|Where||Ormesby Hall||Type of Event||Site Visit|
|When||Friday 7th September at 12 MD||Tutor||Mark Newman, Archaeologist of National Trust|
A beautiful late summer morning added to the attraction of the buildings and their surrounding parkland as 29 members of our group made their way into the ornate hallway of on of the area’s finest houses. Linda Hayward introduced us to Mark Newman, the National Trust’s archaeologist for Yorkshire and the North East.
Mark’s presentation was entitled ‘Great Oaks from Little Acorns’ in which he sought to cover both his 20 year association with the property alongside a history of Ormesby, its community and the Pennymans long association.
From their first purchase of land here in 1580, through an initial cross-passage house to the present grand house, Mark used both maps, drawings and plans to describe the changes wrought upon the house and its surrounding land by the distinguished family. William Lawton, vicar of Ormesby, wrote the second book on gardening in the English language and Mark explained how this may have influenced the layout of orchards, gardens and parkland around Ormesby Hall. The 1730s saw Dorothy Pennyman, a daughter of Archbishop Wake, spend significant sums on improvements to the Hall, building what was essentially a new house connected by corridors to the original. Major changes in land usage also date from this period. Later slides in the presentation showed how recent work on the haha has revealed several notable garden features.
Following the talk Wayne Barnacal presented Malcolm Bisby with his Award for Outstanding Achievement from the British Association for Local History. In accepting the award Malcolm stated that he did so as part of a team which had achieved much in celebrating the 150thanniversary of the Rosedale Railway.
A soup and sandwich lunch ensued and then our party divided into three groups who were given a comprehensive tour of Ormesby Hall’s most significant rooms. We were treated to an explanation of how this remarkable family had continued to progress despite the remarkable extravagance of the 6th Baronet who gambled away the family fortune and the 7th of that title passing without producing an heir. Latterly the guides explained how the National Trust had come to take over the property which is now retained in exactly the state as when the last of the Pennymans left its occupation.