Shandy Hall is situated in the pretty little village of
Coxwold and it was here between 1760 and 1767 that the witty and eccentric
parson Laurence Sterne wrote Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental
Journey. Sterne accepted the position of parson at Coxwold in 1760 and
moved from York with his wife to rent the old parsonage house close by the
church which he soon renamed Shandy Hall. The house is thought to have been
built in 1430, but was considerabley altered in the 17th century, Sterne
carried out his own improvements, including a new garden front. Sterne died in
London on the 18th March 1768 from a final tubercular lung haemorrage, a series
of which had plagued him from a young age.
The badly dilapidated Shandy
Hall was bought by the Laurence Sterne Trust in 1967 and after a lengthy
restoration was opened to the public in 1973 by its honorary curators Kenneth
and Julia Monkman. The two acre garden which surrounds the house has been
restored and developed by Julia Monkman, including a wild garden created from a
19th century disused quarry. The garden has been opened for the National
Gardens Scheme since 1982 and was featured in Country Life in 1991. Shandy Hall
houses the the worlds foremost collection of editions of Sterne's novels plus a
varied background of contemporary prints and paintings illustrating his work.
Shandy Hall is located off the A19 at Coxwold near Thirsk.
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