably here when the Gasoign's first bought Parlington back in the sixteenth century!

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Within the main column are occasional references marked like this [1] which link to this notes column, to return to the point in the body copy click on the [Back] link.


[1] From the book titled A History of the Parish of Barwick in Elmet by the Rev F.S. Colman published by the Thoresby Society in 1908.
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[2] Sir Thomas Gascoigne married Mary Turner in November 1784, she was the widow of Sir Charles Turner of Kirkleatham, it is probable that she inherited the Church House property pictured following the death of her first husband Sir Charles Turner, thus the house would have passed to the Gascoigne family.
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[3] The Plans drawn up for Sir Thomas Gascoigne are held in the West Yorkshire Archives in Sheepscar, Leeds. They comprise a series of elevations in the classical style, sadly feasibility sketches of the time were drawn as if the ground that the structure sat on was level. Therefore they do not give any clues as to the whereabouts of the proposed building.
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