Park was designed by the talented amateur architect, Sir Thomas
Robinson. Constructed between 1725 - 1730 it is an important
early example of the (then) new Palladian style. Unlike the
conventional Palladian formula of offices linked to the main
block by quadrant colonnades, at Rokeby they are placed en
échelon. Robinson paid great attention in relating
the heights and details of the elevations to give maximum
emphasis to the central block and so create a striking and
Among features of particular interest is the use of ochre
coloured stucco on most walls. This is typical of the Vincentine
(North Italian) villas from which the design was partly derived.
It is probably unique in England. Other such features are
the repetition of Palladio's pyramidical roofs and, from a
later alteration, the unusual double Venetian window on the
The internal layout and decorative schemes have evolved over
the years. Only two rooms, the Library with its Tuscan columns
and the Music Room with its early egg and dart and Greek key
plasterwork and pedimented doorcases survive largely unaltered
from the 1730s. The scheme for the spectacular Saloon, 27'
x 40' 6" x 27' high, dates from Robinson's alterations
of the 1750s.
Of a later period is the 'Print Room'. Here contemporary
prints are pasted to papered canvas, mounted on battens, each
surrounded by varied border designs cut to fit. The dining
room, with the double Venetian window, created for the new
owner J.S. Morritt in 1778, by John Carr of York, contains
some fine neo-classical plasterwork in the apse (See
the most fascinating of all the works of art to be found at
Rokeby are the exquisite needlework 'paintings' created by
Anne Eliza Morritt (1726 - 1797), spinster sister of J.S.
Morritt. Most of them are now displayed in the stairwell.
The house is romantically set close to the confluence of
the River Tees and River Greta. The prospect is enhanced by
a hewnstone wall to contain the banks of the Greta.
Images of Rokeby Park and environs