OS grid reference:- SE 667 528
Hovingham Hall, North Yorkshire, was the childhood home of Katherine, Duchess of Kent, who married Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the grandson of George V and cousin of the queen on 8 June 1961 at York Minster.
The building dates to the eighteenth century and occupies a site where the Worsley family have lived since they purchased Hovingham manor in 1563.
The family descend from Sir Elias de Workesley, a Norman knight who accompanied Duke Robert II of Normandy the eldest son of William the Conqueror, on the First Crusade and was buried at Rhodes. The Worsley Baronetcy of Hovingham was created in early Victorian times, on 10 August 1838 for William Worsley.
The present house was constructed between 1750 and 1770 by Thomas Worsley (1710-1778), who was Surveyor-General to the Board of Works. It was developed around the existing stable block, which now forms the main entrance and once housed a Riding School where Thomas taught King George III to ride.
Thomas Worsley was succeeded by his son Edward and he in turn in 1830 by his nephew William (1792-1879). the first Baronet Worsley of Hovingham.
Hovingham Hall features fine vaulted ceilings and a beautiful collection of pictures & furniture. The house has attractive gardens which have magnificent yew hedges. In front of the house is a cricket pitch, reputed to be the oldest private pitch in England. Colonel Sir William Arthington Worsley, 4th Baronet was the captain of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1928 and 1929. He was also Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1951 to 1965. Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley, now Katharine, Duchess of Kent was the daughter of Sir William Arthington Worsley and his wife, Joyce Morgan Brunner.
The 4th baronet was succeeded by his son Sir (William) Marcus John Worsley, 5th Baronet (1925-2012), who was MP for Keighley and Chelsea, Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and High Sheriff of North Yorkshire for 1982-83.
Hovingham Hall, a Grade I listed building, is currently occupied by the Duchess of Kent's nephew, Sir William Ralph Worsley, the 6th Baronet and his wife Marie-Noelle. The house and gardens are open to the public for a limited time each year.