Sutton Park
Sutton Park

A lovely Georgian country house in glorious parkland, Sutton was built around 1730 by Thomas Atkinson for Philip Harland. The interiors contain a collection of fine art and furniture from the former Buckingham House in London (now Buckingham Palace). The decoration features ornate plasterwork by Giuseppe Cortese, who also worked on Burton Constable Hall and Somerset House in Halifax.

The house was built around 1750 after an old Elizabethan property was pulled down to make way for a new house. It stands on a slight rise looking out over delightful terraced gardens and parkland beyond.

The main visitor entrance
The main house entrance

The house was completed in fairly short order; much of it was finished by 1755. It is composed of a small central block with semi-circular wings curving outwardly. The exterior is restrained, even simple in places, especially as compared to the more opulent interiors.

The interior rooms are intimate, even small, especially by comparison to larger stately homes in the area such as Castle Howard. By contrast to such grand country piles, Sutton Park is a tidy, comfortable house, yet within the compact rooms is a treasure trove of art and historic porcelain.

Here is porcelain by some of the most famous makes in Europe, including Meissen, Derby, Worcester, Spode, Minton, Sevres, Bow, and Mason. There are Chippendale chairs and several paintings by Samuel Scott (1710-1772), often called the 'English Canaletto'. Throughout the house is superb plasterwork by Cortese, and a wonderful variety of period furniture spanning several centuries.


The gardens surrounding the house are particularly lovely. There are four terraces, leading down to a water garden with fountains, and small topiary trees set around the edges. There are small garden rooms that are filled with wonderful colour in summer.

The formal terrace garden and fountain
The formal terrace garden

From the formal garden areas, a woodland walk leads through the estate. It is not known who laid out the gardens, though credit may fall to Adam Mickle, who copied the style of landscape garden genius Capability Brown. Mickle created a beautiful variety of formal and picturesque areas, with terraces, water features, a Georgian icehouse, and winding parkland walks. Closer to the house is a rose garden and colourful herbaceous borders.

Since 1963 Sutton has been the home of Sir Reginald and Lady Sheffield and features collections of family artwork brought from their former home at Normanby Park in Lincolnshire.

The former walled garden now is home to a falconry display company (separate fee applies for entry).

Please note that the house is open for guided tours only, but the gardens are open regularly, with payment at an honesty box. Sutton Park has won the Yorkshire in Bloom competition on numerous occasions.

Verdict: Sutton Park is a delight to visit, a welcoming and pleasant house with a warm, family feel.