Scarthingwell Park is situated to the north of the village of Barkston Ash but is within the Parish of Saxton. It is privately owned and consists of an area of parkland and a lake. There are a number of domestic properties, a care home and a Catholic Church within its boundary. The substantial Manor House that once existed within the Park was demolished in 1960.

According to Wheater in 1539 the Archbishop of York “demised the Manor of Scarthingwell unto Anthony Hammond for the term of 30 years at £25 per annum rent”. It is not known what this land consisted of or how it relates to the rest of the Manors held by the Archbishop at that time. Also it is not clear what happened a few years later when the the manors held by the Archbishop  were returned to the King and some at least passed on to the Hungate family.

Anthony Hammond died in 1554 and Scarthingwell then passed through several generations of the Hammond family. 

William Hammond (1674/5 – 1711) married Frances Bladen, daughter of Nathaniel Bladen of Hemsworth. They had two sons, Martin and William, both of whom died young and so Scarthingwell passed to their daughter Mary Catherine (1693 – 1721). 

In 1720 Mary Catherine Hammond married Walter Brooke of Gateforth Hall (1694 -1722)

Having given birth to a daughter, Catherine, both Mary and Walter died soon afterwards.  So once again the Estates passed down the female line and when Catherine Brooke (1720 -1756) married Edward Hawke in 1737 Scarthingwell passed to him. 

It is unclear how much of the Hall was built by the Hammond family but it was certainly extended and developed by the Hawke family and they established the park and lake. They employed John Davenport to form the lake and build a bridge across it in 1790?


Edward Hawke (1705 -1781) was the son of a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn. He joined the Navy as a volunteer at the age of 15 and enjoyed a very successful career. He took part in the Battle of Toulon in 1744 during the War of the Austrian Succession. He also captured six French ships in the 2nd battle of Cape Finisterre in 1747. He went on the achieve victory over the French at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759 and developed the concept of a Western Squadron, keeping an almost continuous blockade of the French coast throughout the 7 years war. 

Hawke served as a Member of Parliament from 1747 to 1776 and was First Lord of the Admiralty for five years between 1766 and 1771. He died in 1781.

He made his home at Scarthingwell and when he was was created a Baron in 1776 he adopted the title of Baron Hawke of Towton.   

Henry Constable Maxwell Stuart 17th laird of Traquair bought Scarthingwell Park in 1848? He had married Juliana Middleton in 1840, daughter of Peter Middleton of Stockeld and Middleton Lodge. They had 12 children. 

The Church was built 1853-4 to a design by John Bownas and William Atkinson. It was attached to the Hall and originally used as a private chapel but later became the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

The Maxwell Stuarts were staunch Catholics and the  estate was  bequeathed to the Bishop of Leeds on the death of Henry Constable Maxwell Stuart in 1932 or possibly George Constable Maxwell-Stuart in 1945. The Poor Clares established a convent in the hall but didn’t stay long. The hall fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1960 leaving the church standing alone. It is a grade II listed building and still in use today. 

In 1964 the site became the St Camillus’ Approved School for Roman Catholic boys run by the Leeds Catholic Child Welfare Society. It could accommodate 30 boys aged between 15 and 17 years old. The administration building was built on the site of the old hall with the other School buildings located in the park where modern houses and apartments now stand. In 1973 the school became a “Community Home with Education” under control of the West Riding County Council. It closed in the 1983 and the site of the original hall became the Highfields Care Home, itself demolished and rebuilt in 2023.

The Barons Hawke of Towton

Edward Hawke 1st Baron 1705-1781

Martin Bladen Hawke 2nd Baron 1744-1805

Edward Hawke Harvey 3rd Baron 1774-1824

Edward William Hawke-Harvey 4th Baron 1799 -1869

Stanhope Hawke-Harvey, 5th Baron 1804- 1870

Edward Hawke, 6th Baron 1815-1887