I visited Malton this weekend for the Food Lovers’ Festival. Oh my oh my oh my, it was a festival indeed! After consuming almost my bodyweight in delicious local-made food, I decided to have a wander around this historic market town. Malton, the ‘heart of Ryedale’ sits on the A64, mid-way between York and Scarborough. Thus, for centuries, it has been an important place of trade and industry. It’s thriving cattle market still runs, near the old Shambles (where once many butchers used to trade, but it’s now mainly quirky antiques shops). The relics of Malton’s importance are still there – for example, I was blown away by the magnificent Talbot Hotel, which was once a hunting lodge, and is a grand building perching on a hill overlooking its gardens and the countryside beyond. Owned by the same family – the Fitzwilliams – is Malton Old Lodge. It was with the Old Lodge that I made myself most concerned after the culinary delights of the food festival. This building stands on the site of the original medieval castle. Robert the Bruce stayed there in the 1322, doncha know? It is now a very grand 18th Century building, which captured my attention as I stretched my legs:
The original castle started falling into ruins soon after the Bruce visited, and it remained a wreck until Lord Eure built a replacement at the very beginning of the 17th Century. This replacement did not last long, alas, since it fell victim to the altercations that arise naturally when two siblings each inherit a share of a property. The Eure sisters, unable to reach an agreement over the house that they had inherited from their father, argued and argued until the building had to be taken down brick by brick and shared equally between the two of them! These ladies obviously did not learn anything from the Judgement of Solomon. The house as it now stands is the handywork of the Fitzwilliam family who acquired the land after the aformentioned sisterly spat. The Fitzwilliams still own the Lodge and it is now a rather wonderful-looking hotel. Looking at Tripadvisor, it gets very good reviews, so if anyone would like to take me there for birthdays, weddings or indeed funerals, I will be more than happy. And as you can see, one tiny relic of the 17th Century house still stands proud: the gate house. Now bricked up, but a rather lovely reminder of what was there before.