Ormesby Hall is a Grade I listed mansion, which was built in 1754 and was home to the Pennyman family until fairly recently. The property is now owned by the National Trust and has been on my to-visit list for some time, as it’s located about five minutes’ drive from my house in Middlesbrough.
Despite this, I’ve never done more drive past the gate. So I was surprised upon turning off one of the town’s busier roads to find myself suddenly in what felt like the middle of the countryside. I knew the house sat in acres of grounds, but I hadn’t anticipated the beautiful winding drive that would take us up to the estate itself.
As the National Trust was offering free entry to the property as part of their summer holiday events programme, I decided to take my mam for a morning out.
We spent a good couple of hours wandering from room to room and exploring the gardens, which are beautifully manicured.
While a lot of work obviously goes into caring for the gardens and the building’s exterior, the interior does – in places – require some renovation. But it’s full of old books and paintings, not to mention a large and painstakingly detailed model railway that depicts a traditional village scene from the 1920s.
The National Trust clearly take pride in running Ormesby Hall: during our visit we were greeted by half a dozen different volunteers who guided us through the different rooms, explaining their history and regaling us with tales of the late Mrs Pennyman, who lived in the property up until her death in 1983.
The estate also boasts a large stable block, which was home to Cleveland Police’s mounted division for many years, until 2013.
We were very lucky to visit on a gorgeous summer morning and I’d definitely like to go back in future and spend a bit more time there.
Visit Ormesby Hall’s website.