Nappa Hall

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Nappa Hall
North Riding
Nappa Hall (geograph 1809781).jpg
Nappa Hall
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Location: 54°18’46"N, 2°3’15"W
Built 1470s
For: Thomas Metcalf
Country house
Owned by: Mark Thompson

Nappa Hall is a fortified manor house in Wensleydale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and which is described by English Heritage as "probably the finest and least-spoilt fortified manor house in the north of England".[1]

The house stands on the north side of the dale, a mile east of Askrigg, overlooking pastures leading down to the River Ure. A single-storey central hall sits between two towers, a four-storey western tower and a two-storey eastern tower. The four-storey tower has a turret, lit by slit vents, for a spiral staircase that climbs to crenellated parapets. The taller tower retains its original windows, but sash windows were inserted in the 18th century in the lower two-storey block which housed the kitchen and service rooms, at the opposite end of the hall. In the 17th century, an extra wing was added.

Nappa Hall is a Grade I listed building.[1]


The name 'Nappa', first mentioned in about 1251 as Nappay, is of uncertain origin, but possibly it derives from the Old English hnæpp gehæg, meaning "enclosure in a bowl-shaped hollow".[2]

The manor of Nappa was originally part of the manor of Askrigg, but by the late 13th century was a separate estate. It was owned by the Scrope family for some generations, but in the late 14th century Richard le Scrope granted the estate to James Metcalfe of Worton.[3]

There was an earlier house on the site, but the bulk of the present house was built by Thomas Metcalfe (who served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster) in the 1470s, and for centuries was the home of the Metcalfe family.[4] In the 16th century John Leland described it as "a very goodly Howse".[3]

There is a legend that Mary Queen of Scots stayed there for two nights while under house arrest at Bolton Castle and that James I visited the house.[5]

The house declined with the fortunes of the Metcalfe family in the 17th century. In the early 18th century it passed to the Weddells of Newby Hall, who made some improvements.[4] William Weddell (1736-1792) adapted Nappa Hall as a hunting lodge, and added a stable and coach house.[4] The Metcalfes moved back in 1889, first as tenants and in 1930 as owners. William Metcalfe sold the house in 2008.[5] The new owners have put forward plans to restore the house.[4]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Nappa Hall)


  1. 1.0 1.1 National Heritage List 1157398: Nappa Hall
  2. Watts, Victor, ed. (2010), "Nappa N Yorks SD 9690", The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978 0 521 16855 7 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Parishes: Aysgarth: A History of the County of York: North Riding - Volume 1 : {{{2}}} (Victoria County History)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Nappa Hall:securing the future of a 'very goodly house'". English Heritage. 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 'The battle to own Nappa Hall': The Yorkshire Post 14 November 2008