On Wednesday 2nd July, 2014, 22 members visited Markenfield Hall by arrangement and were treated to a guided tour of the “most complete surviving medium-
It was bought in 1761 by a descendant of the Markenfield family, Fletcher Norton, who became the 1st Lord Grantley of Markenfield. He repaired the house but did not live in it and left it essentially unchanged. Restoration was not undertaken until 1980 when the 7th Lord Grantley of Markenfield began the task. He died in 1995 but Lady Grantley and her present husband continue to live in Markenfield Hall and preserve its history.
Led by a very knowledgeable guide, we went over the moat, through the gatehouse and into the courtyard to see the living quarters.
Our guided tour started in the undercroft and kitchen areas before ascending to the vast and wonderful Great Hall which was probably built about 1280 and was originally freestanding before John de Markenfield started his extensions and fortifications linking it with other buildings around the courtyard.
We then visited the chapel which had close links with Fountains Abbey until the suppression of the monasteries and which remained Roman Catholic until 1570, after the Rising of the North. There are two portraits of Sir Richard Norton, the leader of the Rising, in the Chapel and there is a beautiful double piscina from the early 14th century. The chapel was probably Protestant for a while after the suppression of the Rising, but fell into disuse until 1995 when, after a lapse of 300 years, it once again became Roman Catholic with Anglican services also held on alternate weeks.
The guide showed us a four-
The tour finished with refreshments outside the Hall on the bank of the moat, where it was easy to believe that we were still in the fourteenth century.
The Gate House
Looking towards the Great Hall
The Great Hall
Wednesday 2nd July 2014