The Swinton Estate has been in the ownership of the Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880’s, when Samuel Cunliffe-Lister bought the Estate. He had amassed a great fortune in the wool and silk combing industry in Bradford at Manningham Mills (which at the time was the largest factory in Europe). Prior to that the Estate had been in the ownership of the Danby family, dating back to the late 1600s. During the late 1700s the Danby family landscaped the Parkland, creating the deerpark and deerhouse, five lakes, woodland and gardens. They also commissioned the construction of the Druid’s Temple folly on the moors (which is now within the Druid’s Plantation at Swinton Bivouac).
Swinton Park was originally a Georgian country house but become a “castle” in the early 1800s under the Gothic influence with the addition of the turret and castellations. When Samuel Cunliffe-Lister bought the Estate he carried out substantial building works, adding on the whole of the second floor, raising the height of the turret and adding the wing that is home to the palatial dining room.
The Estate then passed to Samuel’s sons and then his grand-daughter Molly and husband Philip Lloyd-Graeme, who took the family name when they inherited the Estate. Philip was a prominent politician who served in 11 Conservative cabinets and was appointed Earl of Swinton in 1955. The title then passed to his grandson David and then on to his brother Nicholas. Nicholas’ son Mark, the current Earl of Swinton, took on the running of the rural estate in 2006.
Running alongside the operation of the Rural Estate, Mark and his wife Felicity have been responsible for the launch of several successful enterprises on the Estate including the conversion of the family home, Swinton Park, into a hotel in 2001, the Swinton Cookery School (2003), Swinton Birds of Prey (2006), Swinton Bivouac glamping campsite and café (2012) and the Swinton Country Club & Spa (2017). In 2019 the permissive paths in the 200 acres of Parkland were opened to the public. The Estate now employs in the region of 180 staff.
Tel: 01765 689224
Swinton Estate Office, Swinton, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4JH