You are here: Home > News & Blog > Blog > A potted history of Escrick Park Estate

A potted history of Escrick Park Estate

By Helen Pentith  //  Thu 7th April 2016

Today, Escrick Park Estate is a beautiful environment in which to work, live and play. We have commercial offices home to forward-thinking businesses with a desire to get away from the hustle and bustle, picturesque timber lodge holiday homes for vacationing families and some of the country’s best riding facilities. Escrick Park is a wedding venue, a workspace and somewhere you can come to relax and enjoy the stunning Yorkshire countryside, but it hasn’t always been this way. Take a look at this brief history of the Estate and learn what’s being done to safeguard its future.

A brief history of Escrick Park Estate

Escrick Park has been in the same family for over 300 years. In 1668 Sir Henry Thompson, then Lord Mayor of York, purchased the Lordship of Escrick – becoming Lord of the Manor at Escrick Hall and presiding over the extensive grounds of Escrick Park. Henry was one of York’s most successful wine merchants, and had been buying up land around Escrick for years. He left Escrick to his son, and over the next century and a half the Estate continued to grow in size and grandeur.

In 1750 the Estate passed into the hands of Beilby Thompson, who gradually bought up the village of Escrick and had it relocated to the north of the Manor House. Beilby was just eight years old when he became Lord of Escrick, and the Estate was to be kept in the family following his death. Beilby’s nephew Paul Beilby Lawley inherited the Estate in 1820, and with it the name of Thompson.

Steps were taken to preserve both the Estate and the village of Escrick from an early stage. In 1756 an act of parliament saw a bypass constructed around the village, and more than two centuries later that bypass is what’s now known as the A19. The Estate continued to expand throughout the 19th century, peaking at an impressive 22,000 acres – making it one of the largest lowland estates in the North of England. 

Unfortunately, this largesse couldn’t last. The lavish lifestyles of subsequent owners and some swingeing death duties meant that the Estate diminished over time, eventually reaching its current dimensions of just under 8,000 acres. 

Farming and diversification

Today, Escrick Park Estate is owned by Charles Forbes Adam – a descendant of the Thompson family. Charles has ensured that the Estate is still worked as it always has been, with a mixture of tenant and contract farmers working the existing 8,000 acres. Red beet, turf, mithcanthus grass and carrots are grown here, alongside more common crops such as cereals and root vegetables.

While farming remains an important part of Escrick life, Charles has ensured that the Estate is no longer solely reliant on agriculture. Escrick Park has diversified, and is now home to:

  • The Hollicarrs – a 170-pitch holiday park home to luxury timber lodges for sale.

  • Commercial space – Including a variety of workshops and offices converted from traditional farm buildings, now serving over 35 businesses.

  • Residential lets – 80 farmhouses and cottages providing tranquil space in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

  • The Rideways horse riding course Running for over 21 years, the Escrick Rideways is well established and boasts over 45 cross-country fences. Improvements are being added all the time. 

  • A wedding and events venue – Escrick Park is fast becoming a popular wedding venue, with many bookings being taken every year for woodland weddings, receptions and civil ceremonies. The parkland is also let out for two regular events, welcoming over 1,500 people for the weekend. 

  • Three Hagges Wood – Three Hagges Wood is a charity-run area of managed woodland and meadow – a truly beautiful sight in the summer months. Family events are held here throughout the year, including bat hunts, butterfly hunts and mammal research projects. 

  • The Hebridean sheep flock – Escrick’s Hebridean sheep flock is now 900 strong, helping to take the breed off of the Rare Breed Register. The flock helps to manage the Skipwith Nature Reserve, cropping weeds and saplings to preserve an ancient natural habitat of lowland peat bog. Together with Natural England, the Estate has helped to manage the Skipwith National Nature Reserve to promote its diversity of flora and fauna. 

The same, but different – Escrick Park has a distinguished history, and has been allowed to modernise while retaining the traditional charm that makes it such a unique place to visit. The Estate’s future is in safe hands. Why not pay us a visit and see for yourself?

Share this blog:
Country Land & Business Association Winners of The Bledisloe Gold Medal
RICS Award for Building Conservation David Bellamy Gold National Training Award
Members of the BH&HPA Visit Britain 5 star Award for exceptional park National Landlords Association
Want to hear more from us?
Subscribe to our newsletter:

Please note that, by clicking subscribe, you are opting in to receive the Escrick Newsletter. We shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that we fully comply with the data protection laws and regulations. Please refer to privacy policy for more information on how we store, process and protect your information.

Get in touch with us...
Your details here:
Escrick Park Estate may use the information provided to contact me via:
I consent to allow Escrick Park Estate to collect and store the data from this enquiry