Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park is a Grade-I listed country house and estate situated between the towns of Wetherby and Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, which is now the home of the Grant family. The estate spans some 2,000 acres and broadly covers the area between Wetherby and the villages of Spofforth and Sicklinghall.

In addition to traditional activities including farming and properties, Stockeld Park is also home to Yorkshire's largest Christmas tree plantation, with some 500,000 Christmas trees in the ground.[1]

Stockeld Park is perhaps best known for its Adventure Park, a seasonal attraction that offers a range of indoor and outdoor activities that vary by season. The Christmas Adventure offers ice skating, cross-country skiing, an Enchanted Forest, Santa's Grotto and a giant, snowflake-shaped yew tree maze. Other seasons offer adventure playgrounds, boating, pedal go-karts, motorised scooters and a range of themed events.[2]

The mansion house itself is constructed of stone in the style of a Palladian villa and features a cantilevered staircase, 18th and 19th century furniture and works of art. Features of the grounds include a dovecote, lodges, a ha-ha, a walled garden and thatched timber loggia.[3]


The 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) Stockeld (also earlier known as Stokeld)[4] estate has its name from the half knight's fee of land held by Nigel de Stokeld (also Stockeld) in 1166, formerly part of the estates of William de Percy.[5] Around 1315, the Stockeld estate passed to William de Middleton of Ilkley.[6] In 1757, William de Middleton commissioned architect James Paine to build the present house, which was completed by 1763. William Middelton died before it was completed and the house and estate passed to his infant great-nephew, William Constable. Constable adopted the name and arms of Middelton and eventually took up residence, but his wife, the mother of his 10 children, had a high-profile affair with a groom. William, after divorcing his wife, left Stockeld to live in his other property in Ilkley, leaving the house empty for some two decades. Succeeding generations of Middeltons continued to live at Ilkley, leasing out Stockeld until it was eventually sold in 1893 to Robert John Foster, owner of Black Dyke Mills in Bradford.

Foster commissioned architect Detmar Blow to make several improvements, including converting the orangery to a chapel, and was appointed High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1898–99. During the Second World War, the house was requisitioned for use as a maternity hospital.

Stockeld is now occupied by Peter Grant, a great-grandchild of Robert John Foster. The main rooms are used for receptions and conferences.

Stockeld is also known to many people as Oakwell Hall from the ITV soap Emmerdale.


  1. Park, Stockeld. "Stockeld Park Estate". Stockeld Park Estate - Yorkshire's largest Christmas Tree Grower. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  2. Park, Stockeld. "Stockeld Park". Stockeld Park - Where Magic is Made and Adventures Begin. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  3. Historic England. "STOCKELD PARK HOUSE (1149986)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  4. A. H. Smith, The Place-Names of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Part 5 (EPNS 34), Cambridge 1961;
  5. Early Yorkshire Charters Vol 12, page 256.
  6. Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume 11, page 257

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