Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine

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Sir Tatton Sykes (1772-1863) was one of the biggest landowners in the Wolds and lived at Sledmere House, a mansion set in 200 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown. After his death at the age of 90 there were 3,000 mourners at his funeral. According to an obituary, he was known locally as “t’aud squire” and

“to tenants he was a liberal landlord, to the poor a kind and considerat­e friend”.

It was decided to mark his life with a grand monument next to what is now the B1252, paid for by voluntary subscripti­ons. A design competitio­n was won by the Oxford architect John Gibbs, who proposed a 120ft-high tower with a three-stage spire in the Gothic Revival style and built from Whitby and Mansfield stone. Over 700 people attended the foundation stone laying in 1865.

Nearby, a cottage was provided for a monument keeper, who guided visitors up an internal staircase to a (now inaccessib­le) viewing room.

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