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The Villages of the Yorkshire Wolds

By Karen Thompson

Sledmere


The lovely, picturesque Village of Sledmere nestles quietly in the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds and can be found situated between Driffield and Malton on the B1251 road.

The Village is famous for its stately home Sledmere House, owned and lived in by Sir Tatton SYKES, 8th Baronet giving it that "lived in" feeling that sadly, most stately homes lack. The house is exquisitely decorated inside and houses a fine collection of antique furniture, beautiful pottery and many a fine painting. The library boasts an extensive collection of rare books and is decorated in modern colours of blue and lemon with delicate artwork in the ceiling with 22 ct. gold plate.

The Roman Catholic Chapel attached to the house also has a most beautiful ceiling painted by Tom ERRINGTON. The artwork took four years to complete and depicts the four winged creatures of the Evangelist in the Chancel and in the Nave, a variety of birds including a swan, heron, swallow and lapwing.

The house itself is stood in acres of beautiful gardens and parkland with well maintained gardens, an 18th Century walled garden with roses that smell like a dream, a pond complete with fish and fountains and a lovely view across acres of open space where deer can be found grazing which complete this beautiful tranquil setting.

Sledmere Monument is a stone monument standing 120 feet high along the B1251 on Garton hill and is visible on the sky line for miles around. The monument was built in memory of the 4th Baronet, Sir Tatton SYKES by his friends and neighbours in 1865. The inscription reads, "Erected to the memory of Sir Tatton SYKES Baronet by those who loved him as a friend and honoured him as a landlord". A heavy wooden door at the base of the monument leads to a spiral staircase leading to a small chamber at the top from which on a clear day a panoramic view of the Wolds can be taken in.

Many of the houses in the peaceful village are owned by Sledmere Estate who have their offices here also. Many of the villagers are employed on the estate in one form or another. The houses are all very characteristic, from the terraced rows on Top Row and Bottom Row to the rows of semi detached cottages with their window boxes and planters completing the picture of the whole village partaking in being one beautiful English cottage garden.

The Village Church is St. Mary's which stands serenely in the shadow of the House. There has been a church on that site since Norman times. Some of the stone work in the present tower dates back to the 14th Century.

The Church interior has many elaborate carvings by John BARKER, a celebrated sculpture of the 19th Century. The magnificent carvings on the interior and exterior of St. Mary's makes it well worth a visit.

Situated opposite the Church gates is the Eleanor Cross. Built in 1895 by Temple Moore the cross was built to mark the resting places of Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward 1 who died in Warby, Nottinghamshire in 1290. The monuments commemorate the resting places of her body as she travelled to London for burial. Charing Cross marks the end of her journey. Originally built as an ornament it was converted in 1919 to a memorial for those local to the village who lost their lives in the 1914 war.

Nearby stands The Wagoner's Memorial. Carved in stone it is a monument to the Yorkshire men who lost their lives in the war 1914 - 1919. The inscription reads, "Lieutenant Colonel Sir Mark SYKES Baronet MP designed this monument and set it up as a remembrance of the calling and services rendered in the great war 1914 - 1919 by the Wolds Wagoners Reserve A corps of 1000 drivers raised by him on the Yorkshire Wolds Farms in the year 1912".

Also found in the Village outside the main gates to the house is the village well, now covered by a rotunda that is made up of eight stone columns holding up the domed top. The inscription reads "This edifice was erected by Sir Tatton SYKES Bart in the memory of his father Sir Christopher SYKES Bart who by assiduity and perseverance in building and planting and enclosing of the Yorkshire Wolds in the short space of thirty years set such an example to other owners of the land as has caused what was once a bleak and barren tract of country to become now one of the most productive and best cultivated districts in the county of York AD 1840".

The serene beauty of the buildings that make up the village and the marvellous surroundings in which it finds itself in make Sledmere one of the most picturesque and tranquil places to visit in the Yorkshire Wolds.

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© Karen Thompson 2000-2005

2000  Michael S. Hopps2000  Michael S. Hopps

Sledmere House,
East Yorkshire's Premier Stately Home

The Magnificent Library

The Turkish Room


1999  Michael S. Hopps

The Wolds Wagoners Memorial
(Forum Link - Click Here!)
ÓMSH 1999


2000  Michael S. Hopps

The beautiful exterior carvings at
St Mary's Church
ÓMSH 1999

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