My October Travels; Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory

After a very bumpy start, and a trip to the Emergency Dept. we finally managed to set off on our short break to Doncaster in the late afternoon. (Click link if you want to know what happened, http://facebook.com/martineroberts50 )

For this trip, we were staying at a hotel we have often used in the past. But before I share a few picture of that with you, I want to tell you about where we visited.

Although it was a blustery, and sometimes wet day, we decided to go to Nostell Priory. It is a beautiful old house with flagstone floors, high ceilings and plenty of genuine antiques. The site has a history dating back to the 11th century, although it was then priory and not a house.

Now, my pictures may seem a little dark, but so is the house. The shutter and curtains are closed everywhere you go in an effort to preserve these beautiful objects, but if you want to see enhanced ones, just put Nostell Priory into your search engine. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and would encourage anyone in the area to pay Nostell a visit. If you are a National Trust member it is free.

Nostell Priory is a Palladian house located in Nostell, near Crofton close to Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It dates from 1733, and was built for the Winn family on the site of a medieval priory. The Priory and its contents were given to the National Trust in 1953 by the trustees of the estate and Rowland Winn, 3rd Baron St Oswald.

The property was owned by the Gargrave family after being purchased in 1567 by Sir Thomas Gargrave, Speaker of the House of Commons from James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy, for £3,560.

           

The estate was purchased in 1654 by the London alderman, Sir Rowland Winn, after the owner was declared bankrupt in 1650. Construction of the present house started in 1733, and the furniture, furnishings and decorations made for the house remain in situ. The Winns were textile merchants in London, George Wynne of Gwydir was appointed Draper to Elizabeth I, his grandson, Sir George Winn was created 1st Baronet of Nostell in 1660 and the family subsequently owed its wealth to the coal under the estate, and later from leasing land in Lincolnshire for the mining of iron ore during the Industrial Revolution.

  Portrait hangs on solid stone walls

The house was built by James Paine for Sir Rowland Winn 4th Bart on the site of a 12th-century priory dedicated to Saint Oswald.  Robert Adam was commissioned to design additional wings, only one of which was completed, and complete the state rooms. Adam added a double staircase to the front of the house, and designed buildings on the estate, including the stable block.

           

On the left is an original photo of the dinning room, while on the right is one I have lightened so you can appreciate the beauty of the room.

Nostell Priory occupies 121 hectares (300 acres) of parkland. Within the grounds and gardens are lakeside walks. The main façade of the house faces east towards a grass vista. Leading to the lake on the west side of the house is the west lawn. The parkland has lakeside and woodland walks, views of the druid’s bridge and walks to the restored Obelisk Lodge through wildflower meadows. The park was purchased from Lord St Oswald by the National Trust with funding from the Heritage Lottery fund. This grant enabled the trust to acquire pictures, books, and furniture from the family.

MONASTIC HISTORY

The priory was a 12th-century Augustinian foundation, dedicated to St Oswald, supported initially by Robert de Lacy of Pontefract, and Thurstan of York. By about 1114, Aldulf, confessor to Henry I of England, was prior of a group of regular canons at Nostell.

Sir John Field, the first Copernican Astronomer of note in England, is believed to have studied at Nostell in his youth under the tutelage of Prior Alured Comwn.

As part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory was closed in 1540. After the dissolution the lands of the priory came into the possession of Sir Thomas Gargrave, a High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Speaker of the House of Commons and president of the Council of the North.

 

The sink is made out of wood! The beautiful tiers of the grand staircase.

                 

Drawing room, with one of the pictures lightened.

          

My favourite room in  any old house is the library.

What a delightful library you have at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy!” said Miss Bingley.

“It ought to be good,” he replied, “it has been the work of many generations.”

Hotel

The hotel we stayed at is The Best Western Plus, Mount Pleasant, Doncaster.

It has a mix of rooms, some standard, some executive and some luxury spa rooms. As a semi claustrophobic, we go for one of the middle rate rooms.

       

With and without the added extra of Mr R

        

First, I love this desk and chair. Would it be wrong of me to say I would love one? Secondly, I don’t usually comment on the size of a bathroom, after all they are usually functional whatever the size. But in this picture, I am standing in the double shower. Pretty big, huh!

                

You can clearly see the extra room for lugging your suitcase, but also, behind Mr R is one of a set of doors that block out any noise, even if there is a wedding reception or party going on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corridor furniture is rustic yet functional.

One of the rooms set out for a wedding reception.

We enjoyed a lovely roast pork dinner, followed by an excellent cheese board.

Mr R with what he likes to call his Klingon cheese knife.

And after all that, we spent a quiet hour chatting in one of the private snugs, where we had our coffee and mints.

  

 

Till next time,

Martine x

 

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