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Listed Building record MDR4448 - Melbourne Hall, Blackwell Lane, Melbourne

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Melbourne Hall, a two-storeyed stone mansion whose architectural details reveal four building phases, the earliest visible being the 16th or early 17th century mullioned and transomed windows on the north and west sides. The north and west wings are the remains of an L-shaped manor house leased from the Bishops of Carlisle by John Coke who converted it into a private house in 1630. Between 1708 and 1710 the dovecote and laundry were built to the north of the house. From 1720-27 Melbourne Hall was altered to match new Georgian extensions. The east wing of rough stonework was added in 1725-6 by Francis Smith of Warwick and in 1744 the east front was built by William Smith. Grade II*. The associated gardens were first extended in about 1690 and remodelled in 1704 (see SMR 23252 for more information). (1-2) Melbourne Hall is a country house with 16th century origins. It was originally a rectory, before being converted into a private house c.1630. It was later altered between 1720 and 1727, with most alterations carried out between 1725 and 1726 and designed by Francis Smith of Warwick. The east or garden front was designed by William Smith in 1744. Also with minor later alterations and some early 20th century additions. Grade II*. (3) The site of the current Melbourne Hall was part of a royal manor that was granted to the bishopric of Carlisle in the 12th or 13th century. It was used by the bishops as a refuge until the 15th century, from which time it was leased out. Sir John Coke took over the leasehold in 1629 and the freehold was obtained by his grandson, the Rt Hon Thomas Coke in 1704. (4) Melbourne Hall is thought to have been the site of a bishop's palace that was possibly built in the 13th century and used by the Bishops of Carlisle as a refuge from the border troubles. It was leased out from the early 16th century, if not before. The building was in poor condition by the 1590s, at which time it is said to have been rebuilt by Sir Frances Needham. However, there is no evidence that it was entirely rebuilt, as the existence of a very irregular floorplan made in c.1710 indicates that this rebuilding was only partial. Sir Bishop of Carlisle carried out a substantial phase of rebuilding between 1629-31, as part of which he obtained permission from the Earl of Huntingdon, lord of the manor, to quarry stone from the foundations of Melbourne Castle (see SMR 23204). (5) The Right Hon. Viscount Lord Melbourne on Melbourne Hall: "The Capital Mansion House called Melbourne Hall contains on the ground floor an entrance hall with a handsome staircase to the Chamber Story- a Drawing, Dining, Breakfast and Billiard Rooms- Library and Small Dressing Room adjoining House-keepers Room with Store Room- Kitchen- Scullery, Pantries and Servants Hall- underneath part of the house is a Butler's Pantry- Wine- Ale and Small Beer Cellars. On the Chamber Storey are 11 Bed and 2 Dressing Rooms with Closets and in the Attics- are 17 Bedrooms and Closets. In the back yard is a Larder, Brewhouse, Wash House and Bakehouse with Laundary over both, a low range of Buildings containing a Woodhouse, Paint-house, Carpenters Shop- Ash house etc. In the stable yard are two Coach-houses for 4 Carriages, three bailed Stables for 11 Horses, and two Stalled Stables for 5 horses, with Chambers over for Hay- Corn etc and a Porters Lodge adjoining the Stables. In the pleasure gound is a Summer House called the Library- and a Gardener's House for Tools etc- with Chamber over it. These buildings are part stone, part brick walls, part tiled, part sltaed and want repairing." (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Department of the Environment. 1960. S E Derbyshire RD Derby 13-16.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. pp 278-9.
  • <3> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. Ref: 83043.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: English Heritage. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Part 10: Derbyshire. PG1673.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 2002. Extensive Urban Survey: Melbourne. Archaeological Assessment Report. p 17.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Joyce, B. 1977. Melbourne at the end of the 18th century.



Grid reference Centred SK 389 250 (35m by 32m) Centre

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Record last edited

Jan 27 2024 1:49AM

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