Parlington Hall :: The Estate :: Triumphal Arch

The Triumphal Arch, The lasting memorial of the Parlington Estate

The oldest known photograph of the arch [2 of 2], circa 1860. This photograph is one of the stereo collection available here. The view is looking east towards Aberford and the driveway passes through the centre of the arch.

The Photographers Assistant!

Was this individual sitting on the cornice at the foot of the arch, assisting the photographer?

The house that was being planned is referred to in the book by Rev Colman, as Atkinson's Plan and this provides a date of 1778, when a letter from a friend in York wrote with these details to Sir Thomas who was on his grand tour in Rome. Additionally, the writer stated I returned yesterday from Parlington, I saw there pyrmaids of very fine stone which I understand were designed to build a house for Sir Thomas Gascoigne's son.

Recent photo of the Arch, from the woods

Liberty in N.America Triumphant MDCCLXXXIII

So did the Prince Regent reject the luncheon appointment at Parlington because of the inscription? Having considered the other points on the previous page, we return to the rumor that the Prince Regent [Later George IV] was so irritated by the inscription that he and his entourage turned away and continued to Hazlewood Castle. We'll never know!

The Beech Tree Lined Drive

The Beech Lined Drive

The drive with the Triumphal Arch in the distance, is today the main access to the Parlington Estate, it enters the land off Cattle Lane, the Aberford to Barwick in Elmet road, directly opposite Pike Lodge the former Estates Office.

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A number of factors should be considered about the location of the new house and the Triumphal Arch.

Sir Thomas Gascoigne was married on 4th November 1784 to Mary, daughter of James Shuttleworth, sadly within two years, on the 1st February 1786 his wife died aged only 34, a month after the birth of their only son Thomas Charles (Tom).

That Sir Thomas was considering a new house is evidenced by the numerous proposal drawings in the West Yorkshire Archives, however his position was dramatically changed following the untimely death of his wife.

From information found in a book by the Rev. F.S Colman Rector of Barwick in Elmet, published by the Thoresby Society in 1908, the following: There is a tradition that the stone of which the arch was built was brought there for the purpose of building a new house on the hill above the old hall and Sir Thomas having relinquished his idea utilized the materials in erecting what he considered a worthy memorial.

It seems reasonable to believe that the Triumphal Arch is a statement of how Sir Thomas felt, given his strong feelings and approval of the American cause in the War of Independance and following the death of his wife. In his changed circumstances the idea of building a grand house, would seem in the authors opinion, unlikely.

This answers the WHY?

From the earlier observations it may be that the Arch was undertaken after the death of Sir Thomas's wife in 1786.

This may answer the WHEN?

The third point, [where] is associated with changed circumstances Sir Thomas found himself in following the death of his wife. If he had intended to construct his new home as is believed at the top of the hill, then at the time he relinquished the idea, a large amount of stone from the quarry would have been assembled there, so it became the obvious choice for the arch, as there was little point in moving it to another location.

This may answer the WHERE?


Pictures from earlier versions of the site are denoted by the border effects.


The conceptual architectural drawings for the house and the arch are in the Leeds Archive and well worth a visit.

Stereoscopic Images a British invention by Sir Charles Wheatstone and "stereoscope"