A COUPLE restoring an historic North Yorkshire house have appealed for help as they research a name they found etched in a window.

Naomi Ward said she and her husband Byron discovered the name ‘Francis Mary Adams’ in an upstairs bedroom after they began repairing Grade 1 listed Camblesforth Hall in Camblesforth, near Selby.

“The hall was built in around 1690 and until fairly recently it was a working farm but in the last 10 years it has unfortunately fallen into a state of disrepair, to the extent that it was almost placed on the Heritage at Risk register,” she said. “It desperately needed someone to take on the challenge of restoring this beautiful and unique building.”

She said they moved in in July and had begun repairs when they noticed Francis’ name etched into the window. Research showed she was born in the hall in 1733 and inherited it on the death of her eldest brother, John Boynton Adams. She married local magistrate Jocelyn Price in 1765 and their daughter, Clara,was born there in 1769.

“It was traditional for young girls to be gifted with a diamond ring on their 13th birthday and it was diamond rings which were generally used to engrave glass in these instances, so the engraving can potentially be dated to around 1746.”

But she said their research had thrown up more questions than answers. “We have still not definitively identified who Francis Mary’s parents were; whether her habitation of the house was continuous during her life or if she moved out and then moved back on her brothers’ death.

“She appears to have passed away in Acomb but was brought back to her family church in Drax to be buried, but didn’t marry Jocelyn there, instead choosing St Saviour’s in York. We would love to build a further picture of Francis Mary’s life.

"We are also interested in any stories about the house's history as we try to build up a full picture of it.

People can follow our Instagram account @camblesforthhall if they are interested."

She added that she wanted to mention the 'fantastic team that have been working on the house, especially local joiner Simon Starkey, who has worked tirelessly to repair the house, and decorator Ashley Stead.'

*Any info should be emailed to naomi@camblesforth-hall.co.uk.