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History of the House & Family At the time of the Domesday Survey it was recorded as being held, along with 93 other Yorkshire manors, by Robert de Brus. This great holding was gradually subdivided over the following centuries. When Peter de Brus died in 1268 Carlton passed to his sister Laderine and her husband John de Bellew. On the latter’s death in 1301 it was inherited by Nicholas Stapleton, son of Sir Miles Stapleton and Sibyl de Bellew. The Stapletons came originally from Stapleton-on-Tees near Darlington. They were a prominent family in the Middle Ages. Sir Miles Stapleton fought in Scotland under Edward I, was Steward of the Household to Edward II and died at Bannockburn in 1314. He had two sons, Nicholas who inherited Carlton, and Sir Gilbert. The latter’s sons were among the most distinguished members of the family. Sir Miles, the eldest, was one of the original 24 Knights of the Garter, a friend of the Black Prince and an expert tilter. Sir Brian, the younger son, was Warden of Calais and also a Knight of the Garter. He acquired the family crest, a Saracens head, by killing an infidel at a tournament in the presence of the Kings of Scotland, England and France. From him Carlton passed to his grandson, Brian, and he was the first of the family to live there. In about 1476 Brian Stapleton of Carlton married Joan, the niece and co-heiress of the second and last Viscount Beaumont. The Beaumonts were descended from the princely Frankish house of Brienne, which had produced the last Christian King of Jerusalem. (John I, b. 1148). This made the Stapletons heirs to the barony of Beaumont, a barony in fee, which could pass through the female line and be held by women. The last English titles in fee were created at

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the coronation of Richard II in 1377 and most later English titles are entailed on heirs male only. The title was not, however, re-claimed for over 300 years. Although there is known to have been a house on the site from at least the 14th century, nothing visible remains, nor are there any documentary records of it. There is no evidence; for instance, that there was a private chapel in the medieval house at Carlton, but the village church was a manorial chantry chapel associated with the Stapleton family. Somehow it survived the suppression of Sir Miles’s kinsman, Fr. Thomas Thwing, who was accused of treason as part of the same plot, being a priest was refused a special jury and was condemned to death on the perjured evidence of a couple of notorious informers. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on 23rd October 1680 at Knavesmire just outside York, the last Catholic priest to be martyred in England. At the time of James II’s flight from the throne in 1688 there was a further wave of antiCatholic feeling and on 16 December a mob armed with guns and pitchforks broke into the house and carried off Sir Miles and some of his household as far as Ferry Bridge where they were released without being harmed. Miles married twice but had no sons. On his death in 1705 the baronetcy became extinct and Carlton was left to his sister’s son, Nicholas Errington of Pontiland, Northumberland, who took the name of Stapleton. His grandson, Thomas Stapleton, who succeeded in 1750 improved the estate and altered the house. He landscaped the park to a plan by Thomas White in 1765 and added the long East Wing, designed by Thomas Atkinson of York, to contain a new Neoclassical chapel and extensive stables, in 1777. Barred by his religion from entering politics or the army Thomas Stapleton devoted himself to the turf. He was a keen breeder of horses, and pictures of some of them survive with their names inscribed -‘Tuberose’, ‘Miss Skeggs’, ‘Beaufremont’,‘Magog’ and ‘Cannibal’. He raced in partnership with Sir Thomas Gascoigne and together they won the first St. Leger with ‘Hollondaise’ in 1778. Next year Thomas Stapleton won it on his own with ‘Tommy’. Some of their racing cups can be seen at Lotherton Hall, near Leeds, a former home of the Gascoignes. In 1795 Thomas Stapleton laid claim to the dormant barony of Beaumont. The matter was referred to the Committee of Privileges and the claim was allowed in 1840 when his greatnephew, Miles Thomas Stapleton, was called to the Lords as 8th Lord Beaumont. He celebrated his ennoblement by gothicising the house in 1842 to his own design. He also had literary aspirations, writing some rather poor plays and poems, but his chief interest was politics. Like several of the old Catholic families he objected to the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in England in 1850, and in protest joined the Church of England. On his death in 1854 his eldest son was only six years old. Henry, 9th Lord Beaumont, belonged to the generation of the great Catholic revival in England. He was up at Oxford with the 3rd Marquess of Bute, whose conversion to Catholicism inspired Disraeli’s novel Lothair, and David Hunter-Blair who also became a Catholic, a Benedictine monk and eventually Abbot of Fort Augustus. Like many of his contemporaries Henry was building mad and soon after coming of age he began the megalomaniac transformation of Carlton which occupied him for the rest of his life in between military adventures in distant lands. His extravagance led to the sale of the greater part of the estate. He married, in 1888, Violet Wootton Isaacson, but there were no children of the marriage and on his early death from pneumonia in 1892 Carlton passed to his

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brother Miles, a regular soldier then commanding the 20th Hussars, having first joined the Coldstream Guards. In 1893 Miles married Ethel, daughter and heiress of Sir Charles Henry Tempest of Broughton Hall, Skipton, and Heaton in Lancashire. She brought to Carlton many of the most interesting pictures and her fortune saved the house and remaining estate. The 10th Lord Beaumont was tragically killed in a shooting accident, only three years after inheriting. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Mona, who was then only a year old. She married in 1914, the 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop, great-grandson of the 13th Duke of Norfolk who until his death in 1972 was heir presump tive to the dukedom. They had eight children, ‘the eight M’s: Miles, Michael, Mariegold, Martin, Miriam, Miranda, Mirable and Mark. Lady Beaumont owned Carlton for 76 years, a period, which saw two world wars and great social changes. In the Second World War the house was used as an auxiliary military hospital but suffered little damage and was carefully restored to its original condition afterwards at a time when many other large Victorian houses were being demolished. Her eldest son, Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan Howard, inherited both the Beaumont and Howard of Glossop baronies and in 1975 succeeded his cousin as 17th Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England. The 17th Duke of Norfolk was born in 1915 and is married to Anne Mary Constable Maxwell, a great grand daughter of the 10th Baron Herries. They have two sons and three daughters: Edward William, Earl of Arundel and Surrey; Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard; Lady Tessa Balfour; Lady Carina Frost and Lady Marcia Ryecart. Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard, his wife Emma and their children, Arthur, Florence and Grace now live at Carlton Towers. The House The Exterior: The overwhelming Victorian exterior of Carlton is due to two men, Henry, 9th Lord Beaumont, and his architect, Edward Welby Pugin, son of the more famous Augustus Welby Pugin.

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In fact, the Victorian appearance is only skin-deep. Beneath the trimmings of 1873-1875 is an older house. The three-storeyed square block on the left is the original Jacobean Carlton Hall of 1614. It may even retain some of the masonry of the medieval house of the Stapletons, which occupied the same site on a sandbank above the flood level of the River Aire. The long wing on the right was added circa 1777 (the date on the clock) probably to the design of Thomas Atkinson of York. In 1842 Miles Thomas, 8th Lord Beaumont converted this wing into part of the house, gothicising the exterior and converting the chapel into an enfilade of state rooms with new rooms behind. He was probably his own architect and the result was not successful, so it is not surprising that his son, the 9th Lord Beaumont, decided to remodel the whole house after he inherited.

Pugin re-faced the house for him with cement to look like stone and added the turrets, gargoyles, battlements and coat of arms innumerable, which justified the change of name from Hall to Towers. The front door is approached by a curving flight of steps guarded by Talbots (the supporters of the Beaumont Arms). They hold little banners painted with the Stapleton lion and the lion of Brienne and are a foretaste of the heraldry, which is such a feature of the interior decoration. The 9th Lord Beaumont and Pugin quarrelled while Carlton was still being built and a different, younger, architect was called upon to design the interior. Lord Beaumont chose the Yorkshireborn John Francis Bentley, a greater man than Pugin. He was one of the leading church architects of the late 19th century and is best known for his ecclesiastical work, particularly Westminster Cathedral. The rooms at Carlton are his only major country house commission. They are a complete contrast to Pugin’s harsh exterior both in their sensitive scholarly design and also in quality of craftsmanship. The Interior The Outer Hall: The general form of this room is Pugin’s but the decoration, including the stenciled ceiling, the tiled floor and the stained glass was all designed by Bentley. The east window contains panels of St. George, St. Louis and St. John the Baptist. The ecclesiastical character of the room is not accidental for it was first fitted up as a temporary chapel, when

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Cardinal Manning visited Carlton in 1876 and he celebrated mass here. The metal tables with the green marble tops were designed by Bentley. The bust is of the 8th Lord Beaumont by Patrick MacDowell. The ebonised French-style cabinets with Florentine mosaic panels date from the early 19th century.

The Inner Hall: Marble steps lead between elephantine piers to the Inner Hall. This is the first of the series of state apartments stretching away to the east for nearly 200 feet. Bentley expended great care on the detailing of these rooms, designing much of the furniture to match the architecture in his effort to achieve a unified effect. He designed the chandelier. The carved woodwork, including the Minstrels’ Gallery, the ceiling, the panelling and doors, was executed by J. Erskine Knox who was responsible for all the excellent Victorian woodcarving at Carlton. Lavers and Barraud made the stained glass in the windows to Bentley’s design; it includes portraits of Henry, 9th Lord Beaumont as a peer, and his brother Miles (later 10th Lord Beaumont) dressed as a medieval knight. The gold and red chairs are late 17th century (originally they had walnut frames and split cane seats but were ‘done up’ for the 8th Lord Beaumont in the 1840’s); the three marquetry commodes are in the Louis XVI manner; the bronze cherubs on marble plinths and the two large marble urns with ormolu mounts are also French. The urns are said to have belonged to Talleyrand and are among a number in the house which came from the collection of Sir Charles Henry Tempest, Bt. of Broughton Hall (father of Ethel, wife of the 10th Lord Beaumont), who together with his grandparents formed a collection of works of art on the Continent in the early nineteenth century. Sir Charles preferred bronze and marble to china because there was less chance of it being broken whiledusting. The Chinese vases are famille rose and the clock is early 18th century, made by W. Garfoot of London. The portraits, are of the Stapleton family and their connections. They include Miles Thomas, the 8th Lord Beaumont, by Richard Buckner; Isabella Anne, his wife and her parents, Lord and Lady Kilmaine; Henry, the 9th Lord Beaumont and his sister the Hon. Agnes Stapleton, both by A. Besnard. The vast gilt looking glass is baroque.

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The Bow Drawing Room: The neoclassical marble chimney piece may have been designed by Thomas Atkinson of York, who is known to have been responsible for alterations at Carlton in 1777, though the room itself was added on to the old house before 1765. Atkinson worked at a number of Yorkshire houses and designed the Bar Convent in York. The 18th century Dutch marquetry furniture, including two china cabinets and a bureau was collected by Ethel, wife of the 10th Lord Beaumont. The cabinets contain china; that to the right on entering, a Worcester first period tea and coffee service and two early 19th century English services; the other has some continental porcelain figure groups. The porphyry urns on the chimney piece are French, so is the Louis XVI clock. Above them is a mid- 18th century style rococo looking glass. The family portraits are all recent: - the 11th Lady Beaumont and the Hon. Ivy Stapleton (pastel) by Dick Reddie; Hon. Frances Howard (Mrs. Greaves) by WE. Miller; the 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop (the present Duke of Norfolk’s father) by Simon Elwes; the 3rd Lord Howard of Glossop as a boy; the Hon. Muriel Howard; the Hon. Philip Howard (1899), all by WE. Miller; the 11th Lady Beaumont (the Duke of Norfolk’s mother) 1935 by WR. Aresly, the 17th and present Duke of Norfolk in the uniform of the Grenadier Guards (1951) by Trafford Klots. There are also two characteristic Canaletto views of Venice of the sort brought home by 18th century grand tourists almost as the equivalent of post cards or colour slides. The Armoury and Garden Entrance Stairs: This fills the space between the old house and the 1777 wing. Bentley redecorated it in the same manner as the State Rooms with carved oak paneling by Erskine Knox and stenciled painting on the ceiling. The collection of armour, which hangs on the walls and gives this hall its name was formed in the 1840s by the 8th Lord Beaumont and comprises mainly 17th century breastplates and pole arms. The old oak furniture comprises a series of Lancashire chairs. The blue and white pottery in the cabinet and on the chimney

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piece and chest was formed under Bentley’s guidance and includes Delft tobacco jars and Chinese ginger jars. The doorway on the right of the Armoury chimney piece leads into the original Jacobean house. The Venetian Drawing Room: It is not immediately apparent why it is called the Venetian Drawing Room. The explanation is that Bentley discovered some old Venetian glasses stored in a cupboard and designed the room with display cabinets in the dado to show them. At some unknown date the glass was replaced with china. The Venetian theme is continued in the dado panels painted by N.H.J. Westlake with figures from the Merchant of Venice. The artist referred to them irreverently as ‘Shylock, Boldlock and Padlock.’ The upper parts of the walls are covered in moulded plaster with a pattern of pomegranates gilded to look like stamped leather. The cornice is decorated with alternating Bs, the white rose of York, the Stapleton lion and the Errington shell; the ceiling is attractively painted in pink, green and white. The most prominent feature of the room is the chimneypiece decorated with heraldry and panels of Flora and the Four Seasons by Westlake. General de Havilland, York Herald of Arms, worked out all the details of the heraldry. He was not an English General, but an American, born in Boston, whose military rank was achieved in Spain fighting for the Carlist Pretender to the Spanish throne. Lord Beaumont fought in the same war and met de Havilland there; it was probably through him that Lord Beaumont was introduced to Bentley. The large shield supported by Beaumont Talbots and surmounted by the Saracen’s head crest carries 36 armorial quartering. The yellow embossed fireplace tiles are by William de Morgan, the Pre-Raphaelite potter. The brass fire-dogs, the three silver plated chandeliers, the chairs with green velvet upholstery and the curtains of a matching pattern in terracotta and green were all designed by Bentley. The two marquetry side-tables are mid- 18th century Dutch. The painting of an architectural scene over the chimneypiece was bought for this position in 1908 for £48.

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The china in the cabinets is mainly 19th century continental: Berlin, Ludwigsburg, Höchst, Sèvres, Vienna and Meissen. The Picture Gallery: The great double doors at the far end lead to a plain brick wall where the 9th Lord Beaumont’s building venture came to a dead end when his money ran out. The walls are hung to the ceiling with pictures mainly brought to Carlton by Ethel, wife of the 10th Lord Beaumont. They came from the collection of her father, Sir Charles Henry Tempest, and were bought in Paris and Rome in the early 19th century. The Tempest Collection included paintings from the collection of Cardinal Fesch, Napoleon’s uncle, and some from that of Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal Duke of York, and last of the Stuarts. His arms, as Henry IX of England, appear on the two banners painted to look like tapestry. Though none of the paintings are by well-known masters they are of historical interest as a group. Once again the chandeliers were designed by Bentley, this time in brass; as were the firedogs and the tiles in the fireplace are again by De Morgan. The State Corridor: The long dark State Corridor gives access to the State Bedrooms. It was added onto the back of the old stable wing in 1842 by the 8th Lord Beaumont as part of his alternations to the house. Four 19th century hatchments with the Stapleton arms hang on the walls; they commemorate Thomas Stapleton (d.1821), Thomas Stapleton (d.1839) and the 8th Lord Beaumont (d. 1854).

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ARCHITECTURAL/LISTED BUILDING ENTRY

IoE Number: 326453 Location: CARLTON TOWERS, CARLTON PARK, CAMBLESFORTH, SELBY, NORTH YORKSHIRE Photographer: Mr Grahame E. Davidson Date Photographed: 29 July 2002 Date listed: 17 November 1966 Date of last amendment: 17 November 1966 Grade I NORTH YORKSHIRESELBY5342SE 62 SWCARLTONCARLTON PARK9/3Carlton Towers NORTH YORKSHIRE SELBY 5342 SE 62 SW CARLTON PARK 9/3 Carlton Towers 17.11.66 GV I Country house. Early C17 range with dated architrave of 1614 probably by John Smythson; C18 wing of c1740 for Nicholas Stapleton and c1770 by Thomas Atkinson; encased and incorporated into house of 1873-5 by E W Pugin with interior of 1875-90 by J F Bentley for Lord Beaumont. Pinkish-orange brick with channelled cement render, ashlar dressings and concealed roof. Approximately L-shaped on plan. Palladian, Neo-Classical and Gothic Revival. Main range has 3-storey, 3-bay central break forward with 2- storey, 5-bay wings and central clock tower; west range of 3 storeys and 5 bays with 3-storey tower and staircase tower, and octagonal turret. Plinth. Entrance in angle between front and west range. Curving flight of steps with end piers mounted by Talbots holding banners depicting the Stapleton lion and the lion of Brienne. Double doors in Tudor-arched surround rising to pinnacle and ornamented with foliage, coat of arms and datestone of 1875 above. To either side are pilasters with pinnacles and lancets with stained glass. Fenestration: mainly 2- and 3-light ovolo-moulded mullion and transom windows throughout within moulded architraves and with continuous sill bands. Windows to first floor of main range are 3-light mullion and transom windows with Perpendicular tracery to heads and are recessed within Tudor-arched arcade. To west range are bands with heraldic roundels between floors. Battlements project on ornamental rainwater-heads. 3 raised coats of arms to embattled parapet of main range. Clock tower with

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foliate columns to angles and fish-scale tiles surmounted by Talbots at angles and inscribed with family motto MIEUX SERA. Concealed roof. Stacks concealed within battlemented towers. To west facade of west range a re-used Jacobean ashlar architrave has round-arched opening with keystone between pairs of fluted pilasters with frieze and moulded cornice surmounted by coat of arms in ornamental surround and dated 1614. Staircase tower to rear has 2- storey, 5-light ovolo-moulded mullion and transom oriel window with quatrefoil lights above. Interior. Rooms c1740: harp room has rococo plasterwork ceiling; dining room has moulded cornices, arcade of fluted Corinthian columns and 6-panel doors with moulded surrounds, pulvinated friezes and cornices, marble chimney-pieces supported by caryatids. Rooms c1770: drawing room has moulded cornice, panelled doors and Neo-Classical marble fireplace. Library has Neo-Classical plaster ceiling and marble chimney-piece. The interior by J F Bentley forms one of the most ambitious suites of Victorian rooms in England. Outer and inner halls have stencilled ceilings, imperial oak staircase and minstrels gallery with balustrading and heraldic finials. Venetian drawing room has dado painted with figures from the Merchant of Venice and chimney-piece painted with heraldic panels, Flora and the Four Seasons by J H J Westlake; plasterwork stamped and gilded to resemble leather. Card room has stencilled decoration to walls and ceiling. Picture gallery has panelling to dado and ceiling, fireplace with ties by William de Morgan. Chapel to basement has altar-piece incorporating C15 Flemish carved wood panels of the beheading of St John the Baptist. Ante- room has re-used oak panelling with Renaissance motifs. Other rooms contain similar stained ceilings, panelled doors, fireplace etc with furniture and fittings designed by Bentley. Late C19 carving by J Erskine Knox. Stained glass by Lavers, Barrand and Westlake. Fenders and grates by Longden and Co. J M Robinson, Carlton Towers; M.Girouard, The Victorian Country House, 1971, pp 150154; N Pevsner, Yorkshire, The West Riding, 1979 p 158; M Girouard, 'Carlton Towers, Yorkshire, I, II, III', Country Life, 26 Jan 1967, pp 176-180; 2 Feb 1967, pp 230-3; 9 Feb 1967, pp 280-3.

Royal Photographic Society

English Heritage

Heritage Lottery Fund

Department of Culture Media and Sport

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Carlton Towers - A History  

At the time of the Domesday Survey it was recorded as being held, along with 93 other Yorkshire manors, by Robert de Brus. This great holdin...

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