It's described by experts as, 'the most complete surviving example of a medium-sized 14th century country house in England'.
Its very picturesque moat makes it look even more romantic.
Markenfield is an extraordinarily place, even more special because it's hidden and barely barely known and has an incredible history. Markenfield's story starts with its entry in the 1086 Domesday Book.
It's a very lived-in house, with the owners warning visitors they may 'occasionally encounter family muddle'. That's part of its warmth and charm. Unlike many stately homes which can feel almost sterile and alien, when you visit Markenfield you feel like you could probably linger in a dark corner with an ancient tome from the library, waiting for other visitors to leave until you can settle in and become part of the family. I suspect the owners might object - they've carefully thought about every corner and aspect of this gorgeous house, as part of their long term and very loving restoration plan.
The Markenfield family's fortunes were ruined by their involvement in the 1569 Rising of the North, when they tried to prevent the rise of the Protestant religion, to depose Queen Elizabeth 1st and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. Rebels met at Markenfield Hall before setting off to try to overthrow the Queen. The rebellion failed and many people were hanged as traitors in Ripon Market Place.
After this Markenfield was confiscated for high treason, and then inhabited by tenant farmers. They were more interested in running their farm than changing outdated furnishings or making major structural improvements to Markenfield Hall so the medieval style was left. The Curteis family have since embarked on an extensive restoration programme, working closely with specialists to remain true to the historic sense of the house.
The achievements of one remarkable former inhabitant deserve to be much better known: Caroline Norton was a remarkable, talented and very brave Victorian campaigner for the rights of women. It's thanks to her that we now have three important pieces of legislation protecting the rights of women and their children.
Markenfield Hall is just outside Ripon, reached via a small lane off the A61. It's a family home and is only open to the public for a limited number of days and special events each year. Take a look at the events programme on their website for more details and make sure you book in advance. You won't regret it.