With the sun lurking around the corner (potential wishful thinking) we are all beginning to get itchy feet and look to more adventurous ways to whittle away our days off. To celebrate this impending change May’s 31 Days sets its sites further afield and will hopefully inspire people to leave the city, albeit for an hour and make the most of our surroundings.
We begin the series with The Madhyamaka Centre just outside Pocklington. The beautiful, neoclassical stately home that lies, slightly unkept within the rolling green hills now plays home to a Buddhist retreat centre. The site has however been a centre of civilisation for more than 2,500 years. There are artefacts found that date back to meseolithic and neolithic times. Within a mile of the centre’s ancient landscape lies Roman roads and ancient burial mounds. The Domesday Book of 1086 described Kilnwick as being one league (three miles) in length and half that in breadth with an estimated population of one hundred people. The house has since then been inder the ownership of several aristocratic families.
In 1570 Thomas Wood started to rebuild the hall after finding it in a state of abandonment, but never finished the rebuilding as he passed away in 1584. The building was left unfinished until 1710. York architect William Etty was commissioned to oversee the work on the building by the 5th Baronet and the majority of the building of Kilnwick Percy Hall was the work of John Carr from York and the work was completed in 1800.
During the Second World War the building was requisitioned by the military and officially used for the sorting of Forces Mail and a mysteriously a “special mission” training centre.
Much of the building was then torn down after the war to make the house more economically viable after the war before becoming a buddhist centre 1986, with the intention of using the centre to help people from all over the world to study Je Tsongkhapa’s Teachings.
Today, 25 years later it is an internationally renowned centre and people travel from all around the world to meditate and spend time in the centre’s peaceful surroundings. You don’t need to book however to simply If you simply want to walk around the building’s beautiful grounds and take in the peaceful surroundings of their “peace café” If you are without car you can always take the bus to Pocklington (the X46, 747, 746 and X47 run regularly from The Railway Station and Piccadilly bus stops).