It’s #YorkshireDay & I’m appropriately here to see members for the first day of my @Heritage_NGOs #NorthernProgress Over the Saddleworth Moors we spotted a Triumph Herald Convertible for the mobile gang & a tower built as part of the nuclear early warning comms from Cold War era.
Heading 1st to @nationaltrust @fountainsabbey. Re-reading inspiring Fountains Abbey & Skell Valley project to address climate change & flooding in the valley while improving access. In @HistEnvForum #HeritageResponds report #NorthernProgress #YorkshireDay
Great to wander this morning round @fountainsabbey with @JustinScullyNT & talk about the site. Studley Royal Water Gardens is a #WorldHeritageSite - an important 18thC surviving landscape (for a time it wasn’t invested in & made fashionable so it survived in original state 😮‍💨)
The water gardens are prone to flooding & we talked about the @HeritageFundUK @nationaltrust funded Skell Valley Project to reduce run off from further up the valley. @fountainsabbey ruins would have played the role of often deliberately antiquated ruins at other 18C landscapes.
There’s also a water mill on site which is hosting a landscape photography exhibition…
And I loved this interpretation room about the @fountainsabbey ruins. #NorthernProgress
The ex-Cistercian Abbey itself is also part of the World Heritage Site designation (waving at @WorldHeritageUK - @Heritage_NGOs members) & was greatly used during Covid as a safe space to exercise. Visitors were up 20% last summer.
It’s an incredibly photogenic site @fountainsabbey & is used a lot for filming. Recently it’s use in #TheWitcher has brought in new tv tourism.
The miniature testers also approved. Though we took a moment to shake our fists at Henry VIII
It was also great to hear about @fountainsabbey & @JustinScullyNT work with @intoheritage & their @CulturalSkills #CulturalProtectionFund project in Uganda.
Stop 2 on day 1 of the #NorthernProgress was the completely stunning new @Heritage_NGOs member the moated 14thC manor @markenfieldhall - a @Historic_Houses member & wedding venue, you can also join private tours & afternoon tea here.
The Markenfield family history is fascinating & @markenfieldhall is believed to be the most complete surviving example of a medium sized 14thC house in England. Thanks to Sue for a fascinating walk round…
Canon John de Markenfield was chancellor to Edward II & has an unsavoury write up in history books but for 2 1/2 centuries after his death successful marriages were made & the family flourished. There was some side switching in the Wars of the Roses & pardons after Bosworth…
But the Markenfields were a devout Catholic family & after the reformation & the suppression of sites such as @fountainsabbey they became involved in the doomed Rising of the North. Sir Thomas & his uncle Sir Richard Norton were standard bearers (see 5 wounds of Christ)
A mass was said by the rebels at @markenfieldhall along the route of the rising & Protestant altar at @riponcathedral was vandalised & mass said, but the rising was routed, many were executed & Sir Thomas escaped into exile & poverty. The house & land confiscated by Elizabeth I
The estate was given to the Queen’s trusted advisors, but stood empty/became a tenanted farm under absentee landlords. It passed through families until it was bought for £9400 in the 1760s by lawyer & MP Sir Fletcher Norton (later solicitor general) & descendant of Richard Norton
When elevated to the peerage, he became Lord Grantley & the house has stayed in the family since. Lord & Lady Grantley began the restoration of the house in 1980 & continued until today by Lady Grantly & Ian Curteis. They won @Historic_Houses @Sothebys 2008 restoration award
Many fascinating stories - a possible escape for one of the Princes in the Tower, a piece of broken sculpture (possible @fountainsabbey rescue?) found near the moat, a tale of (American) Katherine who having spent one meal with Grantley promptly divorced his cousin & married him
And Caroline Norton, campaigner for the rights of women, abused wife of George Norton. The consequence of their union were the legal reforms to Women’s rights in 1839, 1857 & 1870.… - @markenfieldhall want to be a hub of research about her.
Finally we were treated to tea in the stunning great hall. Apple juice from @markenfieldhall apples. Thanks for having us Sarah. A truly unique & fascinating place. #NorthernProgress
Final stop of the day on the #NorthernProgress We popped into nearby @Historic_Houses @NewbyHall @NewbyHallGarden & met the fabulous volunteers running the model railway there. They also run a miniature steam train at the weekend. #YorkshireDay
Here’s a taster - a great view of the @NewbyHallGarden
I’ll finish up with a few shots of @NewbyHall incredible Doll’s House museum…
This Charles Rennie Mackintosh House is my favourite
So beautifully made!
Here’s a few more favourites
And finally one for #Tutankhamun100 today (I’ve shared this before but it’s just brilliant) - an Egyptian Revival Victorian doll’s house room complete with fortune teller. @NewbyHall #NorthernProgress #YorkshireDay

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More from @heritage_lizzie

Jul 1
Looking forward to listening in to #PerformingTut today from @UoBEgyptology @EllieCDobson - round table intros kicking off with @fkeshk Elizabeth Frood @GriffithOxford @danielarosenow & @RichardParkins5 @UniofOxford
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Nice project for someone here - 36 acres in the Lakes, £795k - a site in need of a saviour. @SAVEBrit Image
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Good to join @atwjackson & @TomOleary72 & colleagues @nationaltrust @Buzz_dont_tweet @HistEnvForum @f_ben87 to hear about #Superbloom at @HRP_palaces @TowerOfLondon - a new park for London & an appropriate, ecologically friendly & beautiful moat for our times. More pics 👇 ImageImageImageImage
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Here’s a little wander round @NTFentonHouse - it has some incredible collections of musical instruments, porcelain & Camden Town Group art. ImageImageImageImage
Here’s what a 16th Century Virginal sounds like
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