The history of Goddards and family life

The Terry family in black and white, standing in a row, tallest member of the family down to the smallest!

The backdrop to your walk in the garden is the arts and crafts inspired former home of the Terry family (think Chocolate Orange).

A family home

Noel Terry wanted to create a comfortable family home close to the chocolate works for Kathleen, his wife and his four children: Peter, Kenneth, Betty and Richard. This gorgeous hand crafted house was finished in 1927 and has stood hidden away from the busy York suburbs since. 

Bought by the National Trust in 1984 and now used as the Yorkshire office for the charity, the garden is open on selected days to visit.

" Unlike some people I don't aspire to fame, riches, rank and power. No, I aspire beyond that. I aspire to a home."
- Noel Terry

The perfect location

As you walk through the gatehouse entrance and down the quiet drive, the house slowly reveals itself and as you round the side of the house, you will see the gardens roll away from the house down a gentle slope. There are beautiful views across to the historic racecourse and to the old Terry’s chocolate factory clock tower in the distance, forever linking the estate to the it's chocolate heritage.

A growing family

Mr and Mrs Terry had been living in a fine semi-detached arts and crafts style house and started to bring up their family there. Wanting more room and a detached home, Noel Terry commissioned Walter Brierley to build another arts and crafts home, despite having a fine collection of Georgian furniture that didn't readily fit.

The house is a fine example of Brierley's great architectural design and was by chance the last house he ever created as he died in 1926, a year before the house was completed.

Generations of the Terry family
Illustration of a family tree for the Terry family
Generations of the Terry family

The art of design

Goddards brought together many of the discoveries the architect Walter Brierley had made throughout his career. Many of the decorative features can be seen from brickwork to window latches. It's is a fusion of different styles including jacobean, Queen Anne, vernacular, neo-Georgian but predominantly arts and crafts inspired. 

Buy local

From the outside of the house you can see the arts and crafts style of the building. A feature of the movement was to use local materials – the 2-inch red handmade close kiln bricks were from nearby Barton on Humber and they are placed in arts and crafts style geometric patterns. 

Attention to detail

The attention to craftsmanship and detail which is a key feature of the movement can be seen in the guttering and downpipes where you can see the date the house was completed, Noel and Kathleen Terry’s initials and even a roaring lion. 

Reading the building

The triplicate chimney stacks were also a feature Brierley loved to use on his buildings and give an extra level of detail to the architecture. The two gable ends define the family living quarters and the setback wing to the right-hand side were the staff quarters and nurseries.

Not that much has changed over the decades at Goddards
Sepia image of a house and formal pond and gardens
Not that much has changed over the decades at Goddards

Making memories

The spaces were designed so the family could be together. Whether you're pausing on the terrace during your wander or playing a game together in the garden, it isn't too hard to imagine a quieter pace of life and growing up with Goddards as your home. 

Meet the Terry family who made Goddards their home

Formal photographic portrait of the Terry family

Noel (1889 - 1980)

Noel changed the design of Goddards to suit his preferences with fewer windows and more wall space to hang his paintings. He had an impressive collection of clocks and was known to go round the house with a stopwatch in an attempt to set them to exactly the same time and get very frustrated when his efforts failed. The original Terry family furniture is on display at Fairfax House in York as it was donated to the York Civic Trust after Noel’s death in 1980.

Black and white old photograph of a woman and children standing on rocks

Kathleen (1890 - 1980)

Kathleen was involved with the interior design of the house, enjoying family life and would play with her four children after tea until bedtime. She grew sweet peas in the fragrant garden, tended the roses in the formal garden and indulged in just ready broad beans straight out of the kitchen garden. Goddards is the home where she lost one of her children and his bedroom became almost a shrine to him. Her life in their family home after this was never the same.

A man and woman with traditional tennis rackets

Peter (1919 - 2006)

Peter Terry was 9 when he moved into Goddards with his family. Peter was a keen sportsman and played squash and hockey for Yorkshire. His father was clear in pointing out to him, however, that sport was a pastime, not a career option. As the eldest child, Peter followed his father in the family business and began working at Terrys in 1945. Peter was appointed High Sheriff of Yorkshire 1980-81. After retiring from Terry’s in 1985, he was still very busy as chairman of the Noel Terry Charitable Trust, involved with York Civic Trust, and on the committee of Fairfax House who received the family furniture.

A young man sat on a horse

Kenneth (1920 - 1944)

Kenneth was 7 when the family moved into Goddards. He enjoyed sports but wasn’t as competitive as his brother and was just as happy reading or listening to classical music. He developed a love of aircrafts and used to drive out to nearby airfields to watch the planes, taking his sister betty with him. He joined the RAF in time becoming a popular and respected member of Squadron 547 and was promoted to Squadron Leader in June 1943. Kenneth was killed on 26 April 1944 in a tragic accident when his plane crashed into the sea at Cardigan Bay. The family were devastated and donated a lectern to York Minster choir, reading ‘The Gift of Noel and Kathleen Terry in memory of their son Squadron Leader Kenneth Thomas Peart Terry D.F.C. 1920-1944’.

Young lady sat cross legged by a lake

Betty (1924 - 2021)

Betty was Noel and Kathleen’s only daughter and was just coming up to three years old when the family moved into Goddards. Betty’s memories of growing up at Goddards reveal an adventurous childhood — looking after a menagerie of animals, sleeping outside under the stars on warm summer nights, and careering up the driveway in her father’s Daimler with Kenneth. During WWII Betty was sent to Bletchley Park and worked as a control supervisor intercepting enemy wireless networks. Lunching by the lake one day, Betty saw a man chuck his cup and saucer into the lake and was told later that this was probably Alan Turing.

A family of five seated and standing for a formal picture

Richard Terry (1928 – 1984)

Richard was the only child born at Goddards and like his brothers he attended Marlborough School and was conscripted to the Army in 1947. He soon found himself in India which he liked so much that he returned to work on a tea plantation until around 1953. On returning to England Richard attended Agriculture College and bought his own farm not far from York, followed by a second farm. Although he chose a different path to the family business, correspondence shows he remained in close contact with the family during his travels and they visited him on his farm. Richard died quite suddenly in 1984. His farms were sold but he is remembered with affection in the neighbourhood.

Read a little more about the business that shaped them...

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