Settrington House – A Brief History
Settrington House was built in 1793 for Sir Mark Sykes, Bt. of Sledmere, and his wife Henrietta Masterman who had become sole heiress of Settrington Estate on the death of her parents. Mark and Henrietta Sykes also inherited Sledmere House, and their portraits can be seen there today. The stables and riding school were built in 1791 – the date can be seen over the archway in the courtyard. The architect is unknown, but might possibly be James Laverton who was the architect of Scampston Hall, and of Bedford Square in London. There is (or was in the pre-fire house) a strong similarity to Cusworth Hall near Doncaster.
An earlier Elizabethan house built by the Bigod family, who were Lords of the Manor of Settrington from the 13th to the 16th century, stood to the east of the church on the site of the present tennis court and was pulled down at the time of the 1793 rebuilding.
Sir Francis Bigod was the last of his family to own Settrington and was executed for his part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. The estate was then seized by the Crown and given to the Countess of Lennox – mother of Lord Darnley, who was (possibly) born in Settrington House. One of Lord Darnley’s descendants was created Baron Settrington by James I, but the title died out and was then revived by Charles II who conferred it, with the family name of Lennox and the Dukedom of Richmond (now Richmond and Gordon), on his illegitimate son by Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth.
In the 19th century Settrington Estate passed from the Sykes family to the Willoughbys of Birdsall (Lord Middleton). Both the present Lord Middleton and his father were born in Settrington House. In 1936 the late Lord Middleton sold the Settrington Estate to Mr Samuel Storey, MP., who became a Baronet in 1960, and on being created a Life Peer in 1966, to the title Buckton, the name of the medieval village mentioned in the Doomsday Book and adjacent to Settrington. Lord Buckton died in 1978. Settrington House was then passed on to Sir Richard Storey, Bt Lord Buckton’s son and his wife Virginia, third daughter of Sir Kenelm Cayley, Bt., of Brompton. More recently his son Kenelm Storey and his wife Karen live in the house and run the family estate. They have three children, two daughters and a son.
In February 1963 Settrington House was destroyed by fire. The centre three-storey block was gutted, but the east and west pavilions, separated from the main block by stone passages, were saved. The rebuilding was the work of the architect Mr Francis Johnson of Bridlington, and took place between 1963 and 1968. A commemorative stone, commissioned by Sir Richard, can be seen above the main entrance on the south front. This was designed and executed by David Kindersley in 1989, and put in place in March 1990, at the time of the building of the new portico on the north front.
The furniture in the house was collected by Lord Buckton, who concentrated on English furniture of the Georgian period, in keeping with the architectural style of the house.