Tag Archives: Hospital

CHIPSTEAD PLACE

Surplus to requirement. A country house that was stripped of its interiors and subsequently demolished.

Chipstead Place, near Chevening, erected by William Emerton. Image: The Weald.

Chipstead Place was once part of the demesne and lands of the manor of the de Chepsted family. It was first mentioned in the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth I, when it was in the possession of Robert Cranmer, the son of Thomas, who married Jane Grace, daughter of a Sussex landowner.

Anne, their only daughter, carried the seat in marriage to Sir Arthur Herrys, eldest son of Sir William Herrys, in Essex. On the death of Sir Arthur in 1632 the estate passed to his second son, John, who married the daughter of Sir Thomas Dacre, of Chestnut, in Herefordshire. The lady survived him and married William Priestly, of Wild Hill, in Hertfordshire, who in 1652 conveyed Chipstead Place to one Jeffry Thomas.

Chipstead Place. Image: The Lost Country Houses of Kent.

Subsequently it became the property of David Polhill, who was High Sheriff in 1662, and dying without issue, left the estate to his only surviving brother, Thomas Polhill, of Clapham, in Surrey. By his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Ireton, he left three sons but, by a will, he conveyed the house in 1665 to Sir Nicholas Strode.

A new house was erected here by William Emerton around the turn of the 18th century. A grand affair with 26 bed and dressing rooms and six reception rooms.

Chipstead Place. Image: The Lost Country Houses of Kent.

David Polhill, son of Thomas Polhill, later re-purchased Chipstead Place from Emerton trustees, and was a member for the county in Parliament in 1708 and Keeper of the Records and Sheriff of Kent in 1715. Once again, the house had come into the possession of the Polhill family. In 1754 Charles Polhill resided here and it later became home to other members of the family.

Frederick Perkins built an estate village here in 1729, and on his death in 1860, the family tenanted the house, including to railway builder Sir Samuel Morton Peto and the banker Henry Oppenheim.

Subsequently it was the home to John Duveen, who during World War One, lent Chipstead Place as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

The first batch of Belgian soldiers who bore the brunt of the German attack on the forts of Liege and Namur were received here and nursed by ladies of the district who formed the local detachment of the V.A.D., under Miss Hall Hall, the Commandant.

During this period Chipstead Place was visited by thousands of local people admiring the stately mantlepieces, the pictures and other glories of the fine old mansion.

After the war, Mr Duveen sold the house to Sir Roland Hodge, who later disposed of it to Dame Adele Meyer.

Chipstead Place. Image: Lost Heritage.

After a sale of contents in 1931, Chipstead Place went under the hammer ‘for demolition’. “Thus, there passes a familiar landmark, another sacrifice on the altar of ‘development’ a sacrifice even more complete than has overtaken other mansions in the district,” reported the Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser.

Chipstead Place was demolished in 1932 and its land used to build new houses. Only the ballroom, servants’ quarters and West Lodge survived. Part of the estate is now occupied by Chipstead Place Lawn Tennis Club.

Chipstead Place. Image: Lost Heritage.

POOL PARK

“The hall was last occupied by Sir Ernest Tate, who would see to it that the place was left in a good state. The interior is in exceedingly good condition.” Unfortunately, a lot has changed since 1932. 

Pool Park - 2019 - JS (3)
The Pool Park estate was once a deer park belonging to nearby Ruthin Castle. The house was established in the 16th century and later belonged to Thomas Needham. Thereafter the estate became the property of the Salusbury family. JACKSON-STOPS.

In 1932, Mr A.O. Evans of the North Wales Counties Mental Hospital Committee, attempted to calm his colleagues over the potential purchase of Pool Park, near Ruthin, in Denbighshire.

“The hall was last occupied by Sir Ernest Tate who, is one of those gentlemen who, regardless of any obligation, would see to it that the place was left in a good state. The interior is in exceedingly good condition.”

These words might well echo around the empty corridors of Pool Park today. The former country house is up for sale at Jackson-Stops with offers wanted in excess of £1.75 million.

Any buyer is going to get a bit of a shock.

Pool Park - 2019 - JS (4)
The present house and buildings were laid out between 1826 and 1829 by architect John Buckler for the 2nd Lord Bagot. JACKSON-STOPS.

The property has stood empty since 1989, when it closed as a hospital. It is not surprising that the sales brochure doesn’t include any internal photographs, the external images are concerning enough. However, urban explorers have produced a raft of photographs that can be found across the internet. In short, the interior is in exceedingly bad condition!

Pool Park - c1910 - Nicholas Kingsley (1)
Pool Park originally had mock half-timbering to the upper storey. This was removed in the 1930s. NICHOLAS KINGSLEY.

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The half-timbering was removed and replaced with plain white stucco. RCAHMW WALES.

Pool Park was rebuilt by the William Bagot, 2nd Lord Bagot(1773–1856)) in 1826-29 to the designs of John Buckler, and assisted by local architect Benjamin Gummow. The family chose to live at Blithfield Hall in Staffordshire, often renting Pool Park to tenants. These included George Richards Elkington, a Birmingham electroplater, Robert Blezard, a Liverpool brewer, and Sir Ernest Tate, president of Tate and Lyle, sugar refiners.

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William Bagot (1773-1856), the eldest son of 1st Baron Bagot and his second wife Elizabeth Louisa St. John. He died at his home in Blithfield, Staffordshire. Portrait by John Hoppner. BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON.

Pool Park - 2019 - JS (6)
In the 17th century, the Salusbury estates were divided between two sons of William Salusbury, with Bachymbyd and Pool Park passing to his daughter, Jane, who married Sir Walter Bagot of Blithfield in 1670. JACKSON-STOPS.

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Lord Bagot never used Pool Park as a main residence, the house often tenanted. Its last tenant was Sir Ernest Tate who stayed for about twenty years. JACKSON-STOPS.

It was sold in 1928, no doubt anticipating the purchase by the North Wales Counties Mental Hospital Committee, who were looking for an overflow for the Denbigh Mental Asylum. It wasn’t until 1937 that the hospital actually opened, but it would serve its purpose until 1989.

Pool Park - 2019 - JS (9)
Pool Park was sold to the North Wales Counties Mental Hospital for £12,000 in the early 1930s. At the time it was a controversial decision and it didn’t open until 1937. JACKSON-STOPS.

It was sold by the National Health Service (NHS) in 1992, but very little has happened to it since. In 2012, planning permission was submitted to turn it into a care village with 38 homes and 60 apartments. This came to nothing and the house has deteriorated since.

According to the estate agent, this property is perfect for further redevelopment, subject to planning permission, but requires major renovation.

Pool Park - Catherine Jackson Photography (1)
The interiors of Pool Park are not shown in the sales brochure. However, the current state of the house can be found on various urban explorer sites. CATHERINE JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHY.

Pool Park - Derelict Places (1)
The Imperial staircase is thought to be from the early 20th century. Some of the wood was said to have come from another house called Clocaenog. ROLFEY/DERELICT PLACES.

Pool Park - Derelict Places (2)
Dark and decaying. Pool Park still contains original features, but painstaking work will be needed to restore them. ROLFEY/DERELICT PLACES.

Pool Park - Derelict Places (3)
The staircase contains fine case-shaped oak-carved balusters and figurative panels. ROLFEY/DERELICT PLACES.

Pool Park - 2019 - JS (10)
Pool Park continued as an hospital until 1989. It was sold to a developer, but has been empty ever since. JACKSON-STOPS.