Newby Hall

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Newby Hall

Newby Hall is an eighteenth-century country house situated on the banks of the River Ure at Skelton-on-Ure, near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, England, and is a Grade I listed building.

The house contains a collection of furniture, painting and precious artefacts. The River Ure runs along the south side of the grounds, which have extensive herbaceous borders and woodland walks. The Georgian stable block, leased as offices, and the Church of Christ the Consoler are also Grade I listed.

Newby Hall is open to the public from 21 March until 1 October.


The manor of Newby was sold in the 1690s, following the death of Sir John Crosland in 1670, by the Crosland family to Sir Edward Blackett, MP for Ripon. He demolished the old manor house and in 1697 built a spacious mansion designed with the assistance of Sir Christopher Wren. He died in 1718 and was succeeded by his son Edward and he in turn by his nephew Edward. The latter sold the estate in 1748 to Richard Elcock (later Richard Elcock Weddell) and it passed from him to his young son William Weddell in 1762.

William Weddell (1736–1792), who became an MP for Malton, benefited from his great-uncle's South Sea fortune and improved and enlarged the house during the 1760s. The interior was remodelled and several architects contributed, including Robert Adam.[1] The building housed William Weddell's collection of Roman antiquities, which he brought back from Italy (1764–1765).[2] William died in 1792, leaving the estate to Thomas Philip Robinson, Lord Grantham, who later changed his name to Thomas Weddell and then to Thomas de Grey. When he died in 1859 his titles passed to his nephew, George Robinson, 2nd Earl of Ripon but Newby Hall went to his daughter, Lady Mary Gertrude Robinson. She married Henry Vyner (1805–1861).

Lady Mary commissioned architect William Burges to build a church in the grounds in 1871–76 as a memorial to their son, who was killed by bandits in Greece in 1870. [3] An equestrian statue brought to England by the Vyners and erected in London after the Restoration was re-erected at Newby in 1883. [4] Another son Henry Frederick Clare Vyner (1836–83) inherited Newby, followed by his brother, Robert Charles de Grey Vyner (1842–1915). [5]

Mary Evelyn Vyner, daughter of Robert Charles, inherited Newby in 1915 and married Lord Alwyne Compton in 1886, dying in 1957.

During the Second World War, Newby was one of several country retreats selected to house the Royal Family, if they had needed to be evacuated from the capital (see Coats Mission).

The present owners, the Compton family, descended from William Weddell, 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 Compton, born in 1922 and (known as Robin) was chairman of Time-Life International for many years and took over the running of Newby Hall in 1960. He was appointed High Sheriff of North Yorkshire in 1978 and Deputy Lieutenant from 1981. [6] It was then passed down to Richard Clephane Compton and his family, Orlando, Ludovic and Sasha (Alexandra).

In 1973 a miniature railway was constructed; it was enlarged in 1985. Running along the bank of the river, the train is pulled by a Battison-built 1/5 scale model of the Royal Scot (6100) on Sundays and Bank Holidays.[7] 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.

In 1979 a newly constructed adventure playground was opened by Sir Jackie Stewart. A 2007 TV adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park was filmed at the Hall. Newby Hall also holds the National Collection of the genus Cornus (dogwoods).

In 1997 Robert Compton handed over the property to his younger son, Richard, his eldest son having inherited Invercauld estate in Scotland.

Further reading[edit]

  • Drawing from the Past: William Weddell and the Transformation of Newby Hall [exhibition catalogue, Leeds Museum and Galleries] (2004)
  • Kirtley, Allan, Longbottom, Patricia, Blackett, Martin. A History of the Blacketts. (2013) The Blacketts. ISBN 978-0-9575675-0-4. 


  1. ^ Drawing from the Past: William Weddell and the Transformation of Newby Hall [exhibition catalogue, Leeds Museum and Galleries] (2004)
  2. ^ I. Bignamini, C. Hornsby, Digging And Dealing In Eighteenth-Century Rome (2010), p.341–343.
  3. ^ "Christ the Consoler's Church, Skelton-cum-Newby". Welcome to Yorkshire. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Equestrian Statue Approximately 150 Metres East of Newby Hall, Newby with Mulwith". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Vyner family of Newby". The National Register of Archives. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  6. ^ "Obituary of Robert Edward John Compton". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  7. ^ 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 2½ 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.
  • "Newby Hall". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°06′06″N 1°28′10″W / 54.1016°N 1.4695°W / 54.1016; -1.4695