Saturday, May 13, 2006

Thoresby Hall (the third building)

 In 1860 Sydney William Herbert (1825 - 1900), the second son of Charles Herbert, became the 3rd Earl of Manvers and it was he that demolished the second Hall in 1864 and commissioned Anthony Salvin to design the third and final Thoresby Hall. Sited on higher ground and at a better distance from the lake, building took place between 1865 and 1875, and right from the outset the new Thoresby Hall established itself as one of the finest baronial homes in the land. Measuring 180 feet across the front, and able to comfortably accommodate 50 important guests plus their servants. Drinking water for the Hall at first came from a natural spring below Budby castle, but due to poor water pressure a well was sunk to the rear of the area where now stands the cricket pavillion. One review accurately stated "inside one is dazzled by much magnificence, and leaves the house with confused memories of satin-covered walls, tapestry curtains, statutory mantelpieces, gilded ceilings, and a plethora of large exquisite time pieces".

The 3rd Earl and his family lived in the west wing for half the year. He was a hay fever sufferer and spent summer amongst the fashionable set of london or the Western Isles. When he was away tourists were allowed to view the house and its magnificent contents. The west wing had two bathrooms, and all the main rooms in the house were gas lit. The impressive iron gates, also gas lit, were made by Brown & Downing of Birmingham. The guest rooms relied on hip baths (for which the servants would carry the water), and smaller rooms still relied on oil lamps until 1930. The 3rd Earl was a tremendously wealthy man, much of it inherited, but he also held investments in mining; a fact which would prove ironic as the structure of the Hall began to suffer as a consequence of this industry in the post war years. But, as the person who had built the present church, the school, and many other significant modifications to both land and buildings, he probably did more than anyone else to define what we see of Thoresby park today.

Thoresby Park's deer reside mostly in an area called the Pleasure Grounds, the private landscaped area on the south side of Thoresby Lake. Any deer which escaped from the Pleasure Grounds would find straw and shelter in the deer huts around the estate, such as the one between the Woodyard and the school beside which a shale track once ran. However, in 1917, the 4th Earl Manvers had the Red Deer slaughtered and removed when a woman was attacked and injured. After that incident only the Fallow Deer were bred.

Above: Postcard dated 1919 depicts Thoresby Hall and the deer.

Above: Photograph taken March, 2018

For more information about the preceding first and second Thoresby Hall buildings see this link and this link.

Note: The River Meden seen above is approaching the Green Bridge, before continuing under 7 Ton Bridge, and on to Perlethorpe Village. To watch related videos of permitted Thoresby Walks see THIS LINK.

 Above: Long forgotten side gates into the garden. (2017)

 See the post-millennial Thoresby House on THIS LINK.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Thoresby Hall, also once known as Thoresby House, Thoresby Estate.

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