The oldest part of what was originally Persevall’s Ferme is believed to date back to at least 1586. It was bought by Sir John Yorke, lived in by his son Peter and then left to his second son, Thomas, in 1589.
In 1671 additions were made by Christopher Lowson and his bride Elizabeth who lived in the house until his death in 1695.
For the next two centuries, the house was occupied by a succession of farmers and tenants, including the Yorke family again for a brief spell in the 19th century.
Gradually, however, the house fell into a state of virtual dereliction until, in the depths of the depression of the 1920s, it was bought by Sir William Milner.
Sir William was the eighth Baronet of Nun Appleton, a godson of Queen Mary and an architect by profession, renowned for his meticulous attention to detail in restoring old buildings and with a love of gardens and plants. He had inherited the title and status of the Baronetcy but no family seat, as Nun Appleton had been sold by Sir William’s father, Sir Frederick, to pay off gambling debts (totalling £175,000) of his elder brother, the sixth Baronet, whom Sir Frederick had succeeded to the title in 1880.
Sir William Milner bought Parcevall Hall in 1927 and, using local labourers and materials, restored the original house and extended it substantially to create spacious living accommodation, distinctive guest bedrooms, a staff wing and magnificent cruciform terraced gardens.
Paying his labourers a shilling an hour, Sir William was remembered with gratitude and held in high esteem by his workers for providing secure employment during the years of the depression.
A deeply religious but very shy man, Sir William never married and, on his death in 1960, bequeathed Parcevall Hall to the Guardians of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Guardians now manage the estate and gardens and the Hall itself is leased to and run by the Church of England Diocese of Leeds.