History of Hunmanby Hall


As a junior you sat an entrance examination for entry into Hunmanby Hall. As a pupil, the school timetable kept you ahead in all subjects - literacy, scientific and mathematical. At the end of your fourth year having written numerous school exam papers you were faced with your Public Exam - Early years supplied by the Northern Examination Board and later the London one. According to your ability you first sat for the school certificate and two years later the Higher School Certificate. From 1930- 1970 is a space time. The examinations, changing names to G.C.S.E. (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A levels (Advanced). To sit these papers, both our Gymnasium and Assembly Hall were used - chairs and tables/desks for the pupils. The blackboard carried details of times etc and staff chair beside. You were allowed a ten minute ‘read’ of the exam paper, then pen to paper for two and a half hours began. The clock on your watch kept you writing until the staff called papers in. After each session much chatter about the question and remarks about how you might have done.


The early years of Hunmanby were very rural. Farmhouses and barns, cottages and a village main street with a church and some houses. The old cottages remaining within the school grounds in 1928 comprises: ‘The Ruined Gate’(Low Lodge), Castle House, The Round Gate House and stables with grooms accommodation above. Thanks to the Osbaldeston family there efforts to bring character and elegance to the area. And enhancing the landscape with trees around the Hall in the early 1800’s Beautifully designed and still to be seen today the 3 storey oblong house with protruding wings, courtyards was typical of the day. Stone capped fireplaces in oak panelled rooms, large long windows with wooded shutters against the sun. Sculptures plasterwork ceilings and magnificent wooden staircases.

The bedrooms had views across the park with bathroom adjacent and iron bath, water tanks and toilets flushed by the long chained handles. Logs from the woodland came in handy for the rooms in the winter. The ‘H’ letter ground plan with front and back entrances the former facing east over Filey Bay had a carriage driveway up a short incline from the village the rear entrance featured a small paved patio with a central well, walled edging and steps down to external wooden entrance doors in the wing. For the most part the northern side of the Halls wing had kitchen, scullery and pantry on the ground floor with the servants bedrooms above in the same wing. A photograph taken in the year of the Mitfords residency show the exact lines of this beautiful building before alterations in 1928. An architectural ‘kink’ came in the Elizabethan era that houses should be constructed in the form of the letter ‘H’ Hunmanby was no exception. A walk around today will show the stone work, floors and fireplaces still in place and some of the baths and parka flooring.







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