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Description: Skelton Manor
Date Listed: 29 January 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 328612
OS Grid Reference: SE5682056601
OS Grid Coordinates: 456820, 456601
Latitude/Longitude: 54.0023, -1.1346
SE 55 NE SKELTON CHURCH LANE
(north side, off)
4/78 Skelton Manor
GV II *
House. Mid C16 origins with major alterations of early-mid C18 and late
C19. For Edward Besley, the Roman Catholic MP for York and his wife Bridget
Nelson. Vestigial timber framing subsequently cased in brick, with plain
tile roof. Probably originally a hall with 2 cross wings to the rear, now
hallway entry with wings breaking forward slightly. 2 storeys, 6 first-
floor windows. Late C19 mullion and transom windows. C19 gabled porch with
battened door to left of central section and large 6-light transomed window
to right. Left wing: 5-light window. Right wing: 6-light canted bay
window. First floor: 2-light fixed windows to central section and left
wing. 4-light fixed window to right wing. Hipped roofs to wings. Ridge
stack and right end stack. Interior: surviving posts in the kitchen, near
the back stairs, by the door to the cellar and at the west end of the main
staircase probably delineate the original back wall, while studding in the
rear passage and a truss at the top of the back stairs supporting a wall
plate running to the north suggest cross wings to the rear. The post in the
kitchen is marked IIII. The north wall of the kitchen contains a fine
chamfered and stopped bressumer. The entrance hall is panelled in oak, C17
in date, with a plaster acanthus frieze above. The niche in the north wall
is a C20 insertion, but in character. The overmantel is elaborately carved
with arches within the panels, and may not be original in this position.
The cupboard door and that to the back stairs both have cocks head hinges.
To the left of the hall is the dining room with a fine frieze of
pomegranates, roses, carnations and grapes to the cross beam. The walls
have C17 panelling with a frieze and the fireplace, which may be C16 in
origin, has some Victorian work included. To the right of the hall the
sitting room is panelled in light oak. Closed string main staircase with
vine-scroll strings, elaborately carved newels and mirror balusters.
Comparison with the staircase at Sheriff Hutton Park suggests that it might
be by Thomas Ventris of York. First floor: the chamber over the hall is
panelled throughout with a carved and arcaded frieze similar to that at 58
Stonegate, York (early C17). This date is supported by the style of the
caryatids and atlantes which stand on classical bases and bear blank shields
and separate each round-arched panel. Full height figures flank the
fireplace, one a caryatid holding a quill and a bird, and the other an
atlantus holding a harp. The north-south ceiling beam carries a plaster
frieze of pomegranates, the emblem of Katherine of Aragon, which suggests a
mid - late C16 date for this feature. The doorway from the landing into
this room is of late C16 date with 2 wooden C15 bosses attached. The
cupboard by this door carries C17 arabesques, but the butterfly hinges
suggest re-use in the C18. The small sitting room to the left of the
landing contains a plaster frieze of mermaids and mermen with shields. This
is late C16 and has been interrupted by the insertion of the C17 staircase.
Mermaids were the symbol of Mary, Queen of Scots so this may be a reference
to Catholicism. The panelling in the west bedroom is C17 and painted white,
but is probably not original to this room. The east bedroom has light oak
panelling. In the north wall of the north bedroom a post and wall plate are
visible, giving further evidence for a rear cross wing to the original
timber-framed structure. The interior of this house is exceptionally well
preserved and has been restored with very great care. Gee E A, Skelton
Manor on-site notes (typescript only, 1978). North Yorkshire and Cleveland
Vernacular Building Study Group Report No 771.
Listing NGR: SE5681956602
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.