DiCamillo Companion

Ebberston Hall

  • Built / Designed For: William Thompson, MP for Scarborough and warden of the mint.

    House & Family History: Pevsner called Ebberston Hall "a summer pavilion rather than a house." The early 18th century villa is only three bays wide and one story over a basement. Called "England's smallest stately home," Ebberston's claim to fame are its grand rooms in miniature – "a little fairy house," as it's frequently called. In the early 19th century, when Ebberston was owned by the famous George Obaldson, "Squire of all England," the two pavilions on either side of the villa were demolished (the quadrants that were to connect the pavilions to the central villa block were never built). By the time Major William de Wend-Fenton purchased Ebberston in 1941 for £5,000, it had served for years as a farmhouse and had fallen into dereliction. The Major saved and restored the House, which was inherited by his son, West de Wend-Fenton. Known as "Beau West," this eccentric son of England was, in his 20s, one of his generation's Bright Young Things and led a Bohemian life; some of his exploits in the French Foreign Legion were chronicled by Michael Alexander in his 1956 book, "The Reluctant Legionnaire." By the time of his death in July 2002, Beau West had done much to restore the magic kingdom he had inherited.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Ebberston was famous for its water garden that once contained a 1,200-foot-long canal and a cascade. Though these no longer exist, behind the House today there are pools and cascades that descend into the dale. The Estate today comprises 50 acres, the majority of which is farmed.

  • Architect: Colen Campbell

    Date: 1718
    Designed: House for William Thompson, MP

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  • Vitruvius Britannicus: C. III, pl. 47, 1725.

    Country Life: CXVI, 1254 plan, 1954.

  • Title: Telegraph, The (newspaper)
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Jul 13, 2002
    Publisher: London: Telegraph Media Group Ltd.
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Newspaper

    Title: Buildings of England: Yorkshire: The North Riding, The
    Author: Pevsner; Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1966
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Current Seat / Home of: de Wend-Fenton family; here since 1941.

    Past Seat / Home of: William Thompson, 18th century. Hotham family, 1740s-1814. George Osbaldson (Osbaldestone), 19th century. Sir Kenelm Cayley, 20th century. West de Wend-Fenton, 1970s-2002.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Historic Houses Member: No