In the run up to Christmas I ran a story about a meeting to discuss the future of Burnby Hall.

A lot of people were surprised to read that the Hall, excluding the gardens, is owned by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. After reading that many people thought it still belonged to the people of Pocklington I tried to do a bit of research to clarify the issue but quite frankly ran into a brick wall but after consulting Phil Gilbank from Pocklington & District Local History Group the hall’s history became clearer.

Originally called “The Elms” the house and gardens was the property of the Powell family, who were local solicitors and grocers.

“The Elms” was renamed ‘Ivy Hall’ then purchased by Percy and Katharine Stewart and work began redesigning the house and developing the gardens and lakes.

The Stewart estate had increased in size to over 3000 acres and stretched as far as the village of Burnby and “Ivy Hall” had been re-named again to “Burnby Hall” to reflect this.
The Stewarts had no children but early in their marriage they decided to leave the hall and gardens in trust to the people of Pocklington on their deaths. They did not however make any arrangements for the ongoing funding of maintenance or development.

The hall and gardens were initially offered to the National Trust after the Major’s death in 1962 but they declined it. This resulted in the ‘Stewarts Trust’ being established in 1964 to ensure that the Gardens and Museum Collection were maintained and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

The Hall was sold to Pocklington Rural District Council who converted the building into its headquarters.

Extension added as a council chamber. This is now the community hall.

Pocklington Rural District Council was abolished and its assets absorbed by East Yorkshire Borough Council as part of Humberside County Council

Ownership transferred again when East Riding of Yorkshire County Council was created.

I suppose you could say that the Hall still sort of belongs to the people of Pocklington as our council tax funds ERYC.

It’s worth pointing out that the various councils have funded the maintenance and running costs of the hall since taking it over in 1965. Watch out for more about costs.

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