Yorkshire's historic houses
Grand and famous homes and glorious gardens
Yorkshire has a huge number of historic houses which are open to the public. These range from stately homes and country houses to more modest dwellings associated with some of Yorkshire's best known characters. Many have beautifully landscaped gardens.
Here are just a small selection from across the region, but you will find others as you browse the city and town pages listed in our Gazetteer
for places to visit.
BardenBarden TowerBarden Tower is the Grade I listed ruin of a fortified house built for Sir Henry Clifford around the 1480s on a hillside above the River Wharfe at Barden on the foundations of an earlier hunting lodge. Within 100 years it had become ruinous, but the house was restored and extended between 1658 and 1659 by Lady Anne Clifford around the time of the building of the present stone Barden Bridge across the river. Lady Clifford is more famously known for restorations of her castles, four of them in Westmorland, where she was High Sherriffess, and Skipton Castle in North Yorkshire. However, Barden Tower again fell into disrepair by the following century. Today visitors can wander around the substantial tower ruins. The neighbouring Grade I listed priest's house and chapel are now used as a restaurant and wedding venue. The house is part of the Bolton Abbey Estate, 3 miles north-west of Bolton Abbey.
More information at the Bolton Abbey Estate - Barden Tower web page.
Locate on map: Barden Tower
Brontë Parsonage MuseumChurch Street, Haworth
Brontë Parsonage Museum, HaworthThe village of Haworth was the one-time home of the literary Brontë sisters and the parsonage where they lived is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum. The museum is run by The Brontë Society and holds the world's largest collection of Brontë works and memorabilia including an extensive library devoted to the literary family. The museum opens daily except on a few dates around Christmas and New Year.
More details at the The Brontë Society website.
Locate on map: Brontë Parsonage Museum
Burton Agnes HallBurton Agnes, near Driffield
Burton Agnes HallDating from around 1600, Burton Agnes Hall is an Elizabethan stately home that has stayed within a family which can trace its ancestry at the estate back to the Norman manor house built around 1170 remaining beside the hall. The hall is a Grade I listed building and in recent years its grounds have been turned into a thriving visitor attraction featuring award-winning gardens, woodland walk, children's playground, cafe, gift and home and garden shops and a courtyard gallery featuring the work of local artists. The hall, situated 6 miles south-west of Bridlington, also hosts a variety of events, including a Jazz and Blues Festival, classic car rally and a variety of seasonal fairs.
For more information see the Burton Agnes Hall website.
Locate on map: Burton Agnes Hall
Burton ConstableBurton Constable, Skirlaugh
Burton ConstableBurton Constable is an Elizabethan mansion situated about 9 miles by road south of Hornsea and a similar distance north-east of Hull. Most of the house dates from 1560, although it includes part of a 12th century tower and remains of an earlier brick manor house from the late 15th century. Tours of the house explore up to 30 rooms fitted with original collections and interiors surviving from days as a much-loved family home. The house also has an 18th century orangery, gift shop, play area, gardens and parkland landscaped between 1772 and 1782 by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The stable block has been restored and its Great Barn exhibits the remains of a whale skeleton brought to Burton Constable after being washed up on the shore at Tunstall on the Holderness coast in 1825. A variety of feature events are held at the hall including musical events, sculpture, a classic car show and demonstrations of country house brewing and crafts. The house, the home of the Constable family for more than 700 years and still partly occupied, is now a museum owned by the Burton Constable Foundation.
For more information see the Burton Constable website.
Castle HowardThe Stray, between Welburn and Coneysthorpe, near Malton
Castle HowardOne of Britain's finest stately homes is set in 1,000 acres of grounds scattered with temples, statues and follies. Situated about 5 miles west of Malton, it has been home to the Howard family for more than 300 years. The grounds have been opened to the public all year round and the house from April to October. Built to a design of Sir John Vanbrugh, work began in 1699 and took more than 100 years to complete. The house was beautifully restored after a devastating fire in November 1940. More recently Castle Howard has become familiar as Brideshead of the 1980s TV adaptation and 2008 film version of Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited'.
Further details can be found on the Castle Howard official website.
Locate on map: Castle Howard
East Riddlesden HallEast Riddlesden HallBradford Road, Riddlesden
The attractive 17th century home of a cloth merchant includes an array of needlework from the era. The house is set in colourful and peaceful gardens with an outdoor discovery garden and children's play area. The property, around 1.5 miles to the north-east of Keighley, has a car park, accessed through its narrow entrance. The property is managed by The National Trust.
Find out more at the National Trust - East Riddlesden Hall web pages.
Locate on map: East Riddlesden Hall
Harewood HouseHarewood House, an 18th century stately country home, is at Harewood, about 7 miles south of Harrogate. It opens to visitors during a season stretching from March to October. Harewood hosts a variety of exhibitions and events as well as guided tours of the house. The house has been used to film scenes for the ITV series "Victoria" in which it has represented Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. Harewood has extensive grounds including more than 100 acres of gardens, parkland planned by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, a farm experience, deer park and the ruins of the 13th century Harewood Castle. The grounds also include the purpose-built village set of ITV's "Emmerdale", although this is not open to visitors except on selected dates on pre-booked tours via partners of the TV company.
More information can be found at the Harewood website.
Locate on map: Harewood House
off Doncaster Road, Wragby, near WakefieldThe site of a medieval priory, Nostell features a mid-18th century Palladian-style house which has been described as an architectural masterpiece. It includes interiors added by Robert Adam and furniture by Yorkshire-born furniture designer Thomas Chippendale. The house, 6 miles south-east of Wakefield and 5 miles south-west of Pontefract, is set in more than 120 hectares of parkland, including lakeside walks. Feature gardens include a kitchen garden with many varieties of rhubarb and vegetables typical of those grown in the 18th and 19th centuries and also the Menagerie Garden, created in 1743 and once the home of several exotic species. Nostell is managed by the National Trust.
Nunnington HallSituated on the banks of the River Rye, around a 7 mile drive from Helmsley, 10 miles from Malton and 13 miles from Pickering, Nunnington Hall offers the chance to explore period rooms of a Yorkshire manor house. Although there has been a large house at the site since the mid 13th century, the present Hall has developed from one of the Tudor period with extensive remodelling in the late 17th century. The house has an organic walled garden, spring flowering meadows and a tea room. It also houses one of the finest collections of scale miniature period rooms, offers a changing programme of art and photography exhibitions and hosts various events including the Ryedale Book Festival. The house is managed by the National Trust.
More information at the National Trust - Nunnington Hall web pages.
Locate on map: Nunnington Hall
Oakwell Hall and Country ParkOakwell HallOakwell Hall is a splendid grade I listed Elizabethan Manor house in an extensive country park near Birstall and around 4 miles north-north-west of Dewsbury. The house was built in 1583 by John Batt and is furnished as the family home in the late 17th century and is surrounded by gardens reflecting the garden styles of that period. Oakwell Hall was the inspiration of Fieldhead in Charlotte Brontë's novel "Shirley". The hall also has information on the English Civil War battle of Adwalton Moor, the site of which is a walk of about a mile from the hall. The Hall is surrounded by a 110-acre country park which includes woodland, farmland and a reclaimed colliery site. There are trail-marked paths around the park which includes ponds and nature information boards. There is also a visitor centre at the hall, a gift shop, playground and nature trail. There are car parks for both the house and the country park, accessed from Nutter Lane, Birstall. The hall is owned and maintained by Kirklees Council.
Find out more at the Kirklees Council - Oakwell Hall and Country Park web pages
with further information at the Friends of Oakwell Hall and Country Park website.
Locate on map: Oakwell Hall
Ripley CastleRipley CastleRipley
Situated four miles north-north-west of Harrogate town cente, Ripley Castle has been the home of one family for more than 700 years. It is set in beautiful gardens, grounds which include a deer park and the picturesque estate village of Ripley, remodelled in the mid 19th century. Ripley Castle has a fascinating history involving Kings and Queens, the Gunpowder Plot and Oliver Cromwell. It offers daily guided tours from April to October, has a gift shop and tearooom, offers a wedding and meeting venue and a variety of outdoor activities and events.
For further details see the Ripley Castle website.
Locate on map: Ripley Castle
Shibden HallShibden HallShibden Hall Road, Halifax
The hall, dating from 1420, is located alongside Shibden Park, which was formed from its estate. Exploring the house reveals a variety of architecture from the various periods of its history and an insight into the people who lived there over the years. One of those was Anne Lister, whose diaries in the early 18th century were the inspiration of the recent BBC period drama series "Gentleman Jack", written by Sally Wainwright. Much of the series was filmed in the real-life location at Shibden Hall. The house also has a 17th century barn housing a carriage collection. Shibden Hall is managed by Calderdale Council museums.
For more information see the Calderdale Museums - Shibden Hall web page.
Locate on map: Shibden Hall
Temple Newsam House
Temple Newsam HouseTemple Newsam Road, off Selby Road, near Colton, Leeds
Temple Newsam House dates from Tudor and Jacobean times and is surrounded by more than 600 hectares of parkland and gardens, which include a rare breeds farm. The gardens were designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s. Leeds City Council now own the country house and estate, which is open to the public. The house has previously been used as an art museum but there has now been refurbishment of rooms to period styles to match the outstanding restored exterior of this Grade I listed building. There are fees for admission to the house and to the farm.
More information at the Temple Newsam House pages of the Leeds City Council website.
Wentworth Castle GardensWentworth CastleStainborough
The Grade I listed gardens and parkland of Wentworth Castle, a country house at Stainborough, near Barnsley, were reopened in 2019 by the National Trust in partnership with Barnsley Council and Northern College, which occupies the house, which is closed to visitors.
The gardens, like the house itself, are largely the result of family rivalry in the 18th century with the inheriters of Wentworth Woodhouse, a spectacular country house around six miles away. Miles of parkland include various monuments and also Stainborough Castle, a folly ruined castle of medieval appearance which continues the name of an earlier house at Wentworth Castle. A Union Jack Garden commemorates the union of England and Scotland in 1707 and there is also a Victorian conservatory.
For more information see the National Trust - Wentworth Castle Gardens web pages.
Locate on map: Wentworth Castle Gardens
Wentworth WoodhouseWentworth WoodhouseWentworth
Situated about 4 miles north-east of Rotherham, Wentworth Woodhouse is possibly the grandest country palace in England. In effect it is two back-to-back palaces. Its brick West Front was built in the 1720s. Soon after this, its stone East Front was built, stretching for an impressive 185 metres. Until recently the largest house to be privately-owned, in 2017 it was acquired by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for £7m, with half of that coming from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The house was given its huge Palladian frontage between the 1730s and 1740s by Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Baron Malton, who was Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of West Yorkshire from 1733 to 1750. Brought up there was his son, Charles Watson-Wentworth, who in later life, as The Marquess of Rockingham, served two short terms as Prime Minister of Great Britain. The house and gardens open daily, except Mondays, with admission available to its main rooms and gardens and also themed guided tours available to provide a wealth of information about the various parts of the 365-room house and its conservation. Afternoon tea is served in its Long Gallery and there is also a gift shop. Various events are staged at the historic house through the year. Wentworth Woodhouse has been a location for a variety of films and TV productions, recently having featured prominently in the second series of acclaimed ITV historical drama "Victoria" and also in the award-winning fact-based fictional drama film about Winston Churchill, "Darkest Hour". There are some attractive public footpaths through the estate, including some which lead past the large and eleborate follies which boasted its extent.
For more information see the Wentworth Woodhouse website.
Locate on map: Wentworth Woodhouse
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