final meeting of the summer programme was not marred by the fact that,
due to illness, there had to be a substitute speaker. In spite of being
surprised at the change of speaker, the forty strong audience were delighted
to hear a presentation by Brian Hull of Parlington Hall who bravely stepped
in at the last minute. Brian, who has lived in the building now described
as Parlington Hall for eight years, has spent the last seven researching
the history of Parlington and the Gasgoigne family. The result of this
research is a fascinating website www.parlington.co.uk
and a series of talks, one of which we heard last night. As well as being
called upon to speak at short notice, Brian also found himself being the
'guinea pig' for the society's recently purchased P.A. equipment. He rose
to both challenges like the true professional that he is.
He began his presentation by explaining that the building he lives in
was originally cottages on the huge Parlington estate, but since the original
hall's demise it now rejoices in the name Parlington Hall. He explained
that the now sleepy village of Aberford was a busy coaching village in
the 17th and 18th centuries, but the heyday of the Hall was during the
The Hall was the home of the Gasgoigne family for many generations and
over the years was added to and refurbished as were many large country
houses. It was built of stone, quarried locally at Huddleston Quarry.
Incidentally stone from this quarry was used to rebuild the Palace of
Westminster after the fire of 1840, and also supplied the paving for York
Minster. Brian's presentation was particularly interesting because he
showed many really early photographs of the Hall, some dating from the
1840's. It was sad however to trace, through the photos, the dereliction
of the Hall until its final demise in the 1960's.
Over the years the Hall saw many changes and was variously used as a stud,
a VAD hospital in WW1 and the site of local military tattoos, complete
with family owned cannon. During the 20th century it became a favourite
camping spot for scout and guide troupes.
We were most impressed and entertained with the technical wizardry Brian
displayed in his presentation. No doubt this ability is a reflection of
his day job as a software developer. The audience were hugely entertained
with the story about the Triumphal Arch built by the family to celebrate
the victory of the Americans in the War of Independence. When the Prince
Regent, who had been invited to visit Parlington, saw the arch he was
highly affronted and immediately turned his party round and headed for
Hazlewood Castle instead. Brian ended his presentation by inviting the
audience to visit the Parlington Hall display currently on show in the
Heritage Centre in Cross Gates Library. This display, kindly loaned by
Brian, was until recently on show at Lotherton hall so we are very fortunate
to have it. It will be in the heritage centre until the end of August.
The next meeting will be a film show 'All Our Yesterdays'
by the Yorkshire Film Archive on Monday 27th September.