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The oldest portion of Monk Fryston Hall Hotel dates back to the 12th century when land was bequeathed as a deer park to 11th century monks by the Bishop of York. The original building contained vaulted ceilings, a wealth of stonework and inglenook fireplaces.
As the centuries passed Monk Fryston came into the ownership of the Hemsworth family, whose many developments included the addition of a grand ballroom, studio and billiard room designed by the renowned architect, Sir Ernest George.
The Hemsworths established a zoo which housed a collection of animals and exotic birds from around the world; the grade 11 listed aviary still exists in the grounds and in 2014 a breading pair of peacocks were reintroduced. The chief attraction of the zoo was a boating lake with romantic bridges including a folly of the famous bridge in Lucerne, created from a drawing by Architect Sir Ernest George which was inspired by his visit to Switzerland. Just like the famous bridge in Lucerne our folly has paintings and verse in the eves of the bridge which were painted by Mary Hemsworth.