Fountains Hall was built by Sir Stephen Proctor between 1598 and 1604, partly with stone from the Abbey ruins. It was built during the peaceful and prosperous final years of the reign of Elizabeth I. The building style has been attributed to the influence of the Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson, who designed Burton Agnes Hall and Hardwick Hall.
Proctor re-used sandstone blocks and a stone staircase from the abbey, but had fresh limestone cut for the windows and main façade. Still visible today, are Sir Stephen’s initials and bade (an otter with a fish in its mouth) carved in stone over the impressive entrance.
In 1604 Proctor played host to the young prince destined to become the ill fated Charles I, during his first royal progress from London to Edinburgh.
After Proctor’s death in 1619, the Hall eventually came into the hands of distant relatives the Messenger family. They were Recusants [Catholics] but outwardly conformed to the Protestant religious settlement: this enabled them to lead quieter lives and may have preserved their finances, but they were still denied much social and all political positions.
This is part of Fountains Abbey estate which is owned by National Trust
Taken with Canon eos 10D, edited and various effects added in Photoshop CS4. Grunge backdrop used from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8078381@N03/sets/7... and Vector filter added