Tag Archives: Mansion

APLEY GRANGE

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Apley Grange, Harrogate. It is thought that the house was built for William Sayles Arnold (1858-1915) who moved from Edenfield House in Doncaster. It is likely that the mansion was built by his own building company, Harold Arnold and Son, of Doncaster. Image: Niven Architects.

On this day, one hundred years ago. Apley Grange in Harrogate, was advertised in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. A century later this forgotten mansion reveals a colourful history.

Back in 1919, Apley Grange would have been relatively modern, thought to have been built in 1914 (as Appelby Grange), most likely for Mr William Sayles Arnold (1858-1915) of Edenfield House in Doncaster. Since 1882, he had been the head of Harold Arnold and Son, builders and contractors, one of the largest firms in the North of England. On his death he left estate worth £274,313. 

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Apley Grange, with grounds of six acres, was sold by private treaty by Messrs Renton and Renton in June 1930. Image: Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

In the 1920s, it was briefly occupied by Mr Thomas Hartley Seed (1881-1939), of Harper, Seed and Co, ship-brokers and coal exporters of Newcastle. He had suffered significant embarrassment during the Great War when he was found guilty of attempting to sell coal to Germany. He was heavily fined, but went on to become the head of Thomas H Seed & Co, shipowners, based in London, Newcastle and Hull.

Apley Grange was later occupied by the Hon. George Nicholas de Yarburgh-Bateson (1870-1943), the brother of Robert Wilfrid de Yarburgh-Bateson, 3rd Lord Deramore of Belvoir. He later moved to Deighton Grove in York and succeeded to the title on the death of his brother in 1936.

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Apley Grange now operates as a care home and was extended in 2009. Old pictures of the original house appear elusive, but it is thought that the interiors were Art Deco in design. In 2007, a marble bathroom was removed: ‘Marble steps lead up to the extra long bath which is set into an arched 8ft-wide, 6ft-high alcove lined with a marble design in white and two shades of green, the lighter of which may be the famous Connemara marble which is unique to the west of Ireland and found on some of the world’s great monuments including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Kensington Palace and Trinity College Dublin. The marble design continues around the walls of the bathroom to a matching white marble sink set on a chrome stand’. Image: Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

During the 1930s it became home to John Edward Marshall (1881-1937), the head of Thomas Marshall (Marlbeck) Ltd, women’s gown and mantle manufacturers, of Leeds. Following his death in 1937, he left instructions for 30 dozen bottles of first-class Burgundy to be bought, six dozen of them to be delivered to each of his friends within six months. “In the hope that in consuming it they may often be reminded of the cordial relations which have existed between us.” His widow, Charlotte, remained at Apley Grange, but the house was almost lost when fire partly destroyed the roof the following year.

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John Edward Marshall spent his later years in agriculture and owned farms at Pateley Bridge and Deighton Banks, near Wetherby. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.
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From The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 29 November 1947. Apley Grange was up for sale – ‘one of the finest properties of its kind in the North of England’. Its days as a family home were numbered. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

In the late 1940s Apley Grange was sold to the Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus who used it as classrooms and dormitory for their school in Hookstone Drive, subsequently replaced by St John Fisher Catholic High School, before the community moved into the house. Happily, the house still survives under their ownership and is known as Apley Grange Nursing Home, providing personal and nursing care for up to 42 members.

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Modern-day interiors at Apley Grange. In March 1938, hot soot, falling onto a wooden rain gutter, caused flames to work inwards under the roof. The fire had burned for some time because the whole of the roof rafters had become charred and flames had burned through the ceiling of a second storey room. Image: Niven Architects.
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Apley Grange now operates as a care home. Many of the interiors have been lost, but there are still some traces of the original decor. Image: Niven Architects.

RIPPLE HALL

Parts of Grade II listed Ripple Hall date back from the 1400s with a front elevation added in the 18th century and later Victorian additions.

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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. The house is situated in a conservation area next to the Grade I listed, 12th Century St Mary’s Church. Image: Andrew Grant.

The house appears to have been rebuilt about 1780-1790 for Fleetwood Parkhurst, who died in 1801, and whose widow, Anne, stayed on until 1818. Parkhust was descended from Bishop Parkhurst, the celebrated author of the Hebrew and English Lexicon.

His son, also named Fleetwood, was a Rugby and Oxford contemporary of Walter Savage Landor, the writer, poet and activist, a regular visitor to the house during his parent’s time. It appears that while affection grew between Landor and the old squire, he did not always hit it off with the son.

The son, Fleetwood Parkhurst, was a clergyman and became Rector of Epsom as well as a man of property. He retired to Ripple Hall but died in 1844 while walking in Cheltenham after ‘a visitation from God’. In a letter from Landor, his opinion of his old companion was not altogether favourable. “I am shocked and grieved at his death. A happier one, however, there could not be.”

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From the Gloucestershire Chronicle in March 1845. The sale of the first portion of valuable effects belonging to the Rev Fleetwood Parkhurst. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.
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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. The property is of such significance that it is noted in Pevsner’s ‘The Buildings of England’. Image: Andrew Grant.

In 1847, the house was occupied by John Christopher Dowdeswell, a barrister-at-law, the second son of John Edmund Dowdeswell, a Senior Master of the High Court of Chancery. It is possible that Dowdeswell had tenanted Ripple Hall. He died three years later, in 1850, but the house had been in the hands of John William Empson since 1848.

Empson, also of Yokefleet Hall, Howden, was a large landowner in the East Riding of Yorkshire and a Justice of the Peace. He died in 1893 but had spent considerably more time in Yorkshire than in Worcestershire. In 1887, the house appears to have been tenanted by another Dowdeswell, this time Arthur Christopher Dowdeswell. Empson’s wife, Ellen Georgina, long since removed from Ripple Hall, died at Kiltermain In Ireland in 1908.

At the turn of the 20th century, Ripple Hall was in the hands of his widow, Ellen Georgina Empson, but she appears to have been living at Kiltermain in Ireland. The house was briefly occupied by Captain Freeman and afterwards by John Ripley. It was sold in 1907, a year before Ellen Empson died.

The new owner of Ripple Hall was Miss A. J. Behrens, who remained until 1931. It passed to Edward F. Gray, the son of the Reverend Edward Gray of Wembley Park, Middlesex, and Donnington Hall at Ledbury. He had been educated at Haileybury and Oriel College, Oxford, and was in the Consular service for thirty years before retiring to Ripple Hall.

Ripple Hall - The Tewkesbury Register and Agricultural Gazette - 30 Aug 1930 - BNA
In 1930, Miss Behrens decided to part with Ripple Hall. This advertisement appeared in The Tewkesbury Register and Agricultural Gazette. She moved out the following year. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

In World War One he had been in Consul in Oslo and Bergen in Norway. From 1922 up until his retirement he served in America, being Consul-General at Boston for the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.

Gray died in 1960 and Ripple Hall was bought by Mr and Mrs Hugo Baldwin Huntington-Whiteley.

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There are many examples of beautiful 18th century decorative fittings and architecture still present including fine ceilings and cornicing, sash windows and shutters, an original staircase to the first floor, wooden parquet flooring and original fireplaces which are all in working order. Image: Andrew Grant.

The house has similar characteristics to Ham Court and several houses in nearby Upton-upon-Severn. It has a five-window range with full-height curved bows to the east and west end walls. At one time the house had been covered in ivy, thoughtfully removed by Miss Behrens during her tenure.

Ripple Hall is on the market at Andrew Grant with a guide price of £2.25 million.

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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. Image: Andrew Grant.
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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. Image: Andrew Grant.
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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. Image: Andrew Grant.
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Ripple Hall, Ripple, Worcestershire. Image: Andrew Grant.
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The house is next to the Grade I listed, 12th Century St Mary’s Church. Image: Andrew Grant.

WOODCOTE HOUSE

The former headquarters of Warwickshire Police at Leek Wootton is to be marketed for sale, ending seventy years of police occupation.

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Woodcote House, Leek Wootton, Warwickshire. Image: GVA.

In August, 1947, the Leamington Spa Courier announced that the executors of the late Sir Wathen Waller had instructed a Birmingham firm of auctioneers to offer for sale the remainder of the Woodcote estate situated at Leek Wootton, between Kenilworth and Warwick. The estate comprised a stone-fronted mansion, surrounded by charming grounds, the Home Farm, woodlands, and a number of cottages extending in all to about 253 acres.

Grade II listed Woodcote House was built in Elizabethan-style in 1861 and extended in 1869 on the site of an earlier house. Designed by John Gibson, it was built in Jacobean style for Henry Christopher Wise. The Wise family once owned Warwick Priory, which was dismantled and removed to America. A member of the Wise family was head gardener to Charles I, a position of some importance.

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Woodcote House, Leek Wootton, Warwickshire. Image: GVA.

In 1864, All Saints’ Church, Leek Wootton, was thoroughly repaired and an open roof, the gift of the late Henry Christopher Wise, was erected; there was also a memorial to his three sons. In 1897, carved choir stalls were installed by Lady Waller as a memorial to her husband, the late General Sir George Waller, 3rd Baronet, and a chancel screen was erected in 1930 in memory of Captain Sir Francis Waller, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, killed in action in 1914.

The Wallers came of fighting stock. One of their ancestors captured the Duke of Orleans, at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, when Henry V conferred honours upon him.

In 1947, the executors of Sir Wathen Waller sold Woodcote House to Warwick Rural District Council for £25,654 to be used as a police headquarters. Following a conversion costing £60,000 Woodcote became the headquarters of the Warwickshire Constabulary in 1949. The house is linked to the east to significant 1960s/70s buildings developed as part of the Warwickshire Police headquarters.

Woodcote House - Archiseek
The new house of 1861 was built in practically the same position as an older house with stables, farm buildings and a kitchen garden in much the same place. The gardens and pleasure grounds were re-arranged, a reservoir built and five acres of the park were taken to enlarge the garden. Constructed with locally quarried stone, which like most Warwickshire sandstone, it is soft and crumbly. Image: Archiseek.
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Woodcote House, Warwickshire, in the 1900s. Image: Our Warwickshire.
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Woodcote House, Leek Wootton, Warwickshire. Image: GVA.

SCARCROFT LODGE

The fact that this mansion has been the subject of a recent planning application for retirement accommodation has put the former country house back into the spotlight after being ‘lost’ for over 70 years.

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Scarcroft Lodge, Leeds, West Yorkshire. This image is from the Leeds Mercury in June 1907. It was the residence of Lady Mary Savile, who was acting as hostess to the Spanish Princess, the Infanta Eulalie, aunt of the King of Spain. The Princess had visited Leeds and had gone about the country in a quiet, unostentatious way that had won the respect of all with whom she had come into contact. She was fond of cycling and had been seen regularly along the nearby lanes. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

To explain the story behind this, we must go back to April 1945, when newspapers reported that the Yorkshire Electricity Power Company had bought the Scarcroft Lodge estate for between £30,000 and £40,000. It became their headquarters, later belonging to the Yorkshire Electricity Board and subsequently the offices of Npower.

Because this Grade II listed house was lost to commerce meant that there were relatively few old images available. However, two black and white images have emerged from June 1907, showing Scarcroft Lodge still in rural bliss.

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The grounds of Scarcroft Lodge, Leeds, West Yorkshire, were photographed for the Leeds Mercury in June 1907. The view of the gardens from the terrace were described as ‘pleasing’. A few years before this picture was taken there had been talk of the grounds being purchased for the making of a racecourse. In the event, the grounds were eventually built over to accommodate the Yorkshire Electricity Board. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

Scarcroft Lodge was built in 1830 by Quaker wool merchant Newman Cash. He came to Leeds from Coventry in 1815, and his business flourished as he expanded trade with America. By 1826 he was so successful that he was able to buy an extensive estate around Scarcroft, and he then built his grand country house.

The house and estate were bought in 1852 by Robert Tennant, a successful Leeds solicitor, who increased the size of the estate, added an ornamental lake, and expanded the house. In 1888 the estate and house were bought by the Earl of Mexborough who carried out refurbishments and installed his daughter, Lady Mary Savile. In the 1920s she moved to Essex and the house was bought by Albert Braithwaite, a former Mayor of Leeds, who sold the house in 1938.

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Scarcroft Lodge, Leeds, West Yorkshire. Image: BNP Paribas.

Wartime followed and the lodge was used as a convalescent hospital, helping Second World War soldiers who were recovering from injuries on the battlefields of Europe and North Africa.

The home’s last private owner, businessman Oliphant Philipson, sold it to the Yorkshire Electricity Power Company in 1945.

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Scarcroft Lodge, Leeds, West Yorkshire. Image: BNP Paribas.
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An aerial view of Scarcroft Lodge, Leeds, in West Yorkshire. The mansion and its former gardens and parkland were most recently used as offices for Npower. The site has been sold and a planning application has been made to convert the site into retirement accommodation. Image: BNP Paribas.

FOREST FARM

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Forest Farm at Winkfield. This image is from The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in June 1910. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

From The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in June 1910. This was Forest Farm in Windsor Forest, Winkfield, in Berkshire, belonging to Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle (1864-1928). He had abandoned Clumber House in Nottinghamshire for the comforts of Forest Farm in 1908, although it appears to have been under his ownership from 1906.

Soon after moving in it suffered a fire that damaged the upper parts of the building. Presumably it had been restored at the time of this photograph. Following his death in 1928, the Dowager Duchess of Newcastle remained at Forest Farm until her own death in 1955, and the house appears to have been demolished in 1956. Consigned to history and virtually forgotten.

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Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle. He had poor health and played only a small part in public life. As a staunch Anglo-Catholic he spoke on ecclesiastical issues in the House of Lords. One of his achievements was the restoration of the fortunes of his family estate. In 1879 a serious fire destroyed much of Clumber House in Nottinghamshire, he had it magnificently rebuilt to designs by the younger Charles Barry. His Thames Valley estate was at Forest Farm in Winkfield which he eventually moved to.
Forest Farm - Country Houses of the UK and Ireland
Forest Farm was more convenient for the Duke of Newcastle. It was close to London and Eton and suitably positioned for Ascot Races. Sadly, it was demolished, presumably surplus to requirement.

NEW LODGE

New Lodge, in Windsor Forest, appeared in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in June 1910. It was the home of Colonel Victor Van de Weyer and was to be the scene of house parties for Ascot race meeting.

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New Lodge, at Winkfield. This image appeared in The Sporting and Dramatic News in June 1910. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

The house was built by Thomas Talbot-Bury (1809-1877) between 1856-1859 for Jean-Sylvain Van der Weyer (1802-1874), the Belgian Ambassador to Britain, friend of Queen Victoria and Albert and a notable book collector. His American father-in-law Joshua Bates, a partner in Barings’ Bank is said to have paid for the house, which was Tudor-Gothic, in the style of Pugin-Barry.

Queen Victoria and her children were regular visitors to New Lodge and planted the Wellingtonia trees that line the driveway.

Van der Weyer made his fortune from investments in the United States and Canada. The family held interests in Chicago, Detroit and Canada Grand Junction bonds, the Grand Russian Railway Company and Atlantic and St Lawrence railroad bonds, among others.

His wealth was used to buy land and farms surrounding New Lodge, as did his eldest son, Victor, who inherited the estate in 1874. After he died in 1915, Captain William Van der Weyer, a grandson of the Belgian Ambassador, sold the estate in 70 separate lots the following year.

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New Lodge, which falls in between the parish of Bray and Winkfield between the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Bracknell Forest Borough Council is nearby to Windsor Great Park and is within Green Belt land. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

New Lodge was bought by Dr Venables (or Venebles) who leased it in 1925 to New Lodge Clinic Ltd, an exclusive establishment that operated until 1939, when the house was sublet to Sir Malcolm Deleringe and others for the accommodation of refugees. In 1942, the house was bought by Dr Barnardos, the children’s charity, for £24,000.

In 1956, New Lodge was acquired by the British Railways Transport Commission for £24,000 and turned into a training school, known as ‘The British Railways School of Transport’. At the time, the purchase of the house was believed to be more economical than the cost of a new building. However, the cost of conversion was said to have eventually cost over £100,000. It was later shared with B.T. Hotels, who used it to train staff until 1964.

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New Lodge is currently an office conversion featuring around 30 units. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.

Faced with high running costs, the Commission closed the facility in 1971 and sold it a year afterwards to environmental information specialist Barbour Index, who used it as offices. Afterwards the Grade II* listed house was extensively refurbished and, after being sold in 2004 to the Marchday Group for office use, it was put up for sale again in 2013.

In 2016, a planning application was submitted by two brothers to convert New Lodge from serviced office use back to residential. Lewandowski Architects, based in Eton were appointed to work on the project and restore the listed building as far as possible to its original features.

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The hunting lodge that was once a favourite of Queen Victoria was put on the market 2013. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.
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In 1972 New Lodge appeared in the Hammer House of Horror classic ‘Asylum’ starring Robert Powell, Peter Cushing and Britt Ekland. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.
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New Lodge still has many of its original period features, including this imposing fireplace. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.
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The floors have been converted into dozens of offices all with catering and toilet facilities but maintaining the stunning features of the building, including a grand staircase with a large stained glass window. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.
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The building went under considerable refurbishment in 2004 as independent business suites owned by Marchday Group Plc. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.
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It is hoped that the former hunting lodge will be restored back into a family home. Image: INS News Agency Ltd.

COWORTH PARK

The home of the Earl of Derby appeared in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in June 1910, highlighted for its close proximity to Ascot Racecourse.

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Coworth Park at Winkfield. From The Illustrated and Sporting Dramatic News in June 1910. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

Coworth Park appears to have been built in 1776 for William Shepheard, an East India merchant. His son sold it before 1836 to Colonel George Arbuthnot, a Scottish Colonel who served in Madras. It passed to his nephew John Alves Arbuthnot , a director of the London Assurance Company and of the London and Colonial Bank, and later a founder of Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

In 1883, his son, William Arbuthnot sold Coworth Park to William Farmer (afterwards Sir William Farmer), chairman of Farmer & Co Ltd, Australia merchants and later Sheriff of London in 1890-91. About 1899 he sold the estate to Edward George Villers Stanley (1865-1948), Lord Stanley, who in 1908 succeeded his father as 17th Earl of Derby. His widow died in 1957 and the house became a Roman Catholic convent school and was later converted into offices by Harold Bamberg, a director of the travel agency Henry Simpson Lunn (later to become Lunn Poly) and also chairman of British Eagle Airways.

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Royal visitors were no stranger to Coworth Park, a trend that still exists. This article appeared in The Sketch in June 1901. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.
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The land that Coworth Park now stands on was granted in 1066 by Edward the Confessor to Westminster Abbey. William the Conqueror regained possession of it from the Abbey in exchange for lands in Essex. Theoretically, the manor of Old Windsor still remains with the Crown. In 1606 it was leased by James I to Richard Powney, whose great grandson, Penyston Powney, was administering it in 1737. After his death in 1757, his son and heir, Penyston Porlock Powney, became the Crown lessee, and was still appearing as such in records when Coworth House was constructed in 1776. The land was conveyed in 1770 by William Hatch and Elizabeth his wife, who were presumably Powney’s agents or sub-tenants, to one William Shepheard.

In the mid-1980s, Coworth Park was acquired by Galen Weston, owner of Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason, who developed the property’s first polo field. These days Coworth Park is owned by the Dorchester Collection, owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, and is a luxury hotel and resort, altered significantly inside and enlarged between 2005 and 2011.

Coworth Park - HLN Group
This Georgian manor house is the only hotel in the UK to have polo fields, an equestrian centre and stabling. A fitting spot then for Prince Harry and his best man Prince William to have spent the night before the royal wedding. Image: HLN Group.