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RokebyRokeby 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 noble villa.

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 west elevation.

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 Image).

Portrait of Anne MorrittNeedlework 'painting' of fowlPerhaps 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.

View Images of Rokeby Park and environs

   
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