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Lost Houses – Snelston Hall

Snelston was the most ambitious Gothic house in Derbyshire, renowned for its splendour, but also one of the more short-lived Derbyshire seats. The history of Snelston prior to 1813, when the builder of this prodigy house came on the scene, is excessively convoluted. In essence, there had been three separate manorial estates at the time […]

Lost Houses – Exeter House, Derby

In the early 17th century, the West bank of the Derwent was becoming very sought after for gardens and suddenly Full Street and Cockpit Hill became fashionable places to live. Exeter House, No. 1, Full Street, was the house occupied for three days and two nights by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. Derby has had […]

Lost Houses – Castlefields

With heavy machinery at work and much building going up in the tract of land between the Railway Station and Traffic Street in Derby, the site of the most ambitious country house close to Derby will be developed for the second time since its demolition nearly 180 years ago. The area is now called Castleward […]

Lost Houses – Crich Manor House

Crich is really rather a confusing place, not least in respect to its country houses. The descent of the manorial estate since Hubert Fitz Ralph, the Domesday proprietor has been something of a saga, and many of the subsequent lords were non-resident. This phenomenon certainly would have put paid to the original manor house, built, […]

Lost Houses – Hasland House

Hasland is one of the many outliers of the Manor of Chesterfield, and was long held by the ancient family of Linacre, under whom it was, in the 15th century, tenanted by a cadet branch of the Leakes of Sutton Scarsdale. Thomas Leake of Hasland, for instance, was Bess of Hardwick’s maternal grandfather. After the […]

Lost Houses – Abbot’s Hill House

It is very difficult to imagine, when looking at Derby’s Babington Lane with its endless tail-backs of ’buses, that less than a century ago it was virtually rus in urbe: the countryside in town par excellence. Indeed, the last owner of Abbot’s Hill House, that stood for just on two centuries between Babington and Green […]

Lost Houses – Stainsby House

Any reader who thinks I might have run out of substantial lost country houses to describe by now will be, I am afraid, mistaken. I may have been seduced into writing about some modest ones, but more substantial casualties are still unrecorded in this series. One of them is Stainsby House, Smalley, seat of the […]

Lost Houses – Spondon Old Hall

Researching the grander houses of Spondon has never been easy, simply because there have been more than a few: Spondon Hall, The Grange, The Cottage, Field and Spondon Houses, The Homestead, West and Prospect Houses. Of these only the last three survive, and not all had estates attached. Most were what is called by estate […]

Lost Houses – The Field, Litchurch

In its declining years, this suburban Regency Villa was known merely as 237 Osmaston Road, Derby on the thoroughfare of the ancient pre-Roman route south of Derby towards Swarkestone Bridge. This was a place which in the early 19th century was still extremely rural; one has the description by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) of the fields […]

Lost Houses: Littleover Old Hall

There is still a Littleover Old Hall standing in our leafy Derby suburb, as any member of the community would be only too pleased to inform you. Yet the house that now acts as the centrepiece of the HQ of the Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, hemmed in as it is by utilitarian modern buildings, […]