Land with tree planting shown to north, east and south east of Bewerley Hall, drive leading to the Hall, no reference to 'Park'.
As above with addition of rectangular cricket ground in north of the Park
As above but no reference to the Hall
SNY 6946 Lancaster University Archaeological Unit 2002,Nidderdale Survey Database on CD Rom
SNY 6858 Lancaster University Archaeological Unit - 08/2000 Lancaster University. Nidderdale AONB North Yorkshire (HER Library)
Site Description: Park
Site Access: Entrance from Bridgehouse Gate Road into Nidderdale Society Showground drive (private ground)
Parking: Car park at entrance
Visibility: Good. Part of park visible from entrance and from Bewerley Road.
Micro climate: Valley bottom
North boundary: Wall, stone
East boundary: River Nidd
Buildings: Lodge at entrance
Walkways / Gateways / Paths etc: Entrance gates, part of original carriage drive to Bewerley Hall.
Other man-made features: Cricket ground, pavilion per 1909 OS map
General Condition: Fairly good.
Local knowledge: Photographs (Yes)
The main entrance to Bewerley Hall, which was owned by the Yorke family from the 17th century to the early 20th century, stands near the western end of the bridge over the River Nidd on the Pateley Bridge to Greenhow road. A lodge stands inside the entrance gate and beyond is land which was developed by the Yorkes to form parkland linked with their home and its Pleasure Gardens.
A survey carried out in 1813 showed that this land was composed of several fields bordered on the east by the river Nidd; evidence suggests that these fields were used mainly for pasture. To the west stood Bewerley Hall and the scattered dwellings of the village. After John Yorke (1776-1857) inherited the estate from his uncle in 1813, he made his home in Bewerley, began to extend the Hall and then had a new entrance made to the land surrounding it, a more imposing one than that which led directly from the nearby village. He had the entrance lodge built In 1832 near to the river bridge and from there a carriage drive, approximately half a mile long, ran southwards across the fields to the main, north-eastern entrance of the Hall. By the end of the 1880s this land was shown on maps as 'Bewerley Park' and the sale catalogue produced for when the Yorkes' Bewerley estate was sold in 1924 describes a 'finely timbered park enclosed and given complete privacy by a high stone wall'. This wall was on the north and west, shielding the parkland from the roads leading through the village of Bewerley.
The parkland continued to be used for grazing and in 1896 the then squire, Edward Yorke (1832-1923), gave permission for the Nidderdale Agricultural Society to use the parkland for its annual Show. One area in the north-west which was shown as the 'Fair Field' on 1954 O.S. map was also rented out by this same squire for the regular cattle market. This is now the permanent site for the auction mart where there are regular sales of livestock, machinery and household items.
Galas for the general public were held regularly in the park during the 19th and early 20th centuries and, with the advent of the railway, large numbers of visitors came on special trains from the West Riding towns. At such events, cricket was played informally then, by the 1880s, the Pateley Bridge Cricket Club was playing regularly in the northern part of the park as there was a scarcity of level ground on the Pateley side of the river.
In 1926, after the sale of the Bewerley estate, the Agricultural Society bought the parkland, thus preserving the extensive open area. This is still used for the agistment of stock, whilst various events, including the annual Agricultural Show, are held there. The Pateley Cricket Club still play in the same area, paying rental to the Agricultural Society, while their existing pavilion incorporates a frontage from the original one opened in 1930. There is a public car park at the entrance to the park but access to the park itself is allowed only for special events.
In 1939 about nineteen acres of the parkland were sold by the Agricultural Society to the National Camps Corporation. Camps, funded by the government, were being constructed to provide outdoor educational facilities in rural areas for children from the cities. The one in Bewerley was built the next year and has remained in use up to the present day; now known as the Bewerley Park Centre for Outdoor Education it provides outdoor activities for both children and adults. This land too is strictly private.
During the development of the 'finely timbered park', adding to the native trees already present, specimen trees were planted, scattered informally, including oak, lime, sycamore and sweet chestnut. Map evidence shows most of the trees to have been deciduous, apart from along the western edge where there was mixed planting of conifer and deciduous trees. A few of the chestnut trees which once lined the carriage drive near to the Hall, estimated to be nearly two hundred years old, still survive but with dead and dying branches. Over the years many trees have been lost because of storms, disease and old age but have been replaced by some young trees from time to time.
Cook, Lynn (2002) From Camp School to Outdoor Centre 1940-1974, Friends of Bewerley Park Centre
Grainge, William (1863) Nidderdale; Or An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive Sketch of the Valley of the Nidd, Thorpe, Pateley Bridge
Light, Robert (2000) A History of Pateley Cricket Club, unpub.
Bewerley Hall Sale Catalogue (1924), Nidderdale Museum
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