OS grid reference:- SE 404 175
Occupying the site of a twelfth century Augustinian priory, Nostell Priory is situated at Nostell, near to Wakefield. The priory was dedicated to St Oswald, an Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria). After flourishing for over 400 years the priory was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1540, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The property was owned by the Gargrave family after being purchased in 1567 by Sir Thomas Gargrave, Speaker of the House of Commons from James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy. The estate was sold in 1654 to the London alderman, Sir Rowland Winn, after the owner was declared bankrupt in 1650.
Construction of the present house commenced in 1733, and the furniture, furnishings and decorations made for the house remain in situ. The Winns were textile merchants in London, George Wynne of Gwydir was appointed Draper to Queen Elizabeth I, his grandson, Sir George Winn was created 1st Baronet of Nostell in 1660 and the family subsequently owed its wealth to the coal under the estate, and later from leasing land in Lincolnshire for mining iron ore during the Industrial Revolution.
The house was built by James Paine for Sir Rowland Winn 4th Baronet. Robert Adam was commissioned to design additional wings, only one of which was completed, and to finish the state rooms. Adam added a double staircase to the front of the house, and designed buildings on the estate, including the stable block
The sumptious interior of the house holds a collection of Chippendale furniture, commisioned for Nostell and paintings by Brueghel, Hogarth and Kauffmann. There is also a John "Longitude" Harrison longcase clock which is displayed in the billiard room and an eighteenth century dolls' house. The he butler's pantry houses a display of Winn family silver.
There are also 121 hectares (300 acres) of parkland to explore with a range of walks through lakeside and woodland, views of the druid's bridge and walks to the restored Obelisk Lodge through wildflower meadows. There is also a newly planted orchard and an adventure playground.
Nostell Priory is now owned by the National Trust. The Adam stable block has been renovated and is now open as a visitor centre for house and parkland.
Images courtesy of Paul Johnson
Nostell Priory is situated on Doncaster Road, Nostell, near Wakefield, on A638 towards Doncaster.