Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thoresby Estate walks. The "permitted walk" part 2.

This second video of Thoresby Estate Permitted Walk (late September 2013) takes the viewer through Perlethorpe Village and over the River Meden.

For Part 1 of these Thoresby Walks videos see THIS LINK. For historical information about Perlethorpe see THIS LINK.


UPDATE 2015: Please be aware these videos showing Thoresby Estate's Permitted Walks were made in 2013. Most areas are still accessible. However, that part of the route alongside the River Meden is currently (2015) off limits due to subsidence. Also the route down to Thoresby Lake has sadly been fenced off for (so I'm told) privacy reasons.

 UPDATE 2017: Please now be aware that both Perlethorpe Bridge and the road outside Perlethorpe Village Hall are now controlled by metal security gates. These may well be locked on certain days, such as Sunday, and wheel chair access may not be possible.

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Thoresby Estate woods, plantations, groves & avenues.


 In 1706 the 5th Earl of Kingston applied for permission to make a “ride” through Bilhaugh Wood. Permission was necessary because, although the 4th Earl had gained the right to create a Park by enclosure from Sherwood Forest, the 5th Earl’s plans traveled beyond that boundary. The proposed route would facilitate a quicker journey direct from the original Thoresby Hall (1683), to Ollerton town and Newark beyond. Permission was granted.

Clearly visible on Google maps (though long since abandoned and off limits today) the “ride” led from the original Thoresby Hall by the east of the lake, over the original site of the Green Bridge, through the Pleasure Gardens, behind where one day would be built the Woodyard complex, before taking an absolutely straight line for one mile south, stopping at the lodge which would later become Buck Gates. Emerging from those gates the route continued in another straight line southeast for one mile to reach the town of Ollerton. The last part of this route became Beech Avenue, a very popular and scenic site in its heyday, whilst the part nearest the Hall, a few yards up the road from the Woodyard complex, became known as Chestnut Avenue.

Chestnut Avenue suffered like every other landscaped area of Thoresby as trends in forestry changed. However, there is a story that the Estate Manager Mr Holder was dismissed in the early 1950's when Lady Manvers discovered he had started felling trees there. Holder was replaced by Mr Tapper, who's foresight started a vigorous planting scheme in Thoresby. Apparently Chestnut Avenue was restored in 2000 by clearing it of the silver birches which had taken root along its length over the decades Indeed, one can see the clearing where the original Duke's carriages would have passed on THIS VIDEO taken during the Thoresby Hayride 2015.
Above: Two photographs from 1964 taken in Chestnut Avenue. The lower shows the view from atop one of those chestnut trees looking towards the woods which concealed Proteus Camp and the A614. Below: Ian and Billy Craig walking down a well kept Chestnut Avenue c.1958.

Above: Green Drive is less easy to pinpoint. This postcard places it near to Buck Gates, and at the end of Chestnut Avenue there were indeed several such woodland paths converging at the lodge.


Above: Scotch Firs, Thoresby. Postcard c.1900, colour photograph 2014.

This relatively undisturbed region of Thoresby, close to the rear of Rose Cottage and the A614, is now open to their Permitted Walks within the estate. To reach it one follows the path up the hill at the rear of Perlethorpe Environmental Centre, and carries onward in a straight line.

See also these links for Beech Avenue, Buck Gates, and Cockglode.

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Thoresby Park / Thoresby Estate various photographs part 2.

Above: This was the road, after leaving the church, which led down to a small rise turning right and up to the Woodyard and Edwinstowe beyond. Top picture is 1985. Bottom is 2015. This area has been completely re-landscaped and covered over to become fields. There is no longer any road nor any public access to that part of the estate.
Above: Oil painting (1959) depicting a fox hunt gathering in front of Thoresby Hall. The artist, Guy Marson (1906 / 1973), was a friend of Lady Manvers at the time and I believe he either stayed in the Hall or perhaps one of the flats around the courtyard. 10" x 8" prints were made from this work and during the early sixties they could often be found framed and hung in many an estate worker's home. The original would hang inside the Social Club at Perlethorpe Village Hall. Guy Marson was buried in Perlethorpe Church, his gravestone picture below.


Above: The Carpenter's Grave, Perlethorpe Churchyard.

It is well reported that successive Pierrepont / Manvers families held their estate workers in high esteem. In the 1960s, joiners like Gran Gilliver could as readily find themselves repairing or making new parts for Victorian and Queen Anne furniture from inside Thoresby Hall as they could making new window frames or doors for the estate’s places of residence. Of some prominence in Perlethorpe Church graveyard is a remarkable headstone for one such joiner, Alfred Middleton. Buried there after his death in January 1935, the tools of his trade are carved into the base of a rustic cross.

You can read more about Perlethorpe churchyard on THIS LINK, and THIS LINK.

 Above: The Tank Roads of World War 2.

The wooded areas close to Thoresby Hall retain the concrete roads which were put down at the start of World War 2 when Thoresby became a training ground for soldiers bound for France. It had been thought by the MoD that Thoresby, Clumber and Rufford might offer a similar terrain on which to learn their skills as that of mainland Europe.

You can read more about Thoresby at War on THIS LINK and more about Proteus Army Camp on THIS LINK.

 Above: A new Beech Avenue?

 Persons staying at Thoresby Estate's  Sherwood Hideaway have access to several walk ways through the woodlands. The planting along this one seems destined to become a replica of the original Beech Avenue which lies parallel, very heavily overgrown, a few yards to the west, although still visible on aerial photographs. (More about Beech Avenue on THIS LINK).

 Above: Two mobile firebuckets from Thoresby Hall. These were auctioned off via Sotheby's when the Hall closed to the public.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Perlethorpe Village Hall and Social Club.

In the mid 1950s the possibility of building a Village Hall in Perlethorpe began to be discussed by a Committee largely led by Lady Rozelle Manvers, recently become Lady Rozelle Beattie following her marriage to Major Alexander Beattie, the latter of who was involved in the opening of Thoresby Hall to the general public in 1959 (see THIS LINK). It was agreed that the Ministry of Education would provide a third of the building costs assessed to be c.£4,500. The villagers themselves were also required to make a contribution for the equipment involved and this was raised via a range of typical fund raising events such as dances, prize draws, and even a clay pigeon shoot.

No sooner was the Village Hall completed than it became the temporary site for local school children to continue their classes whilst a similarly modern extension was built on to the original Perlethorpe C of E Primary School a few yards up the road. The Village Hall was a big success with the locals. I remember dancing in childhood Twist competitions and even on one occasion miming along with the rest of my class to the theme from the TV series “Rawhide”.

In 1962 a Social Club was added by the side of the hall. This was efficiently run by Jerry Mountjoy whose family had moved from London and lived in Perlethorpe Village on Jacksons Hill. At the time of writing (2013) both Perlethorpe Village Hall and its Social Club, are still a thriving business today.

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