Rowntree A-Z

Clifton Lodge and Rawcliffe Holt

Joseph Rowntree’s last home, where he lived from 1905 until his death in 1925. The Regency-style house was built in 1852 for David Russell, a solicitor. Sir Reginald Parker purchased it 1884 and made alternations to the once symmetrical layout. Ethel, Lady Thomson, née Parker, recorded memories of her life at the house in the book, Clifton Lodge, (Hutchinson, 1955).

The 1911 census lists just a housemaid and kitchen maid in charge of the 16-roomed house while the family were abroad. Joseph Rowntree built Rawcliffe Holt, the adjoining house, in 1907 for his daughter Winifred (who married Arthur Duncan Naish); there was a communicating door to the Lodge on the first floor. A thatched roofed pavilion was built in the garden for meetings and garden parties (today it is Josephs Nursery).

Joseph Rowntree left both Clifton Lodge and Rawcliffe Holt to the three Rowntree Trusts on his death; the houses remained in the ownership of one or other of the Trusts and Rawcliffe Holt continued to be occupied by the Naish family. Pupils from the Quaker schools were invited to regular Sunday meals and free board and lodging was extended to pupils’ parents, Quaker visitors to York, and staff from The Retreat. This hospitality continued until the mid-1940s. 1926–36 Clifton Estate was built beside Joseph Rowntree’s former home. Clifton Lodge was sold into private hands in 2011.

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