Littleover Grange began as an attractive Regency villa of c.1814. It was enlarged in the 1870s and 1940s, gutted by fire in 1990 and rebuilt in 1992. (1)
Littleover Grange was built by 1824 for John Harrison, possibly to designs by Lewis N Cottingham. In 1874 it was bought by Reuben Eastwood, who extended and altered the house. It remained in the Eastwood family until bought by the parish council in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II the house was requisitioned by Rolls Royce as an overspill development office for Merlin engines, and workshops were added. A group of yellow brick buildings, Grange Hall, probably an Eastwood extension, remained with the council and are still in community use. Rolls Royce used the building until they went bankrupt in 1971, when it was purchased by the Derbyshire Freemasons. The stable block was demolished and a vast new wing was added to designs of T H Thorpe & Partners of Derby. After a major fire in 1990 the house was rebuilt under the direction of Masonic architect Graham Watson. (2)
Associated parkland is SMR32354.
Stuccoed two storey Regency villa built 1819-21 to a design by L. N. Cottingham for John Harrison, a rich Derby attorney, for whom the architect later (1822-1828) built Snelston Hall. The south front as existing throughout the 19th and 20th centuries was a variant of Cottingham drawing No. 8. House tenanted from the late 1820s until sold to Reuben Eastwood, iron founder in 1873. Under Eastwood the entire house seems to have been re-planned, although we do not know the name of the architect and the Regency character was retained. In 1938 the house, outbuildings and gardens were sold to the parish council for £2,700, the remainder of the estate going to local speculative builders, Messrs. Fryer, for £1,950, the latter to be covered with semi-detached housing. The outbreak of war led to the house being requisitioned (and later purchased) by Rolls-Royce as an overspill development office for Merlin engines. However, a group of yellow brick outbuildings remained with the council and are still in community use. Rolls-Royce added a utilitarian west wing containing specialist workshops and lecture rooms in vaguely matching style complete with Crittall windows, all stuccoed to match the house, the whole being then painted white, instead of the previous stone colour. Rolls Royce used it until the company’s bankruptcy in 1971 when it was vacated and put on the market by the Receiver. It was purchased, extended and opened in October 1972 as the headquarters of the Derbyshire Freemasons to serve 24 Derbyshire lodges, although the initiators were the officials of Derby’s original lodge, the Tyrian, founded in 1785. The stable block was demolished and a vast new wing with a large Masonic temple at first floor level, over-sailing a lodging for the Tiler, was erected northward from the Rolls-Royce extension and constructed of window-less pre-cast concrete slabs interspersed with Cornish granite and Norwegian marble, the architects being T. H. Thorpe & Partners of Derby. The entire original building caught fire on the early morning of 2nd December 1990 and the original portion was completely gutted. Since then the house has been rebuilt under the direction of the Masonic architect Graham Watson, FRIBA, but with brushed aluminium sliding windows. The interior was renewed and the remaining shell extended in order to accommodate a banqueting suite. This involved the proportions of the south front being altered by the addition of about eight feet at the east end along a longer addition to the west, completely hiding the base of Eastwood’s campanile. Literature: Craven, M. in Journal of the Georgian Group,. XV (2005) 215-228. (3)