Wednesday, 20 July 2011
A little bit of heaven on earth
Up in the Yorkshire Dales, just over the hill from Trollerdale (see yesterday) this lovely old manor house nestles into the hillside. It's known as Parcevall Hall and was built as a farmhouse in about 1584. Sensitively extended into a hall over the years, it became the home of Sir William Milner, who bequeathed it on his death in 1960 to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (an Anglo-Catholic shrine and place of pilgrimage in Norfolk). Now leased by the Diocese of Bradford (Church of England) it is used as a conference and retreat centre. I think it's one of the most beautiful places I know.
I have several times stayed here, both on retreat and running several training conferences (in my previous self-employed life). It's a really peaceful, serene place. The old building is beautiful and full of lovely things. I once slept in its grand four-poster bed - and some of the cast-iron Victorian baths are nearly big enough to swim in! (Sir William Milner was 6'7" tall so that perhaps explains the size of the baths.) The house is only open to guests but the extensive gardens are open to the public to enjoy.