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Lost Houses of Repton Park

Sir Vauncey Harpur-Crewe of Calke, 10th Bt. was a true eccentric; unpredictable, obsessive and solitary. One of his pastimes was the catching of specimens various types of fauna and having them stuffed, mounted and parked in the great saloon at Calke Abbey. Smaller creatures, including butterflies he dried and pinned to boards. One summer morning […]

Lost Houses – South Wingfield Manor

Some lost houses leave no trace behind, some fragments, some a wing or two incorporated into something else, and some, like the Manor at South Wingfield, end up as a stupendous ruin. Wingfield Manor is just such a stupendous ruin, and one that never fails to amaze me once I go through the gate from […]

Lost House – Derwent Hall

Architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom undertook the work of creating an Elysium amongst the dark hills above Derwent. Next time you turn on the tap, you might spare a thought for poor old Derwent Hall. This interesting and distinguished house disappeared slowly beneath the waters of Derwent Reservoir between summer 1943 and 1945, when the last […]

Lost House – Parkfields Cedars, Derby

When architects design their own houses, there is always something of interest. Richard Leaper was Derby’s Regency period amateur architect who, according to historian Stephen Glover ‘…has had great taste and much experience in building family mansions…’ Leaper was a municipal grandee, a banker and tannery proprietor, but despite these responsibilities, was indeed a fairly […]

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 – Oldcotes

On the vast, exuberant and lavishly decorated monument in Derby Cathedral to Bess of Hardwick is an inscription, lauding the late Derbyshire grande dame, which includes the lines: ‘This most illustrious Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, built the houses of Chatsworth, Hardwick and Oldcotes, highly distinguished by their magnificence.’ In fact, this is only some of […]

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 […]