Newby Hall Stately Home England

Newby Hall Yorkshire is one of the U.K's premier 'Stately Homes'. Brent and Elaine from Passport Travel worked on this estate during their backpacking days, this being 1980. We were privileged to experience a living piece of history and witness, to what many think of as, 'Upstairs Downstairs'. In reality, nothing like the television series!

The above picture, I like to refer to as 'Brents Library'! On the caretakers days off my responsibility was to lock up the house after the visitors had departed. The last room I did was the library (had large window shutters to secure). I would linger a while exploring the many rare and exciting books. Yes, for those that may recognise, the paster work is by Robert Adams. Chippendale had a bit to do with some of the furniture as well - his work is more prevalent in other rooms.


One could wander into the adjacent Sculpture gallery with its collection of souvenirs gathered over the centuries from many 'Gentlemen's Grand Tours'. Items ranged from Roman period to 18th century. One statue was sold a few years ago (8 million UK pounds) to fund some redevelopment work!


We did a range of jobs, from garden worker and driver, through to cooks. Brent, who has always enjoyed cooking, had his first experience of preparing and cooking game birds. Whilst he had cooked game, in the form of Venison and Tahr, when living in New Zealand, aerial game was a new direction. I can still rustle up a mean Pheasant Casserole!!

The house has been used for several television movies, the most famous being the production of the Jane Austin novel, Mansfield Park'.

Our accommodation was rather special, a cottage contained within the Robert Adams designed stables. It seems stables were not his normal type of design task and therefore this building is on the 'rather unique list'. Our cottage was the black door in the far left corner of the picture below. In days of yore horses were comfortably stabled here and even the central well for watering horses is quite a feature. In our day my Honda 750 F1 motorbike (quite a few horsepower) was parked in the same corner.
One of Britainís finest Adam Houses Newby Hall, the family home of Mr & Mrs Richard Compton, is one of Englandís renowned Adam houses and an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Built in the 1690s in the style of Sir Christopher Wren the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam.

William Weddell, an ancestor the Comptons, was a prominent member of the Dilettanti society and had made the ďGrand TourĒ in 1765-6. Amongst the treasures he brought back from Europe were magnificent classical sculptures and a superb set of Gobelins Tapestries. In order to house all these treasures, Weddell commissioned the Architect Robert Adam to create the splendid domed Sculpture Gallery and Tapestry Room that we see today. Indeed the entire contents of the Tapestry Room are still in their original condition, which makes the room unique.

At the beginning of the 19th century the third Lord Grantham built the Regency Dining Room; it is in marked contrast to Adamís fine mouldings and the graceful elegance of the rest of the house Ė an elegance restored by Mrs Jane Compton, who painstakingly researched Adamís original colours. Newby also possess many fine pieces of Chippendale furniture, porcelain and paintings.

Recent history includes an interesting WW2 segment!

There are many attractions both within the house and external. The Gardens are world renown and cannot be fully described, or appreciated, via a website. As you can see families are well catered for.

Nearby attractions include Ripon - the smallest town in Britain with a Cathedral - and Boroughbridge. Here I am told the church contains a significant organ - during our tenure my old high school music teacher and his wife came to stay in our cottage, he being a church organ player had an 'introduction' to the local vicar. Also near Boroughbridge are ancient 'Standing Stones'.

The 'House' does not offer accommodation, but as of recently there is an area set aside for camping!! So, if you are in a rental campervan you are in luck - open summer only.

Newby Hall Website

Miniature Railway Extensive Gardens