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Sledmere House

OS grid reference:- SE 932 648

Georgian Sledmere House is situated in the village of Sledmere, between Driffield and Malton in the hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. Building on the house commenced in 1751 and it was extended in the 1790s.

Sir Richard Sykes (1706-1761), whose family were wealthy traders from Cumbria married Mary Kirkby, the daughter of Mark Kirby, and co-heiress to the Sledmere estates. In 1751 he demolished the previous Medieval Manor House which had stood on the estate and built Sledmere House.

His nephew Sir Christopher Sykes, 2nd Baronet (1749-1801) greatly expanded the estate. The interiors of the house survived after a disastrous fire of 1911, fortunately most of the contents were rescued, after which the building underwent extensive restoration and rebuilding. The house is now occupied by Sir Tatton Sykes, 8th Baronet.

Sledmere House contains Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures. An imperial staircase leads to the Long Library, reputed to be one of the most beautiful rooms in England, it contains an extensive collection of rare books. The Drawing Room and Music Room were decorated by Joseph Rose. The Music Room contains an organ case designed by Samuel Green for the original house in 1751.

The Turkish Room was designed by an Armenian artist, David Ohannessian, inspired by one of the sultan's apartments in the Yeni Mosque in Istanbul. The attached Roman Catholic chapel has a fine ceiling painted by Thomas Errington. It depicts the four winged creatures of the Evangelist in the Chancel and in the Nave, a variety of birds including a swan, heron, swallow and lapwing.

Sledmere House is set within a park where red deer are seen to graze, which covers 960 acres and was designed in 1777 by Capability Brown. The highly attractive gardens include a paved sculpture court, an eighteenth century walled rose garden, a pond and fountains and a recently laid out knot garden.

The Sledmere Monument stands at 120 feet (37 metre) high on Garton Hill and was erected in memory of Sir Tatton Sykes, 4th Baronet and can be seen from miles around.

Historic Buildings