Nappa Hall with rookery circa 1780
Nappa Hall built in the 1450s by Thomas Metcalfe and is the ancestral home of the Metcalfe family usually referred to as a fortified manor house. Other sources suggest otherwise. For example, the suggested lookout tower on the south-east corner which supports a viewing seat, being merely an observation tower for the ornamental gardens stretching south of the Hall down to the banks of the river Ure.
There is evidence of an horizontally mounted water wheel of direct drive construction, the millstone being on the first floor of the mill vertically above the wheel.
The mill pond being visible as an ornamental feature from the above mentioned observation tower, whilst the mill itself was obscured from view by the ramparts of the mill pond.
James I, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, once visited Nappa to hunt in Roedale Forest above Seemerwater, and was so afraid of crossing the ford of the Yore, that he was carried over on the back of Sir Thomas Metcalfes huntsman.
Cray-fish are said to have been introduced into the river at Nappa by Sir Walter Raleigh, whom the cowardly and brutal James I. beheaded to please the Popish King of Spain.
After Thomas Metcalfe who owned Nappa Hall had died it was inherited by the Weddells. The Weddells let Nappa Hall to John Winn christened 1738 Thornton Steward and his wife Elizabeth I’anson (9th generation decendant of Captain John I’anson who fought at Bosworth with Henry Tudor and settled in Hauxwell).
Elizabeth’s brother Christopher I’anson lived in Nappa Mill until he died 1802. John and Elizabeth’s only son George Winn born 1774 (Thornton Stewart) grew up in Nappa Hall. George married Betty Metcalfe (born 1777 daugher of Richard Metcalfe of Calverts House Muker) and they had three sons all born in Nappa Hall – John Winn born Feb 1799 who later became the Vicar of Aysgarth, Richard Metcalfe Winn born Nov 1800 and George Winn born 1808 (lived in Winnville).
Richard lived in Nappa Hall with his wife Isabel (nee Fothergill) until c1851; their children Mary Winn born 1848 Nappa Hall and William Fothergill Winn born 1850 Nappa Hall. Richard’s grandaughter (Mary Winn’s daughter) Ella Mary Thompson born 1880 Inglewood Bank Great Salkeld married William Wordsworth’s (the poet) Great Grandson – Christopher William Wordsworth.
by Julie Brutnell
Close up of the observation tower
1910 the Blumer family from Wood Hall outside Nappa Hall.
NAPPA HALL, two miles and a-half beyond Carperby, was the abode of the head of the numerous clan ” METCALFE,” 300 of whom, mounted on white horses and clad in uniform, attended the High Sheriff, Sir Christopher Metcalfe, when he met the Judges of Assize at York, in 1556. Tradition says, that Mary Queen of Scots passed a night here during her sojourn in Wensleydale, and the massive carved oak bedstead she occupied is preserved, as are also two stout iron breastplates, ” all of the olden time.”
The Kitchen of Nappa is of most hospitable dimensions, befitting its ancient and its modern occupants. A newel staircase leads out upon the roof of the Eastern Tower, which commands a lovely view both up and down the dale. I noted, that the old oak joists of the building are laid flat ; and that their ends are let into the sides of the massive beams, the flooring boards coming flush with the tops of the beams. A large enclosed warren near this place is celebrated for a valuable breed of sable-silvered rabbits, whose skins are sold at a high price to the Czar of Russia and his nobles, so “The fur that warmed a Rabbit, warms a Bear.”
NappaHall – The Metcalfe ancestral home is not open to the public, this is a working farm.
Nappa Hall as it stands today 2005