Friday, September 22, 2006

Thoresby Hall, the second building.

Above: This print from a painting by John Preston Neale, dated 1838, depicts the second Thoresby Hall, built in the Palladian style between 1767 and 1772 on the site where the first Thoresby Hall had stood. This second building, designed by John Carr, was more modest than the first and described by its critics as a "plain square building, without any pretense to architectural adornment". It had a rustic stone basement, and two storeys of bricks. Note how uncomfortably close the Lake is situated to the side of the building, a distance of just 100 yards; a significant factor which eventually caused the third Thoresby Hall to be constructed further away on higher ground. On the other side of the Lake were formal gardens in the "German" style which included the Duke's carriage way to Ollerton and Newark beyond. (See THIS LINK).

Above: Humphry Repton's Red Book on Thoresby with suggested overlays on right.

Evelyn the 2nd Duke of Kingston died in 1773, also without heir. In September 1778 his nephew Charles Meadows (1737 - 1816) inherited the Pierrepont surname by Royal Licence, becoming the 1st Earl Manvers in 1806. He moved into the above Hall in 1789, soon expressing his displeasure with its landscaping and cold damp location close the Lake. So in 1791 Charles consulted landscape gardener Humphry Repton for advice on how to improve the grounds around Thoresby Hall. Their concerns involved the ground floor being level with the nearby Lake, the formal straight lines of the canal running 200 yards from the front entrance of the House to a corn mill 600 yards away (see THIS LINK), the location of Stone Bridge (now Green Bridge) which presented an unfavourable straight-on view of the building, and the grassy area leading to the entrance lacking a gravel road. Repton produced a Red Book for Thoresby Park (above). These books, which he produced for several notable stately homes, contained his water colour depictions of the sites as they were when he arrived, but with overlays which conveyed how it would look after his recommendations were carried out. Indeed some of Repton's ideas were employed. For example, the moving of the Green Bridge to enhance the view of the approach to the Hall. Repton's designs helped give the grounds around this Thoresby Hall a much less formal appearance.

When Charles died in 1816 he was succeeded by his son Charles Herbert, 2nd Earl Manvers, Lord Newark, who kept the tradition of having large boats on Thoresby Lake. This second Hall was demolished in 1864 by Sydney William Herbert Pierrepont (1825 - 1900), the 3rd Earl Manvers.

Above: James Seymour's painting (1750) depicts the Duke of Kingston’s chestnut racehorse Jolly Roger led by a mounted groom. This is of particular interest as the date is five years after the first Thoresby Hall burnt down. At this time parts of that Hall may have been habitable, alternatively the Duke could have resided at The Kennels during his stays on his estate.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thoresby Lake film


This film was taken on the north side of Thoresby Lake, an area which had been a well used public footpath as late as the 1940's. The people from Perlethorpe would walk along here to Budby (and visa verca), able to purchase sweets from vendors along the way, or take a seat on a bench and admire the view. In the 18th Century this is probably where the general public were invited to stand and view Evelyn Pierrepont, 2nd Duke of Kingston upon Hull, as his boats maneuvered about the lake.

In 1928 Perlethorpe School had to introduce a new rule to prevent pupils from Budby taking this route when the lake became frozen over and was considered dangerous. They were instructed instead to walk via Nelson's Lodge and the Woodyard.

Most of the little piers along the lake's edge are crude, relatively modern, concrete and tarmac constructions. But at the start of the film you will see stones which were clearly once a part of something more significant. Did Evelyn launch his boats from here? This area is situated half way down the lake's edge, near Chameleon lodge.


Above: The cascade as the River Meden flows from Thoresby Lake. As you can see from the end of the video, this feature is long since gone. However, in the 1960s, a wooden bridge still existed (see THIS LINK).

For a short time after the millenium the footpath was once again opened and became a popular walk for those staying at Warners Thoresby Hotel, although one could no longer proceed any further than this halfway point towards William Castle (Budby Castle), and Budby itself, nor get a clear view of Kingston Island, the latter of which seems to have lost all definition to its boundaries. Sadly, at the time of writing (2012) access to the lake has been closed off once again.

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