Posted: 24 October 2013 1:24 pm Edited by: Ellen Couzens
I was very fortunate this week to receive an e-mail from Mark Oglesby, bringing an error in our blog on Princess Mary to my attention. How was this fortunate you may ask? Surely an editor does not want to be told this. The reason I have used this word, is because it has bought the wonderful Goldsborough Hall to my attention and the owners Mark and Clare have been very generous with their time in sharing the hall’s history. It is now my pleasure to share this with you.
Mark Oglesby wrote to inform me that Goldsborough Hall had been omitted from our blog on Princess Mary, and that the Hall had actually been her first family home after her marriage. It was in Goldsborough that both Mary’s children were christened and grew up. I found out that the Oglesby’s had bought the Hall eight years ago to save it from being turned into flats and since then have spent a lot of time researching the Hall’s history. I put the following questions to the Oglesby’s and very much enjoyed reading the answers, I hope you enjoy learning about this relatively unknown gem too.
Karen: Did you know anything about the Hall before you rescued it eight years ago?
Clare: Although Mark grew up in Harrogate, he knew nothing of the hall until we saw it being advertised for sale in the local paper. It has been fascinating to research all the history of Princess Mary and the 300 years before her time too!
Karen: Can you tell me a little of what you found out.
Clare shared a pin-interest link with me, which has pictures and information describing Princess Mary’s time at the Hall. Goldsborough Hall was home to HRH Princess Mary, the Queen’s aunt, in the 1920s and played host to many other royals including King George V, Queen Mary, The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and the Duke and Duchess of York (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth). While at the hall, Princess Mary’s two sons were born: Master George Lascelles was the first grandchild of Queen Mary and he was christened at St Mary’s Church, Goldsborough, next door to Goldsborough Hall. If you would like to read more please follow the link here : Goldsborough Pininterest
Karen: You have mentioned the Lime Tree Walk, with all the trees planted by Royals who stayed there during the 1920′s – can you tell me some more about the Royals who planted these trees?
Clare: Yes we have plaques on the majority of the 34 trees in the Lime Tree Walk which have the name and date on them, for example:
Her Majesty The Queen 16th Aug 1925
Viscount Lascelles 8th Oct 1926
His Royal Highness Prince Henry 9th Aug 1927
HRH The Duke of York (later George VI) 27th Nov 1927
HRH The Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth, and later Queen Mother) 27th Nov 1927
Her Majesty The Queen (Mary) 2nd Sept 1928
Princess Alice 10th Sept 1928
HRH The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) 11th Oct 1929
Karen: You said the Hall was at risk of being turned into flats before you bought it, can you tell me about some other uses of the Hall?
Clare: Yes, it was a nursing home latterly but the hall went through various owners in the second half of the 20th c. It was used as a boys boarding school from just before the Second World War until 1961 when it was bought by a wealthly family called Hanson who were mill owners. They restored it back to being a family home. They left around 1977 and eventually it was bought by another family called Smith. After a few years they turned it into a nursing home.
Karen: I am really fascinated by the renovation works that you have completed, can you tell me some more about this?
Clare: When we arrived the hall had been left empty for more than two years. The rats and squirrels were in the attic and there was so much virginia creeper that you could hardly see out of the windows. There was rain coming in with damage on the Jacobean staircase and a section of a Robert Adam ceiling was on the floor. Over the last 8 years we have renovated the whole of the top floor for accommodation for guests and are still working on our floor!
Clare also shared a recent newspaper article which has just appeared in the Yorkshire Post regarding the christening of Prince George and the link with Goldsborough Hall.
The Hall is now mainly a family home, although it is also hired out for weddings, for meetings and corporate events, and provides accommodation, a restaurant and a Royal Afternoon Tea. As Mark Oglesby says: ’There is no point just living here, if we are to save the building we have to give it a reason to exist for the future, so getting the history out there is very important to attract guests.’
I have really enjoyed learning about Goldsborough Hall, and particularly enjoyed seeing the pictures of the hall and having the opportunity to correspond with the lovely Oglesby’s. I will definitely be planning a trip to North Yorkshire and a spot of Royal Tea.