Set in beautiful gardens across the River Rye from tiny Nunnington village is honey-coloured Nunnington Hall. It’s a tranquil setting that offers no clue to the house’s turbulent past – this isn’t one of those stately homes that cruised serenely through the centuries, while leaving barely a ripple. Nunnington Hall’s early history is sketchy; it is thought to have been built on the site of a nunnery – hence its name. It was started by William Parr, brother of Henry VIII’s sixth wife Catherine – he lost the estate after the scandal of trying to set Lady Jane Grey on the throne. It passed through many hands, including the Abbot of St Mary’s at York. Most of the building – a concoction of Tudor and Stuart styles – dates from the 17th century. Among other attractions you can see the extraordinary hunting trophies in the entrance hall, the entrancing Carlisle collection of miniature rooms displayed in the attics, and regular art and photography exhibitions. The house belongs to the National Trust, so there’s an excellent tea room. It’s worth crossing the three-arched bridge and exploring the village on foot – Nunnington’s handsome grey stone houses are hidden from sight to those who drive straight through. The church dates largely from the 13th century. Here, in an alcove, you’ll find the effigy of a knight in chain mail. This recumbent figure commemorates Sir Walter de Teyes, Lord of the Manor of Nunnington and Stonegrave until his death in 1325.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Wheelchairs, Braille guide, scented garden, DVD tour
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open 13 Feb-30 Oct, Tue-Sun 11-5 (last entry 4.30) Also open BH's & Mon during school hols; 5 Nov-11 Dec, Sat & Sun 11-4 (last entry 3.30)
Also in the area
About the area
Discover North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.
The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.
York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.
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