If you didn’t know Markenfield Hall existed you’d drive right past the turning for this historic house without even realising you’d missed it, and it’s all the more special for being one of Ripon’s best-kept secrets. Just three miles from the city, the house is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the country, and it’s one of the area’s most beautiful attractions.
You’ll need to park up beside the moat (not how often do we get to say that?!) and walk over the bridge where the drawbridge once stood. You’ll be welcomed by a medieval courtyard before passing under the Tudor gatehouse, and then your visit starts.
Still home to a family, Markenfield Hall has a peaceful, friendly atmosphere and has none of the touristy features that can take away from the character of an historic site. You won’t find a café or a shop, and the owners are always happy to tell visitors all about the property which was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086.
Now we can’t make your own homes look quite like this stunning piece of history, but you can buy some plants to take back with you from the resident gardener while you’re there. It’s best to check the opening times on the official website before setting off as they change throughout the year.