6 August 2017

Nostell

 On Friday, my trusty steed Clint carried me deeper into Yorkshire. Up the M1, then through Barnsley on the A628 and then speeding onward through Lundwood and Cudworth until I saw the sign to Hemsworth. Then on through Kinsley and Sir Geoffrey Boycott's home village of Fitzwilliam until I reached my destination - Nostell Priory.

I had no plans to look inside the grand Palladian mansion - built for the very wealthy Winn family in the late eighteenth century. My aim was solely to stroll in the extensive parklands that surround the grand house.
To secure a parking ticket at Nostell Priory I had to give The National Trust £4. They don't employ car park attendants any more as that would involve paying wages. You put your coins in a machine that begrudgingly spews out the precious paper token. Presumably wages have to be paid to a snooper who wanders around checking car windscreens.
Anyway, I wandered around the grounds with the aid of a very inaccurate map. The highlight of this walk was the Obelisk Gatehouse designed by Robert Adam in 1776 - the year that America was kindly granted its independence by Britain. Sometimes called The Pyramid Gatehouse, it was once the main entrance to Nostell Priory but when a main road was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century between Wakefield and Doncaster - passing south of the estate, the previously favoured gatehouse fell into disuse.
For a hundred years different gatekeepers and their families lived in the gatehouse. There are rooms to each side of the arch with an offshot kitchen to the left.

Another highlight of my wandering was The Druid's Bridge which passes over a tongue of The Lower Lake. I recently saw a lovely picture of this bridge and in fact it was that picture that gave me the idea to drive up to the Nostell Estate.

You might wonder why is the grand house called Nostell Priory? Well in the eleventh century there was a small religious settlement here - founded by Augustinian monks. They built a priory that was more or less razed to the ground during the construction of the estate we see today with its lakes, its woods, its follies, its lawns, its stable block and of course the jewel in the crown - the big house itself.

21 comments:

  1. Both the Bridge and the unusual gatehouse would be enough to draw me there, too; the big house itself does not have the most elegant proportions, does it?
    My sister and I like the gatehouses left and right of the entrance to Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey. We always "argue" about who would live in which one. (They are exactly the same, of course, but that's siblings for you!)
    Love "Curly Sue" and her black-and-white companion!

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    1. "Curly Sue" was in fact a bull! Johnny Cash once sang "A Boy Named Sue"!

      The Winn family had planned another extension the same as the one on the right but it was never built - so I agree with what you said about the front proportions.

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  2. A beautiful spot to wander around, soaking in the ambience. Clint certainly knows the good places to visit!

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    1. Clint enjoys his freedom, free to wander with the wind at his back. I am happy that he takes me with him on nearly all of his journeys.

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    2. Clint is too young to be let out on his own, Yorkie! Hide the keys from him!!

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    3. All names have meanings. Clint means "Liberty". Lee means... (BLOGGER CENSORSHIP APPLIED).

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    1. You are echoing a phrase by The Lady of Ludwigsburg for some reason but I don't trust you. Please stay away!

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    2. I'm getting a lot of this stuff too. I delete it all.

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  4. What an interesting gatehouse! That alone would be worth the trip. Too bad the old priory was razed. I wonder what it looked like?

    "Kindly granted its independence"....after we won the war, you mean?

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    1. Ha-ha! I deliberately stuck that remark in to wind up visiting Yanks.

      As for the old priory, I have been unable to find out what it looked like. Perhaps nobody knows.

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  5. I didn't know lakes had tongues. I like the bridge though. (I think the Thai visitors to our blog community are robots, I just mark as spam and delete.)

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    1. Be careful next time you walk by a lake. It might lick you.

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  6. "1776 - the year that America was kindly granted its independence by Britain." Yes that was very noble of your country to grant our humble request. We certainly wouldn't want to have to fight you for it hahaha!

    The Pyramid Gatehouse fascinates me. I was drawn to pyramids/ancient Egypt as a kid. Great picture.

    Do they allow fishing off the Druid's Bridge? I'm no fisherman, but that was my first thought. Personally I'd just sit on it (or under the tree nearby) and daydream of what it was like hundreds of years ago. Historical places are wonderful. You're quite fortunate to have access to so many like this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I doubt that any public fishing is allowed on the three lakes at Nostell Priory. As for giving America its independence, I notice that neither you nor Steve (an American in London) have had the courtesy to express your gratitude for this gift.

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  7. It is many years since I went here YP - we had a friend who worked there around forty five years ago and we went several times then - at the time we lived in Lincolnshire.

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    1. I am glad that this post sparked some memories for you Mrs Weaver.

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  8. The spammers are out in full force lately :)

    That gatehouse is wonderful. So much history in your part of the world. Our structures and buildings are very new by comparison.

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    1. Regarding the gatehouse, its famous architect - Robert Adam was inspired by an Egyptian structure he saw in Rome.

      And yes I am getting a little tired of those unwelcome visitors.

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  9. Nostell is a village in the City of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, near Hemsworth. It is in the civil parish of Huntwick with Foulby and Nostell, which had a ...
    ตารางคะแนน

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.