Shandy Hall was originally built in 1430 as a parsonage for the Coxwold village priest, originally a timber framed open-hall house considerably altered in the 17th century. He soon renamed it Shandy Hall after his novel Tristram Shandy

Shandy Hall and Gardens

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.

shandy hall reargarden
This is a view of the rear garden at Shandy Hall, capturing a colourful display in late June.

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.

shandy hall shop
There is a shop in a converted stable selling Sterne’s novels, cards and guides etc. This overlooks a further area of garden with herbaceous borders surrounding a lawn. There are also some unusual plants for sale.

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