Gall stones, hair clippings and so many Rowlands! The Nostell Priory Cataloguing Project

Coat of Arms of Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St Oswald 1885

Coat of Arms of Rowland Winn, 1st Baron St Oswald 1885

WYAS is delighted to announce that this National Cataloguing Grant Funded Project has been successfully completed! A catalogue of over 1000 pages is now available to guide researchers in their use of the records of the Winn family, Barons St Oswald of Nostell Priory, with its magnificent plasterwork interiors by Robert Adam and James Paine, and an outstanding collection of Chippendale furniture. This prestigious and treasured collection is the premier family and estate collection for Wakefield district held by the Service. A grant of £37,000 was awarded to WYAS in 2012 and the project has run from Apr 2013-July 2014.

Coldstream Guards. 1880-1884. Rowland Winn (1857-1974) 2nd Baron St Oswald was a Captain in the Coldstream Guards.

Coldstream Guards. 1880-1884. Rowland Winn (1857-1919) 2nd Baron St Oswald was a Captain in the Coldstream Guards.


From the 1215 Charter of King John onwards, the collection covers personal papers of the Winn family 16th century-1999, manorial records 1605-1745, estate management records 1215-1987, and professional and official records c1555-1977. Over the course of the project over 3000 new entries were added as items were listed for the first time. Some of these finds include new references to Thomas Chippendale amongst the personal correspondence of Rowland Winn, 5th Baronet; recipes, cures and remedies; a huge range of Royal Seals; beautifully hand decorated personal letters to Sabine Winn; Polish newspapers reporting on Lady Wanda Winn and Rowland, the 4th Baron, including articles written by Lord St Oswald; a vast range of personal correspondence of the Winn family including references to military service in the First World War and photographs of the 4th Baron’s time serving in Albania during World War II.

In addition valuable additional information has been added for some 6000 entries including Civil War tracts from the 17th century and eye-witness accounts and letters relating to the doomed invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. As for the cow’s gall bladder from 1888 and childhood hair clippings of Rowland, 6th Baronet, they certainly do make the collection unique!

The whole collection has also been re-numbered and re-packaged, a major task in its own right! Throughout the Project, WYAS has also promoted the collection, working in partnership with the Nostell Priory outreach team. We will continue this promotional work in the months and years to come.

Whether you are looking for your ancestors who worked there, researching the influential Winn family, the estate, the Priory, coalmining or any aspect of local history, there is something for you in this wonderful collection!

Cook at Nostell

Cook at Nostell

The collection will be available on line (over 9000 entries) from 11 August http://catalogue.wyjs.org.uk/Record.aspx?id=LC03029

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