Kilnwick Percy Hall, near Pocklington, East Yorkshire
Like a lot of country houses, the earliest occupation of the site stretches back into the mists of time. In 1574 Thomas Wood began a grand Elizabethan House here, but it was unfinished at the time of his death ten years later. The houses was only finished in the 1720s when the estate passed to Sir Edmund Anderson. Anderson's heir died in a duel and his successor Rev Sir William Anderson suffered brain damage in a riding accident. The estate was bought by Robert Denison of West Yorkshire who began expanding the house in Georgian style in the 1790s. When Denison had financial problems in the 1840s he sold Kilnwick Percy Hall to Hon. Admiral Arthur Duncombe MP.
The house was much remodeled by the Duncombes both internally and externally. They added the portico. During the second World War the house was used by the Army as a mail sorting office (and possibly for some secret service training). The magnificent imperial "stag" staircase was damaged by fire and the property became delapidated. In the 1950s about two thirds of the house was demolished; this consisted of half the main house, including all of the Elizabethan fabric, and a very substantial service wing. In its present form the house consists of a range of rooms connected by corridors at the back. Half of the staircase was salvaged and relocated. The interior decoration is a mixture of neoclassical and French styles, possibly representing some elements from the 1790s house, but with the style of the 1840s predominating.
In 1986 the house was bought by the Madhyamaka Buddhist order and is open as a retreat. The traditional Tibetan art blends surprisingly well with the weighty French rococo.