Plompton was mentioned in the Domesday Book (as Plontone), and in the middle ages was variously spelt Plumton, Plumpton or Plompton. The name is from the Old English plūme and tūn, and means "plum-tree farmstead". Plompton or Plumpton was historically a township in the parish of Spofforth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and became a separate civil parish in 1866. It was the seat of the Plumpton family from the reign of William the Conqueror until 1749, when it was sold to Daniel Lascelles. The estate was reacquired by the Plumpton family in the 20th century.
Plumpton Rocks is a man-made lake and surrounding pleasure gardens designed by Daniel Lascelles against a backdrop of towering Millstone Grit rocks that have been eroded by the wind. The lake was extended by a dam built by John Carr, architect of the hall. The artist J.M.W. Turner was commissioned by Edward Lascelles, 1st Earl of Harewood to produce two paintings of the lake and rocks. These now hang at Harewood House.
It is currently operated as a tourist attraction by the owner Robert de Plumpton Hunter. The site is now generally spelt with a 'u' (for the older name of the parish), although Turner referred to it as Plompton Rocks, in keeping with the modern spelling of the parish itself.
It has been suggested that the highest point of rock adjacent to the lake is called Lovers' Leap.
Opening times Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays March to October, 11.00am to 6.00pm
The gardens reopened on 30 July 2016 following a major restoration of the lake, dam and woods. The garden is open every day in August.
The park was a filming location for the 2016 film Swallows and Amazons.
- "Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- Historic England. "Details from image database (330897)". Images of England. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- Smith, A.H. (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 30.
- Vision of Britain website
- GENUKI website: Plumpton
- Brief history at follifoot.org
- Morris, Susan. "Girtin, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10777. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Turner painting at Tate Online
- Harrogate Borough Council: Plompton Conservation Area Character Appraisal
Media related to Plompton at Wikimedia Commons