Home > Shandy Hall

The medieval house where the modern novel was born

– J.B.Priestley
Shandy Hall - James W. Ferguson

Shandy Hall, from a painting by James W. Ferguson

Shandy Hall is a Grade I listed building dating from the mid-15th century. Inhabited by various families for over 600 years, it is now a lived-in museum and literary house that celebrates the life and works of Laurence Sterne.

Sterne lived in Shandy Hall from 1760 to 1768 as perpetual curate of Coxwold, while making frequent journeys to London to promote his writings and enjoy city life.

At the heart of the museum is the study where Sterne wrote books, sermons, journals and letters. The Study houses the world’s largest collection of editions of Sterne’s works. We can imagine him sitting here bringing Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim to life with his inventive prose.

Since its publication writers, artists and musicians have been inspired by the wit of Tristram Shandy and its digressive and non-linear manner of story-telling. Writers such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, and Vladimir Nabokov are just a few who acknowledge a debt to Sterne.

Shandy Hall Sternes study

Sterne’s study

Other rooms contain paintings and prints, furniture and objects that would have been familiar to Sterne or are connected to his works.  A special place is reserved for the bust of Sterne created by Joseph Nollekens from life.

Throughout the house and gardens there are works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Sterne’s innovation and wit, showing the continuing influence of Sterne.

A visit to Shandy Hall is both a step into the past and an appreciation that the spirit of Sterne lives on through the works and imagination of artists today.

The Curator of Shandy Hall, Patrick Wildgust, introduces the special experience that awaits visitors to Shandy Hall.

Opening hours and how to make an appointment

View our regular opening hours. Appointments can be made at other times

tristram shandy 0196


Explore the surroundings - wander to another part of the site

plot lines - felix bennett

Wander inside

A welcome awaits inside Shandy Hall

Shandy Hall Old Kitchen fireplace

Take a break

Step outside for a breath of fresh air