The house was built as the Vicarage to the parish of St Peter and Paul,
Pickering and remained the home of the clergy for almost a hundred years.
It was built in 1790, the late Georgian era, and in Palladian style using
small hand clamped red bricks which would have been imported to the area at
great expense as they are an uncommon building material in the town. The house
would have indeed been seen as a significant property in its day (and still is).
The house is a Grade II Listed building.
Originally the servants would have lived in the attic and the basement of the house, lighting fires (8), cooking and fulfilling other domestic chores for the Vicar and his family. All the original fireplaces remain in situ, although are not all used now. The fireplace in the guest lounge has impressive tiles depicting Demeter (the Greek goddess of grain and harvest) & her daughter Persephpne (Queen of the underworld and Goddess of spring growth).
In the 20th century the house was owned by the Hainsworth family for over 50 years. Mrs Hainsworth became a Pickering Mayoress and so far the only woman to be made a 'freeman' of the town. She was also a governor of Lady Lumley's school where 'Hainsworth House' was named in her memory.
When we moved to The Old Vicarage in 1992, the house was in a sad state of repair and needed major renovation work. The basement of the house had not been in use since Victorian times. One of the basement kitchens had become a garage early in the 20th century and we have returned this to a kitchen. We also restored the original 'dumbwaiter' to working order. This would have been a modern convenience when the house was built.
The house is referenced in books about the town and local architecture including 'Houses of North Yorkshire' and appears in Pevsner's writing about Pickering and significant North Yorkshire houses. Pevsner also had lots to say about the wonderful church and its recently (1852) discovered pre-reformation murals.
The Old Vicarage has been a fantastic family home for 25 years, and since 2014 has had a new lease of life as an elegant Guest House in the heart of Pickering.