History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: A very early example of an English landscape garden, to a design by Vanbrugh
There are really two gardens at Duncombe Park; one is the 14ha formal garden near the house, an oasis of green lawns, curving flower beds, terraces, and woodland walks. The other 'garden' is the extensive parkland, which is open to visitors throught the year, and offers a network of walking trails. The gardens were laid over the years 1718-1730.
The Doric Temple sits on a narrow promontory, where the river almost turns back on itself. The rich limestone soil provides a perfect habitat for wildflowers, and the temple is often surrounded by colourful blooms. This circular temple is composed of slender columns in the classical Greek Doric order, above which rises a curved dome.
From the Doric Temple a curving terrace leads to the Ionic Temple - as you can guess, built according to the Ionic order of Greek style. This temple is quite a bit more slender than the Doric Temple, and almost seems like a garden gazebo - a very fancy one at that! The views from the Ionic Temple are marvelllous, looking along the River Rye and out towards Helmsley.
To the west of the house a trail leads through lovely parkland to Rievaulx Terrace, where elegant terraced gardens with further neo-classical temples look down on the medieval ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.
Visiting Duncombe Park
The garden and parkland is open throughout the year (see the official website for current details). By contrast, the house is only open on specific bank holidays and for an annual Christmas Fair. As you can tell by the photos accompanying this article, we were fortunate enough to be able to visit the house when it was open, and to say we were impressed is an understatement. The interiors are simply wonderful, with elegant and delicate Georgian style evident at every turn. It is a real shame the house is not open more often, but if you do get a chance to visit on an open day, do take it!
About Duncombe Park
Address: Helmsley, Yorkshire, England, YO62 5EB
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: Off the marketplace in Helmsley (A170). On site parking.
Website: Duncombe Park
Phone: 01439 770213
Historic Houses Association
OS: SE604 830
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
18th century (Time Period) - Baroque (Architecture) - castle (Architecture) - Georgian (Time Period) - John Vanbrugh (Person) - Medieval (Time Period) - neo-classical (Architecture) - Sir Charles Barry (Person) -
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Helmsley Castle - 0.7 miles (Castle)
Rievaulx Terrace and Temples - 2 miles (Garden)
Rievaulx Abbey - 2.2 miles (Abbey)
Gilling Castle - 3.7 miles (Historic Building)
Byland Abbey - 4.3 miles (Abbey)
Nunnington Hall - 4.7 miles (Historic Building)
White Horse of Kilburn - 5.7 miles (Countryside)
Hovingham, All Saints Church - 5.9 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Duncombe Park: