History of the Triumphant Arch
Up the short rise on the start of the Barwick road brings you to a building on the right which directly fronts onto the street. Above the door are the arms of the Gascoigne family, a pike's head. Directly opposite is a side road. Take it on up the hill and through into the park beyond. This is Parlington Park. Now this site has some history to it indeed.
The avenue within takes us on and up the slope. It was planted in 1783 by George Gascoigne and leads up to a victory arch. That was the entrance gate to the house grounds. It was built especially to welcome George III in 1784 on his visit to the house. Gascoigne had vast interests in the American colonies and supported, as many local lords did, the fight for American independence. No more than a business take-over in many ways. Along the front of the arch are the words "Freedom Triumphant in America!".
King George approached up the driveway, saw the arch, read the words and turned in anger - staying the night at nearby Haselwood Castle instead. Also the home of supporters of the American 'buy-out' - but less vocal ones.
"Freedom Triumphant in America." Gascoine's slight to George III on his visit in 1784. Parlington's history goes back many centuries..........the first residents with whom we are acquainted assumed the name of the place and were/are known as De Parlington, occupying the mansion at the time Falkes de Brecante was at Harewood. They were succeeded by the Despensers.
In 1336 Philip, son of Philip, son of Hugh le Despenser, le pere, shows that Hugh was in possession of Parlington. Philip, the son, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Ralph de Gowshill; holding the manor of Parlington, of the King, as of the crown by the fourth part of a knight's fee - (a tenure of lands held by knights on condition of military service). In 1404 a Philip Despenser held the manor by the seizin of half a knight's fee. These Despensers are the men who brought much trouble upon England in the reign of Edward II. In 1424 Roger Wentworth, Esqr., and Margaret his wife, heiress of Sir Philip Despenser and Elizabeth his late wife, held the manor of Parlington.
Before the end of the century the Gascoignes were in possession and intermarried with the Vavasours, of Hazelwood. The Gascoigne arms - or, in a pale sable, a demi-luce nest couped or.