Markenfield Hall (Yorkshire)

The fortified manor house was a sign of social status for its owners, the Markenfield. Its fortifications could only be built with the permission of the king. This permission was acquired in 1310 by John Markenfield, a priest in the nearby church of Ripon Minster. In addition to its parapet, Markenfield Hall is also defended by a moat.

Many families of English knights fortified their houses around the same time as the Markenfields. This shows that their social status and identity, which had earlier depended on connections with their lords, had grown more independent. Another expression of this independence was burial in the parish church instead of the monastery of the lord.

A number of shields on one of the walls of the courtyard formerly displayed the heraldry of families with close ties to the Markenfields. The heraldry carved on the Markenfield tombs in Ripon Minster is still visible. It shows connections with powerful Yorkshire families such as the Nevilles and the Scropes.