Country Calling: A Visit to Aske Hall


Aske Hall, Richmond, North Yorkshire

We have been looking forward to our visit to Aske Hall for months–and the day is finally here!  Aske Hall is a Georgian country house north of Richmond in North Yorkshire.


Record of Aske Hall in the Doomesday Book of 1066 
Courtesy of Porfessor John Palmer & George Slater

The first reference to the hall dates back to the Domesday Book of 1066.  In 1578, the Bowes family bought the house and built a two story manor house on the site.  In 1727, Sir Conyers Darcy acquired the house and made significant changes with his architect, William Wakefield, who had also designed Duncombe Park in Helmsley.


Aske Hall by J. M. W. Turner, engraved in Whitaker’s History of Richmondshire
Yale Center for British Art

Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet, acquired Aske Hall in 1763 for a grand sum of £45,000.  He commissioned the architect John Carr to design the house for him in the Palladian taste, which he would then fill with impressive furniture, paintings, and decorative arts.  Aske Hall’s gardens were designed by renowned landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

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Moor Park, Hertfordshire

Sir Lawrence Dundas was a well know Scottish businessman and politician.  James Boswell desribed him as ‘a comely jovial Scotch gentleman of good address… I liked him much.’  In addition to Aske Hall, Dundas acquired Moor Park and 19 Arlington Street in London.  Robert Adam provided designs for both interiors, along with notable cabinetmakers John Cobb and William Vile.  Dundas was also a considerable client of Thomas Chippendale and spent £1,300 in 1764.

Having the opportunity to visit Aske Hall is a wonderful chance to help Sir Lawrence Dundas and his family collection come to life.

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