Newby Hall (North Yorkshire): the home of Lord Grantham & Lady Mary

I asked to return to Newby Hall, which I had twice before visited and which is the primary reason I began writing this blog (to make sure we only intentionally visited somewhere twice), because I remembered the fine interiors.

How can I not like (the Georgian parts of) Newby Hall: its interiors were designed by Robert Adam and I am bereft that photography is now allowed inside (click on these pictures for their borrowed sources).

However, when you are inside (because you must go), do look out for Lady Mary and Lord Grantham in the billiards room.

Apparently, this should have been the location for Downton Abbey (it is at least from where the main ideas were stolen), but lucky Highclere took that particular raffle prize.

As Newby Hall says on its own website, there are many similarities between Downton Abbey and Newby Hall:

  • Lord Grantham is the owner, same name as the Newby Hall owner in the 1800’s
  • Matthew Crawley (the heir) is a solicitor in Ripon and gets there on his bike. Ripon 4 miles away from Newby
  • When an undertaker was required, he came from Thirsk. Around 17 miles away.
  • The local blacksmith was working in ‘Skelton village’. Skelton is the village at the end of Newby’s drive.
  • The staff went to church in Easingwold, albeit on foot! Around 10 miles away.
  • Lady Sybil went to the election results in Ripon, 4 miles away from Newby.
  • Lord Grantham’s eldest daughter, who will inherit if she marries Matthew is Lady Mary.  Mary Vyner was Lady Mary Robinson, daughter of 3rd Lord Grantham and inherited on marriage

Apparently Newby also boasts the first sculpture gallery in Britain, which the Duke of Devonshire copied at Chatsworth House.  Bear that in mind when looking around both.

I was tempted into buying the …. “Guide Book”…. at Newby Hall, so I must have been impressed.  It’s joined the shelf that houses the illustrious few.

After we visited in 2013, the double herbaceous borders above (a signature of Newby Hall) were ripped out (many of the plants being decades-old) and the borders will be replanted, introducing modern plants.

Empty borders, shown in The Telegraph:

Heck, I think I just found a reason to return.


When visited: August 2013

Theme tune

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