Sunday, November 19, 2017
Parlington Hall, Aberford, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Anthony Christian Exhibition



Parlington Hall :: The Estate :: Oil Paintings, by Anthony Christian

Here we are at the head of the driveway, which has the famous Triumphal Arch, there are three paintings in the series featuring it and all are included on this page. The arch has caused controversy since the time it was built for Sir Thomas Gascoigne to a design by Thomas Leverton. It is said that the inscription on both elevations Liberty in N.America Triumphant MDCCLXXXIII was seen by the Prince Regent when visiting Parlington for a luncheon appointment with Sir Thomas and he was quite shocked, that such a monument declaring as it does the victory of the colonials in the War of indepenedence, he would not pass through, and so made alternative arrangements at Hazelwood Castle. Recent findings point to a possible meeting of Sir Thomas with the Prince at the Doncaster Races in 1806, so the story may well be true. A full article about the Triumphal Arch can be found here in the Estate Section.

From behind the Arch, Parlington

From behind the Arch, Parlington

The first painting is viewed from beyond the arch, in the woodland that leads to the site of the old hall, the roadway used to pass through the central arch, but has for many years been diverted around the monument, if only to save it from the hazards of modern traffic. However in more recent times, it was subjected to the ingnomony of a collision with a car, naturally we believe the arch moved into the roadway, where it was struck by the car, before returning to its original position! It has now been reinstated with new stonework, which was brought from Wiltshire, curious, as I'm sure the original stone would have come from a local quarry.

Animals at the Arch, Parlington

The second picture, Animals at the Arch, Parlington, truly reflects the vision you see before you as you drive into the old estate, with the Triumphal Arch at the head of the road.

Animals at the Arch, Parlington

We benefit from the passage of time in the sense that the arch when built would have stood alone at the head of the driveway, no amount of money could have given Sir Thomas the view we have before us today, even though some of the beech trees have succumbed in recent years, the overall impression is very grand. Only the weathering of the arch and its inscription give away its age. We should remember that the colonial cause was supported throughout much of the kingdom, the contempt for Lord North, and the interference in Parliament by George III were not liked by the Whigs and Sir Thomas made his point, which has long outlasted anything else he did!

The Arch, Parlington

The Arch, Parlington

Titled The Arch Parlington 1 this small image belies the original, which at 30" wide truly expresses the view up over the expanse of the corn field, painted from near the Crow River in the valley, with the Triumphal Arch, appearing through a break in the tree cover. This view over the field is a modern addition, as the area was not used for agriculture until after the Second World War, in fact it was probably the site of many camps, by the Hussars in the First World War, and the scouts over the decades until as late as the 1950's. Pictures of this location in the early twentieth century can be found here, although taken from a different source location.