The Wood family were a cadet branch of the family which had owned Swinsty Hall, Yorkshire, in the fifteenth century. Since the mid-sixteenth century they had been settled at Copmanthorpe, just outside York, an estate which remained in the family until 1921. In the seventeenth century the family were closely involved in York trade.
Hollin Hall was acquired by John Wood (d.1757) for £1,600 in 1719, soon after which he began extensive rebuilding work. Wood did not have to look far for a house on which to model his own; from the upper floor of Hollin Hall it is possible to look across the River Ure and see Newby Hall, two miles to the east, built in the 1690s by Sir Edward Blackett, a wealthy Newcastle owner. Like the original (now garden) entrance front of Newby, Hollin Hall is nine bays wide and has a slightly projecting two bay quoined wing flanking a five bay centre with a one-bay centrepiece. This view shows the south front subsequent to further remodelling for Richard Wood (d.1815), which was carried out by the York architect Charles Watson between 1810 and 1813.