Fountains Hall is a minor stately home in Yorkshire (refer our original message to this forum for the location). In addition to the Hall (now run by the National Trust), there are well preserved ruins of Fountains Abbey. The Fountains estate (the Hall, the surrounding lands and the abbey ruins are combined with the Studley Royal estate which has some wonderful gardens (it became the major passion of its owner when he was thrown out of parliamentaround 1720!).
Honor Messenger, who appears to have married into the Elsley family, was the daughter of the owner of the Fountains estate. They were stauchly catholic at a time that this was frowned on - they were officially declared "recusant" and appear to have had to sell the Fountains estate to pay the taxes imposed on those who refused to conform.
They then moved to Cayton Grange, a smaller property that also belonged in the family - almost adjoining the Fountains lands. Our branch moved to Cumbria and then to London before emigrating to NZ in 1853.
The area around Fountains is a beautiful part of England - we were there two years ago. The National Trust have turned the top floor of Fountains Hall into apartments and we will be staying in one of them in late April this year. We will try to find out more about this mysterious agreement - we have a reference to it in an extract from the Fountains estate archive records but don't know much more about it.
Fountains takes its name from several natural and very pure springs in the valley.
Hope this sheds some light on things for you
Lynne & Arthur
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