The Site has been substantially redesigned with a lot of new content recently, if you entered from a search engine or bookmark to a particular page it's possible you have missed the new section, to visit it, please go to the Intro Page and navigate from there. If you wish to return to this old site there are links available in a menu on the right of the new pages, which when clicked will show the full listing.
A photographic postcard of The Hall taken from the gardens to the south east, probably from near the east entrance to the Dark Arch.
This picture is the first to reveal how the Cedar of Lebanon looked about 100 years ago.
Although the postcard is dated 1912, it is known that such cards were used for long periods, therefore the date of the actual photograph is unkown. A second postcard of the same view was published by "W Bramley" the "Electric Printing Works, Crossgates, Leeds" designated as the "Real Photo 'B' Series" Although posted and holding a George V half penny stamp the actual postal date is unclear. A close examination of the photograph suggests that the Hall was unoccupied, most of the windows are shuttered and the creeper has actually covered some of the windows completely. So it was probably taken after 1905.
At that time a small footbridge connected the gardens to the deer park beyond. Spanning the railway line from the south wall of the tunnel obliquely onto the bank bounding the deer park. It is also believed that this same area was utilised for events such as fairs, as mentioned in a recording provided by Mr D Mallinson of Aberford of recollections of Aberford by his late father, recorded in the nineteen eighties.
The Cedar of Lebanon in February 2005, the only snow this year, looking towards the deer park, the Dark Arch being beneath the tree line in the middle distance. The footbridge was to the left of the cedar roughly in line with the smaller pair of trees covered in ivy.
It is believed the Cedar was planted by or for Sir Edward Gascoigne during the first half of the eighteenth century, making the tree something around 250 years old. It is a truly magnificent specimen and stands proudly with only a few of its main branches having sustained damage over this long period.
The Dark Arch, retaining walls and the sunk fence (ha-ha) between the arch and the deer park were built between 1813-14, reputedly to shield the house holders from the traffic along Parlington Lane and allow a clear prospect over the deer park. Before the Selby turnpike [Present A63] road was built the lane was the main route through from Barrowby, Colton and Seacroft Moor. The railway followed later in 1834, initially a horse drawn arrangement, later to be propelled by the first steam engine for the line MW Mulcibar despatched from the Manning Wardle works on 11th August 1870. A second engine, MW Ignifer was purchased from Manning Wardle and was despatched from the works on 6th Febraury 1871. Details of the engines and all other standard gauge locomotives built by Manning Wardle are comprehensively covered in a book by Fred W Harman, Titled
The Locomotives Built by Manning Wardle & Company, Volume 2 Standard Gauge Manning Wardle produced locomotives from the Boyne Engine works in Leeds from 1859 to 1926.
The Aberford Railway is best described in a book by Graham Hudson dated 1971 [ISBN 0 7153 5200 8 Published by: David & Charles Ltd]
However to get a flavour of the early horse drawn railway the following is an extract from this excellent book
Mr Gascoigne's passengers were transported in a grim horse-drawn waggon, its spartan appearance a tribute to the colliery carpenters' limited knowledge of coach building.... Passengers sat on wooden cross benches and the interior was dimly lit by three small windows on either side. This vehicle was known by the romantic appellation of 'High Flyer', a sobriquet somewhat belied by its progress when it trundled down through the woods heading a train of coal chaldrons.
The author believes Graham Hudson is producing an updated version of his 1971 book and looks forward to its release.
Reputedly, the Porte Cochère to Parlington Hall removed to the gardens at Lotherton Hall. It matches the Fowler-Jones plan of Parlington of 1885, however it may only be a part of the entrance portico as two very large pieces of stone masonry from an entrance are still lying near the Hall site. The profile of the cornice appears the same as the remnants found at Parlington. The original portico had a mounting block between the columns, this is probably the one that is to be seen adjacent to the front entrance at Lotherton.
This photograph does not contribute to understanding the general appearance of Parlington Hall as the blank facing back wall which was created to display the piece at Lotherton has suffered from vandalism and makes the whole of the Portico look rather down at heel.
The Porte Cochère and Entrance Hall, part of a three D model being constructed of the whole mansion, this is a very early sketch version of the entrance area, the whole house is being 're-built' to provide a detailed view of the extent of it!
Check back for updates to this model!
Parlington Hall in the late Nineteenth century. Taken from a photograph provided
by the Garforth Historical Society.