The Hall was built on land which once belonged to Bolton Priory and is Grade II*
Listed, its oldest part dating back to 1586.
Records show that Persevall’s Ferme was bought by Sir John Yorke and occupied
by his two sons at different times before coming into the possession of Christopher
Lowson and his wife Elizabeth, who made additions to the house in 1671.
For the next two hundred years the house was occupied by a succession of farmers
and tenants, including the Yorke family who returned for a short period in the
Sir William Milner, the eighth baronet of Nun Appleton, bought the house in 1927
from a Skipton antique dealer, Frank Laycock. Sir William was a godson of Queen
Mary and an architect by profession, and having acquired the house he set about
restoring it with great skill and vision, taking care to preserve its original features.
He reproduced these faithfully when he extended Parcevall, salvaging timbers
from 17th-century buildings and employing local master craftsmen to cut and
dress the stone, supply suitable leadwork, re-cast plaster mouldings and create
the door latches and hinges of the period which are still in place.
He had a passion for plants and a strong aesthetic sense, which he expressed in
the design of Parcevall’s gardens, the planting of rare species collected in Western
China and Tibet, and in his co-founding of Harlow Carr Gardens near Harrogate.
The work on the Hall took place during the time of the 1920s depression. For local
labourers, the generous wages paid by Sir William and the secure employment
he provided earned him their immense gratitude and respect. In her history of the
Milner family, Dr Heather Beaumont notes that ‘…Parcevall Hall is probably one
of the last country homes to be created by an English Gentleman’.
He was a deeply religious and shy man. He never married, and when he died in
1960 he bequeathed Parcevall Hall to the Guardians of the Shrine of Our Lady of
Walsingham of which he was a significant benefactor. The Guardians now manage
the estate and gardens, and the Hall itself is leased and run by the Church of
England Diocese of Leeds.