Nappa Hall, Askrigg

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameNappa Hall, Askrigg
Alternative NamesAsygarth; No Castle; Knappey
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishAskrigg

Nappa Hall was described by Leland as a 'very goodly Howse,' 'in which 2 toures be very fair, beside other logginges.' The house appears to have been built about 1450 by Thomas Metcalfe, there having been previously what Leland describes as 'but a cotage or litle better house' on the present site, and the building immediately adjoining the eastern tower on the south side has been stated to be this original cottage. The entrance front faces south-west and the plan consists of two rectangular embattled towers connected by a one-storied building, representing the original hall, with a projecting wing on the south-west side of the south-eastern tower. The north-west tower, which measures externally about 44 ft. by 27 ft., is the larger and higher of the two; in the south-west wall of the ground stage is a square-headed window of three cinquefoiled lights with a label and mask stops. The first floor has a two-light window of the same type, and the two floors above are lighted by single lights. On the north-west is a blocked threelight window and a plain doorway leading into the ground floor; the fireplace on the north-west and the large three-light window on the entrance front suggest that the ground stage of the tower constituted the 'great chamber,' a smaller room being divided off on the north-east. A plain doorway in the southeast wall leads into the hall. At the southern angle of the tower is the entrance to a newel stair leading to a room on the first floor which occupies the whole interior and measures 20 ft. by 35 ft. The floors of the two rooms above this have been removed. The hall measures internally about 23 ft. and is 23 ft. in width. There are two two-light windows in the south wall of the same type as those in the tower, but with transoms

No traces of the original fittings remain, but at the east end a door in the middle of that wall opens into a passage representing the screens, with external doors to the north and south, and two doors opening into the ground floor of the east tower, where the kitchen and larder would have been. The doorway on the south side has a porch about 10 ft. square externally, with a pointed outer doorway which forms the main entrance to the house. At the north-east end of the passage is a stone stair contained in a projecting portion of the southeast tower, which leads in two flights to the first floor. Opposite this stair is a doorway leading down several steps to the south-west wing. The first building extends about 18 ft. in this direction from the porch, beyond which the buildings are smaller and more modern. (VCH)

Fortified manor house. 1459, with C17 wing. For James Metcalfe. Rubble, stone slate roof. Single-storey central hall flanked by 4-storey western and 2-storey eastern towers, with south-east wing projecting forward at right angles from eastern tower, and entrance porch in angle so formed. Quoins. Porch: pointed arch with continuous hollow-chamfered moulding with label. A single-light chamfered window on each return. Parapet. Pointed- arched inner doorway with continuous hollow-chamfered moulding and leaved 6-panel door. To left, 2 cross-windows with cinque-cusped pointed lights, hood-moulds with headstops, quarry panes and iron bars. Parapet. West tower, main defensible unit: windows with cinque-cusped pointed lights under hood-moulds, those to ground, first and third floors with headstops, quarry panes and iron bars. Ground floor: 3-light window; to right, light vent to spiral staircase from ground to first floor. First floor: 2-light window, light vent to right. Second floor: single light. Third floor: single light. Crenellated parapet. Head of stair turret in south-east corner. East: kitchen and service wing: sash window on first floor, crenellated parapet. Rear elevation east tower: projecting chimney stack. Left return of west tower: board door in C19 ashlar sandstone chamfered rusticated quoined surround with pointed arch with keystone and springers. On each floor, a cinque-cusped single-light window in chamfered surround. Slightly- projecting chimney stack on ground and first floors. String. Gargoyle. Right return of east tower: to basement, 2 lattice windows in chamfered openings, and on right 2 windows under wide relieving arch. Ground floor: 4 sash windows with glazing bars in sandstone ashlar surrounds with interrupted jambs. First floor: 2 similar windows. In centre, projection of buttress of garderobe. Corbelled fireplace or garderobe to left on first floor. Projecting turret in south-east corner. West elevation of south- east range: central studded board door in quoined surround with segmental- arched head. On ground floor on either side, a 3-light double-chamfered mullion window with hoodmould, and 16-pane sashes above on first floor. Double gable with lead rainwater head between cast "T M" with JULY , (Thomas Metcalfe, d1754). Rear elevation of south-east range: 1747 on each floor a single-light window in chamfered, quoined surround. The building has numerous lead rainwater pipes and fluted hopper heads. Interior, west tower: stone newel staircase from ground floor to roof. Wave-moulded cross-beams supported on stone corbels, with remains of medieval joists. In first-floor chamber, fragment of plasterwork frieze, chamfered fireplace and chamfered doorway leading to rear room with stone chute in wall leading to external gargoyle. Hall: segmental arched fireplace and doorway to west tower. East tower: late C18 - early C19 cantilevered dog-leg staircase with hollow-moulded soffits to treads. Probably the finest and least-spoilt fortified manor house in the north of England. For centuries belonged to the Metcalfes, one of the most important Wensleydale families. Described by Leland as a "very goodly House". (Listed Building Report)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD965908
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  • 2008 Nov 14, 'The battle to own Nappa Hall' Yorkshire Post online copy (news report on sale of Hall)
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