Newby Hall

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Newby Hall
Newby Hall-geograph-4538609-by-Chris-Heaton.jpg
"The finest house I saw in Yorkshire"[1]
LocationSkelton-on-Ure, North Yorkshire
Coordinates54°06′06″N 1°28′10″W / 54.1017°N 1.4695°W / 54.1017; -1.4695Coordinates: 54°06′06″N 1°28′10″W / 54.1017°N 1.4695°W / 54.1017; -1.4695
Built1695–1705, with later additions
ArchitectChristopher Wren – attributed, John Carr, Robert Adam
OwnerRichard Compton
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameNewby Hall
Designated23 April 1952
Reference no.1150307
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameStables 150M north of Newby Hall
Designated23 April 1952
Reference no.1150308
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameInner and outer pairs of gate piers, with gates, 50M east of Newby Hall
Designated29 October 1987
Reference no.1289313
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameEquestrian statue 150M east of Newby Hall
Designated6 March 1967
Reference no.1289184
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameSkelton Lodges to Newby Hall
Designated6 March 1967
Reference no.1289365
Newby Hall is located in North Yorkshire
Newby Hall
Location of Newby Hall in North Yorkshire

Newby Hall is a country house beside the River Ure in the parish of Skelton-on-Ure in North Yorkshire, England. It is 3 miles south-east of Ripon and 6 miles south of Topcliffe Castle, by which the manor of Newby was originally held. A Grade I listed building, the hall contains a collection of furniture and paintings and is surrounded by extensive gardens. Newby Hall is open to the public.


The manor of Newby was originally held by the lords of Topcliffe Castle. In St Columba's Church at Topcliffe are several monuments to the Robinson family of Newby and Rainton.[2] After the death of Sir John Crosland in 1670, the Crosland family sold the manor of Newby in the 1690s to Sir Edward Blackett, 2nd Baronet, a Member of Parliament for Ripon. He demolished the existing manor house and in 1697 built a new mansion, reputedly with the assistance of Sir Christopher Wren. In 1697, when visiting Newby, Celia Fiennes described it as "the finest house I saw in Yorkshire".[1] Blackett was succeeded in 1718 by his son Sir Edward Blackett, 3rd Baronet who, in turn, was succeeded by his nephew Sir Edward Blackett, 4th Baronet, who in 1748 sold the estate to Richard Elcock (later Richard Elcock Weddell), to whose young son William Weddell it passed in 1762.[3]

William Weddell (1736–1792), an MP for Malton, benefited from his great-uncle's South Sea Company fortune and improved and enlarged the house during the 1760s. The interior was remodelled, to the designs of several architects, including Robert Adam.[4] The building housed William Weddell's collection of Roman antiquities which he had brought back from Italy during 1764–5.[5] William died in 1792, leaving the estate to Thomas Philip Robinson, Lord Grantham, who later changed his name to Thomas Weddell and was later known as Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey. When he died in 1859, his titles passed to his nephew, George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, 2nd Earl of Ripon, but Newby Hall went to his daughter, Lady Mary Gertrude Robinson, who married Henry Vyner (1805–1861).

Lady Mary commissioned William Burges to build the Church of Christ the Consoler in the grounds in 1871–76 as a memorial to her son, who was killed by bandits in Greece in 1870.[6] An equestrian statue of brought to England by the Vyners and erected in London after the 1660 Restoration of the Monarchy, modified to depict Charles II trampling Cromwell, was re-erected at Newby in 1883.[7] Another son, Henry Frederick Clare Vyner (1836–1883), inherited Newby, followed by his brother, Robert Charles de Grey Vyner (1842–1915),[8] who was succeeded by his daughter Mary Evelyn Vyner, who inherited Newby in 1915 and married Lord Alwyne Compton in 1886. She died in 1957.

The present owners, the Compton family, are matrilineal descendants of William Weddell. They have restored the property. The gardens, which have extensive herbaceous borders and woodland walks, were developed in their present form by Major Edward Compton, who took over Newby in 1921. His son Robert Edward John (Robin) Compton, born in 1922, was chairman of Time-Life International for many years. He took over the running of Newby Hall in 1960. He was appointed High Sheriff of North Yorkshire in 1978 and Deputy Lieutenant from 1981.[9] In 1997 Robert Compton handed over the property to his younger son, Richard, his elder son James having inherited the Invercauld estate near Balmoral in Scotland. Robert's father Major Edward Compton had married Sylvia Farquharson of Invercauld.[10]

In 1973 a miniature railway was constructed; it was enlarged in 1985. Running along the bank of the river, a train is pulled by a Battison-built 1/5-scale model of the Royal Scot (6100) on Sundays and bank holidays.[a] At other times the train is pulled by the Countess De Grey or Lady Mary Vyner, LPG-powered diesel-hydraulic locomotives designed by David Curwen and built by Severn Lamb.[11]

Newby Hall holds the National Collection of the genus Cornus (dogwoods).[12]

Media appearances[edit]

Newby Hall was used as Hundreds Hall in the 2018 film The Little Stranger.[13]


  1. ^ The text on a buff ticket for the train ride, found as a bookmark in a 1987 paperback, reads on the front "The Royal Scot Newby Hall" with a line drawing of the original Royal Scot locomotive, and on the reverse: "The Newby Royal Scot, built in 1950, is an exact model one-fifth the size of its illustrious forebear and is able to pull a load of ​2 12 tons. It is one of the finest working models in the country giving visitors to Newby Hall memorable rides through the orchards, bamboo groves and over rock pools alongside the river Ure...." Then follow details of when the train runs.


  1. ^ a b Leach & Pevsner 2009, p. 600.
  2. ^ "Parishes: Topcliffe". British History Online. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Home".
  4. ^ Museum and Galleries 2004, p. unknown.
  5. ^ Bignamini & Hornsby 2010, pp. 341–343.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Church of Christ the Consoler, with Eleanor Cross to east  (Grade I) (1315406)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Equestrian Statue Approximately 150 Metres East of Newby Hall  (Grade II) (1289184)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 December 2020. See Cultural depictions of Charles II of England for the history of this statue.
  8. ^ "Vyner family of Newby". The National Register of Archives. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Obituary of Robert Edward John Compton". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  10. ^ Compton 2004, p. 9.
  11. ^ "The Miniature Railway". Newby Hall. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  12. ^ "National Cornus Collection". Newby Hall. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Domestic Disturbances: Crafting The Look Of The Little Stranger". Retrieved 29 August 2018.


External links[edit]