We have a request for your support if you would be so kind, but first some background information which we hope that you will enjoy reading. Many of you may not know this, but there is a part of Walsingham that is situated high up in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The place is Parcevall Hall, formerly the home of Sir William Milner (1893-1960), one of the great benefactors of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and also one of its first Lay Guardians. Sir William (a devoted Anglo-Catholic within the Church of England) gave land for the new Shrine Church in 1938, also donating a substantial amount of money (some £1500 then, with todays equivalent being in the region of £93,195) towards the cost of building. He was also to assist with the purchase of nearby cottages which were converted to serve as the first hospice for pilgrim visitors. And that was not the end of his involvement. Sir William was an architect by profession, and although it is his business partner, Romilly Craze, who is named and commemorated as sole architect of the Shrine Church, a contemporary recorded that indeed both were involved in the project. Several years prior to his death, Sir William bequeathed the Parcevall Hall estate in trust to the College of Guardians of the Shrine, which they continue to administer. Thinking that you may have heard Sir William’s name mentioned before? Yes of course, you will be familiar with the wing to the Shrine’s Pilgrim Hospice opened in 2008 and dedicated ‘The Milner Wing’ in memory and honour of Sir William, who is remembered with admiration for his skills and creative genius, and with gratitude for his life and ‘his kind, generous and humble Christianity.
We have to go back to 1926 when William Milner, later to become Sir William Milner, 8th Baronet of Nun Appleton, first arrived at the dilapidated remains of Parcevall Hall. Deciding instantly that this modest 16th century farmhouse, set atop wild moorland landscape in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales was to become his home, Sir William began a major building and reconstruction programme that would transform the Hall into probably what was one of the last country homes constructed by an English gentleman. He then undertook the herculean task, using his previously mentioned skills and creative genius, of transforming the upland estate and surrounding 24 acres into gardens that today are considered to be amongst the finest in the UK. They are open daily to the public between 1st April – 30th October. Visit www.parcevallhallgardens.co.uk for further information. Parcevall Hall is leased to the Anglican Diocese of Leeds as a retreat house and conference centre, and as such is not open to the public.
And finally to the request for your support that was mentioned at the beginning of this message. We were delighted to hear that Parcevall Hall Gardens has been shortlisted to the final eight from over 100 entrants, to compete for the prestigious Historic Houses ‘Garden of the Year Award 2022’, as sponsored by Christie’s. Historic Houses is the association that represents and supports the UK’s independent historic houses, castles and gardens. Parcevall Hall Gardens are currently in second place after votes already cast, and closing in on the current leader, but in a very tight race between the leading three gardens. Voting closes on 30th September and that is why we are asking if you would be kind enough to cast a vote for Parcevall Hall Gardens? This can be done by visiting the website below:
Thank you. We look forward to welcoming you if you ever have the opportunity to visit us.