Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
The Dukeries cigarette / trading cards.
Labels: Cigarette cards, Clumber, Clumber Park, Earl Manvers, stately home, the Dukeries, Thoresby, Thoresby Estate, Thoresby Hall, Thoresby Hotel, trading cards, Welbeck Abbey, Welbeck Lodge, Worksop
Monday, November 02, 2015
Thoresby Hall and Charles Dickens.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Thoresby Hall 1950s / 1960s souvenir brochure.
The Kennels where the Duke's hounds were kept in decades past, and visible here on the horizon.
You can read about the model steam railway which operated at Thoresby Hall in the 1950s / 60s on THIS LINK, and more information and pictures of Thoresby Hall interior on THIS LINK.
For information about how and when Thoresby Hall became closed to the public see THIS LINK.
Also, see how the BBC used Thoresby Hall as Miss Havisham's "Satis House" when filming Dickens' "Great Expectations" on THIS LINK.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Lady Rozelle Raynes 1925 - 2015.
Soon after the family moved into the Hall it was requisitioned by the military, bringing her into close contact with the armed forces. As a small child she had been fascinated by the sea, and the Second World War presented an opportunity to join the WRNS as a tugboat stoker. (Much preferable in her eyes to a finishing school in Switzerland). She would recall those times as being a “peak of happiness”, and burst into tears upon being demobbed when the war was over.
But her sailing days had really only just begun, and subsequent adventures on her 25ft yacht the Martha McGilda provided ample material to fill a series of self-penned books. In 1953 she married Major Alexander Beattie of the Coldstream Guards. Whilst her mother continued to reside at Thoresby Hall, Lady Rozelle inherited the place in 1955 when her father died. Thoresby Hall was opened up to the public in 1957 (see THIS LINK), and first husband Major Beattie was much involved in it becoming a popular attraction during a decade when visits to stately homes became a favourite national pastime (see first Thoresby Hall souvenir brochure on THIS LINK). However, the marriage ended in 1961.
In 1965 Lady Rozelle married Dr Richard Raynes. In the mid-1970s, with the support of husband Dr Raynes, she embarked on a scheme to help rehabilitate East End boys in care. This involved taking them out on the Thames in the Martha McGilda, half a day every fortnight, and teaching them to sail and navigate. These “Tuesday Boys” became the subject of a subsequent book, and in 1980 she established the Martha McGilda charitable trust so as this successful scheme of support for such boys might continue.
After Thoresby Hall was sold to the National Coal Board in 1984 (see THIS LINK), the estate would be managed mostly by agents, but Lady Rozelle still became lifelong friends with many of the people living and working there, in particular, the Courtyard Gallery where her mother’s paintings enjoy a constant presence (see THIS LINK). In the 1980s she and her husband had a house built on the estate, and moved there in 2010 after suffering a fall and could no longer manage to reside in London. Lady Rozelle died June 22nd 2015, a year after her husband. They left no descendants.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Thoresby Estate Hayride, June 2015, naming the historic sites along the way.
The Thoresby Estate Hayride does not always take exactly the same route every year. This video shows the route taken on June 2015, and names the places of historic interest along the way: Home Farm, Perlethorpe Village Hall, Radleys Lane, The Kennels, Whitemoor Farm, Whitemoor House, Whitewater, Whitewater Lane, Druids Grove, Buck Gates, White Lodge (a.k.a. Proteus Lodge, once home to Lady Sybil Pierrepont), Henry's Grove, Charles Wood, the original carriageway the Dukes took from the first Thoresby Hall to Ollerton and Newark beyond, Chestnut Avenue (a favourite place of the late Lady Manvers), Nelson's Grove, Icehouse Wood, Three Gables, The Woodyard, and Perlethorpe Church.
NOTE: I make no apology for the camera shake. Such is the character of a fun Hayride, and I wanted to preserve that.
Labels: Buck Gates, Dukeries, history, Home Farm, Lady Manvers, Perlethorpe, Perlethorpe Church, Pierrepont, River Maun, River Meden, Sherwood Forest, the Woodyard, Three Gables, Whitemoor Farm, Whitewater
Friday, May 22, 2015
Perlethorpe Environmental Education Centre / former Perlethorpe Primary School.
Perlethorpe Church on the opposite side of the road.
You can read more about the history of Perlethorpe school / Perlethorpe Environmental Education Centre, on the following links:
Perlethorpe School teachers
Perlethorpe School c.1953 / 54
Perlethorpe School (Environmental Education Centre).
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Before the Norman Conquest, Rufford was the property of the Saxon Lord, Ulf. William the Conqueror gave the land over to Gilbert de Gand. His successor (also a Gilbert), founded a Cistercian abbey there in 1148. The English Pope, Adrian IV gave the blessing for the abbey in 1156, after which the villagers of surrounding Grimston, Cratley, Inkersall, and Rufford itself were evacuated to make way for the expanding abbey grounds.
In 1538 the abbey was dissolved after two agents for of the Crown, sent specifically for the purpose, brought dubious charges against Thomas Doncaster the seventh abbott. The only part of the abbey which remains today (2014) is the crypt, which later became the servants’ quarters, and the adjoining cellars.
You can read more about The Dukeries on these links: Welbeck, Thoresby, Worksop, and Clumber, and more about Bess of Hardwick and her role in the formation of the Dukeries on THIS LINK. And more about World War 2 and the Dukeries on THIS LINK.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Cockglode, Ollerton, Thoresby Estate.
Cockglode Wood was an ancient woodland which became a part of the Royal Hunting Forest of Sherwood. The Ranger’s Lodge for the officer responsible for monitoring Birkland and Bilhaugh woods probably stood here. In 1818 Cockglode became the property of the 4th Duke of Portland in an exchange of properties with the Crown. The Duke gave the Crown a wealthy residential area to the west of London, including the responsibility of St. Mary-le-bone church, and was given Cockglode in return. However, not long after that the Duke exchanged Cockglode with the 2nd Earl Manvers for properties at Cuckney and Holbeck Woodhouse, closer to his own ducal seat at Welbeck. In that way Cockglode became part of Thoresby Estate.
Cockglode Hall / Cockglode House.
In 1776 The Duke of Portland granted lease of the premises at Cockglode to George Aldrich MD. As the Duke didn’t actually own the site at that point one assumes he was acting on behalf of the Crown and responsible for managing it. George Aldrich is credited as having the “elegant house” built in c.1774, and landscaping the surrounding woodland visible to the house which stood on a rise. Note: I am aware those dates do seem to conflict, albeit taken from two old, respected published sources. I offer them in good faith for the speculation of future researchers.
Dr George Aldrich lived here until 1797. It then became the residence of Sir Robert Shore Milnes, who died in 1837. The next tenant was the Hon. Savile Henry Lumley, a son of Richard, 4th Earl of Scarborough. Colonel Lumley died in 1846, and was buried at Edwinstowe. His widow remained tenant of Cockglode until her death in 1869.
The house then passed to Cecil George Savile Foljambe Esq., M.P. for North Nottinghamshire at the time. Foljambe pursued a successful political career, eventually becoming Earl of Liverpool, and lived at Cockglode for twenty eight years until 1897.
Lady Maude Hoare.
In 1878 Lord Beauchamp married Lady Emily Pierrepont, daughter of the 3rd Earl Manvers and Georgiana Jane E. Fanny de Franquetot, at Perlethorpe Church, Thoresby. They had four children. Amongst them, Lady Maud Lygon (1882 – 1962). This makes Maud the granddaughter of the 3rd Earl Manvers, and she later became Lady Maud Hoare through marriage. Residents of Cockglode House in the 1940s were always told Lady Maude had once lived there, she being something of a celebrity by that time. There is 1926 Pathe News footage of Lady Maude christening a flight of five bi-plane airliners, and 1937 footage of her launching the Arc Royal at Birkenhead. As the wife of Sir Samuel Hoare, British Air Minister, she made a 12,000-mile round trip flight inaugurating the London-Cairo-Delhi air service. The first woman ever to fly so many miles, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).
Cockglode’s final days, and the planting of Rotary Wood.
During the 1940s, Cockglode House consisted of eight flats, two each side of a central front door, the other four accessed by the stone staircase. Each flat typically comprised two bedrooms, a sitting room, a kitchen, and pantry. The bathroom was shared. The rent was collected by Miss Freeman who came over from an office on Fourth Avenue, Edwinstowe. (That office was sited where currently stands P G Lock the Butchers, and incorporates the date 1933 in its brickwork). Cockglode resident Mavis Craig took over the rent collection chores in return for free rent. The pictures below show her eldest daughter in the garden at Cockglode c.1949.
Above: Entrance to and view from "Cockglode and Rotary Woods", 2013.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Worksop, the Dukeries.
The 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, George, and more especially his son Francis, the 5th Earl, befitted much by supporting Henry 8th in his dissolution of the monasteries. In 1537, when Shrewsbury’s Irish estates were passed to the crown, Henry 8th granted him the site of Rufford and other lands made vacant by the dissolution too numerous to list here. In November 1539, the King's Commissioner brought the order for closure of the Worksop Priory to the Gatehouse. More than two thousand acres of land and properties were taken by the crown and several buildings ordered to be pulled down. A significant portion of these lands, including Worksop Priory and the site of Rufford, went to the Earl of Shrewsbury on condition that persons inheriting the title Lord of the Manor of Worksop would provide a fine glove for each King or Queen at their Coronation. This tradition continued into the 1950s. The people of Worksop were permitted to keep the nave of the original building and use it as the parish church, whereupon the gatehouse became the vicarage.
How the marriage of 6th Earl of Shrewsbury to Bess of Hardwick in 1567 would result in the formation of The Dukeries is explained on THIS POST.
George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, was entrusted with the custody of Mary Queen of Scots. She was moved around between various locations (though apparently not allowed to walk even escorted in Sherwood Forest), and in 1583 she was brought to Worksop Manor. There would be several plots to put Mary on the throne. For example, Thomas Howard 4th Earl of Norfolk even proposed to her, the result being a trial Shrewsbury presided over and subsequent to which Howard was hung drawn and quartered. Although the relationship between Mary and her custodians had been mostly amicable, the demands on Shrewsbury’s finances began to take a toll. An unpopular marriage between Bess’s daughter and the Earl of Lennox at Rufford, which potentially changed the succession to the throne, caused further upset with both Queen Elizabeth 1st and Mary herself.
Whilst Bess’s independent wealth meant she could move freely between her other properties at Chatsworth and Hardwick, continuing to expand her estates, George’s supervision of Mary meant he could not. So, as Bess closed her doors to him, George, as if in defiance of his financial state, built a grand new house at Worksop. Designed by Robert Smythson, constructed 1580 – 85, this is where Mary Queen of Scots was visited by the Earl of Rutland, the catholic brother of Shrewsbury’s first wife, resulting in Shrewsbury being relieved of his custodial duties. Three years later, as conspiracies to free Mary continued, a tearful Shrewsbury was required to preside over her execution from a nearby seat on the scaffold.
At the end of the 17th century Worksop manor moved by marriage to the Duke of Norfolk. During the 18th Century both the 8th and 9th Dukes made grand extensions to the 16th century manor house. The only rooms left undisturbed were Mary Queen of Scots one time chambers. However, in 1761 everything burned down. Almost immediately the 9th Duke commissioned James Paine to design a new building, with input from the Duchess. Only the north wing was ever completed. Work was stopped in 1767 when the Duke and Duchess never seemed to recover from the death of a nephew.
You can read more about the first Thoresby Hall, the Dukeries, on THIS LINK, and more about Bess of Hardwick's role in the formation of the Dukeries on THIS LINK. Also Welbeck, the Dukeries, on THIS LINK and Clumber Park, the Dukeries, on THIS LINK.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
The birth of the Dukeries and Bess of Hardwick.
Above: Detail from Chapman's 1774 map of Nottinghamshire showing the layout of the Dukeries estates.
The Dukeries is the name given in the 19th Century to an area in the north of Nottinghamshire covering approximately fifty square miles, and which contained no less than four ducal seats in close proximity: Clumber House, seat of the Dukes of Newcastle, Thoresby Hall, seat of the Dukes of Kingston, (subsequently the Earls Manvers), Welbeck Abbey, seat of the Dukes of Portland, and Worksop Manor, seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. From the mid-16th to the mid-20th century these estates were owned by some of the most prominent, influential families in England. A fifth large country house, Rufford Abbey, was not a ducal seat but was closely associated with the above.
The reason this unusually large number of ducal families resided so close and in apparent harmony is due to a shared heritage. It started when Elizabeth Hardwick (Bess of Hardwick) married Sir William Cavendish. Being a court official during Henry 8th’s dissolution of the monasteries, William Cavendish was able to pick and choose the best areas of land and buildings for himself. It was probably Bess who persuaded William to then sell his properties in the south and purchase the Chatsworth estates in Derbyshire (her home county). Bess’ passion for building and forming estates had begun.
Their first child, Frances Cavendish, would marry Sir Henry Pierrepont, MP. Their son, Robert Pierrepont, would become the 1st Earl of Kingston-Upon-Hull, and purchase Thoresby from William Lodge, an Alderman of London. It would be Robert’s second son, William, who became the 4th Earl of Kingston and merged the lands he owned in Perlethorpe and Thoresby to form Thoresby Park.
Bess and William’s 5th child, Charles Cavendish, married Baroness Catherine Ogle. Their family home became Welbeck Abbey, eventually the ducal seat of the Duke of Portland, and their son, William Cavendish, would become 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the title associated with the ducal seat of Clumber House.
Lastly, Bess and William’s 7th child, Mary Cavendish, became the wife of Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, giving birth to Alethea (a.k.a. Althea). Alethea Talbot would marry Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Norfolk, the title associated with the ducal seat of Worksop Manor.
By the time of her fourth and final marriage to George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Bess was already one of the richest and most influential women in England. Talbot was one of the premier aristocrats of the realm, and Lord of the Manor of Worksop. He had seven children by his first marriage, two of whom would marry two of Bess’s in a double ceremony: Mary Cavendish, aged 12, married Shrewsbury's eldest son Gilbert, aged 16, while Henry Cavendish, aged 18, married Shrewsbury's daughter Lady Grace Talbot, aged 8.
So it was that Elizabeth Hardwick’s (Bess of Hardwick’s) descendants inherited, purchased or gained by marriage Worksop Manor, Welbeck Abbey, Rufford Abbey, Clumber and Thoresby, lands which because of their interlinking relationships and close proximity would become known as the Dukeries.
For more information about the beginnings of Thoresby Estate, and Sir Robert Pierrepont 1st Earl of Kingston upon Hull, click on THIS LINK. You can read more about Worksop, the Dukeries, on THIS LINK, and an extensively update post about Welbeck, the Dukeries, on THIS LINK, and Clumber Park the Dukeries, on THIS LINK. For nearby Rufford see THIS LINK.
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Perlethorpe floods, Thoresby Estate, January 2014.
In late September, 2013, it was already apparent that the River Meden's water level at Perlethorpe bridge had risen significantly. Not only that, but it appeared to be in a state of stagnation rather than flowing. (See this video). By January, 2014, the condition had worsened dramatically, as these photographs show. Where the river runs through Budby, entering Thoresby Lake, the current was flowing freely and continued to do so as it passed Thoresby Hall at 7 Ton Bridge. The problem was clearly in the Perlethorpe region.
I had assumed perhaps wrongly that a lack of dredging in previous years had accounted for the problem, especially as the UK has seen a significant change in rainfall patterns. But I am informed that subsidence caused by old coal mines beneath Thoresby Estate may have compounded the issue. (The same kind of subsidence which affected the Hall so badly in past decades. See THIS LINK). Whatever the cause, the solution is likely to call for significant changes to that part of the village if the water remains. Would that mean the sad loss of the current bridge? Time will tell. But Perlethorpe might never look quite the same again.
Above: The view looking towards the village from the roadside near the old post office.
You can read more about Perlethorpe Village on THIS LINK and THIS LINK.
Monday, November 18, 2013
The Kennels, Thoresby Estate.
The precise route of the canal which linked the Kennels with Thoresby Hall, and exactly how much it redefined the natural course of the River Meden, cannot be exactly determined. A painting by Knyff (1705) (see THIS LINK) places as much attention on a very geometric canal as it does the Hall in its intention to convey the wealth and landscaping tastes of the Duke. In 1791 the notable landscape gardener Humphrey Repton suggested changes to this “600 yard straight canal leading to a corn mill” which would both reduce a tendency towards stagnation near the Hall and allow the water to find its own more natural course as it approached the Kennels, thus freeing space there for a glade or lawn.
THIS LINK, in a video made on the "permitted walk" through Thoresby Estate. In 2014 the property was put out for rent.