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Listed Building record MDR5933 - Sutton Scarsdale Hall, Sutton Scarsdale, Sutton Cum Duckmanton

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 4418 6890. Sutton Scarsdale Hall [TI]. (1) Sutton Hall, Sutton Scarsdale, now a ruin, was built by Smith of Warwick in 1724. An outbuilding to the west is of 17th century date. (2) The Hall has been derelict for many years. It has recently been purchased by Sir Osbert Sitwell. The house known as 'The Old Priory', is a conversion of a 17th century outbuilding, formerly a brewhouse. Sutton Scarsdale Hall is a roofless ruin of a large Palladian mansion. The interior is overgrown and collapsed floors prevented access. The earlier, former outbuilding suggests that the 1724 Hall occupies the site of an earlier house. See GPs: AO/59/367/7 - The Old Priory from the west; AO/59/367/8 - Sutton Scarsdale Hall from the north-east. The buildings have been marked on the 25" A.M. survey. (3) Sutton Scarsdale Hall was described in 1827 as follows: 'This truly splendid mansion is situated at a short distance on the right of the road, about four miles from the town of Chesterfield, in an extensive park, embellished with fine plantations and spacious fish-ponds. This valuable estate … has only lately become the property of Mr Arkwright; it having formerly belonged to the late Marquis of Ormond, and after the death of that nobleman remained a considerable time unoccupied. Sutton Hall is one of the most elegant mansions in the county, and was built at a very considerable expense by the last Earl of Scarsdale. The principal front, which forms the subject of our plate, commands a variety of extensive and diversified prospects, among which the ruins of Bolsover Castle cannot fail to excite the attention of every visitor to this interesting place. (6) The hall was built by the last Lord Scarsdale. On his death in 1736 his large estates were sold for the payment of his debts and Sutton was purchased by Godfrey Clark of Somersall. The property came to the Marquess of Ormond via marriage and was his occasional residence, but in 1824 it was sold by the trustees of his widow to Richard Arkwright. Neither he, nor the later Arkwright owners, made any considerable alterations in the fabric of the house. The house is a square classic building of biscuit-coloured ashlar from the Rang Quarry, a mile away. The main fronts are the north and the east, or garden front, which is the richest architecturally. The date of construction of the house, together with the names of the architect and craftsmen who worked on it, are known thanks to the finding of a lead plate under the grass of the courtyard adjoining the church. The architect was Francis Smith of Warwick, while the craftsmen came from, among other places, Nottingham, Derby, Westminster and Birmingham, as well as two gentlemen from Italy who were responsible for the stucco. (7) The last Arkwright to own the house was William Arkwright. He tried to sell it immediately after World War I; however, vandals got in and stole 50 tons of lead. After this, the decaying mansion was sold to a firm of builders and contractors who continued to demolish the house. At around this time three rooms were shipped to the United States, along with the main staircase and some fine Adam fireplaces. When everything saleable had been sold the mansion was left to decay. However, it was purchased by Sir Osbert Sitwell in 1945, the day before demolition was due to start. After numerous attempts and much negotiation, the ruin was transferred in 1971 to the care of the Ministry of Public Building and Works, and was later scheduled as an Ancient Monument. (8-10) It has been suggested that four drawings in the Victoria & Albert Museum formed part of the architect's preparatory work on Sutton Scarsdale. (11) No illustrations survive of the predecessor to Sutton Hall, but a few facts are known about it. There is a reference of c. 1595 to 'the new dwelling house' of Sir Francis Leek, the Younger, followed by a gap until the Hearth Tax Assessment of 1670 when Sutton House is listed as having 26 hearths, probably 12 being on the ground floor. It was inherited by Nicholas, 4th Earl Scarsdale in 1708, and two years later Bassano, recording ancestral heraldry, refers to 'ye olde Dining Room in Sutton House. (12) Remains of Sutton Scarsdale Hall, Listed Grade I. Country house of 1724 by Francis Smith of Warwick for Nicholas, Earl of Scarsdale. Coursed sandstone and brick faced with sandstone ashlar. A ruin but the outer walls remain virtually intact and much of the inner walls survive. Two storeys. Nine bay east and north elevations. West elevation with two four-bay projecting wings and deeply recessed centre portion. South elevation of eleven bays built up close to the church, the centre seven bays recessed. The main front is the sumptuous nine bay east elevation. In the front hall, on the north front, are fragmentary remains of 18th century plasterwork. Some of the interior walls of coursed sandstone may be remains of the 17th century house that stood on the site. Extensive brick vaulted cellars. The interior was dismantled in c. 1920 and some of the rooms are preserved in the Philadelphia Museum in America. The Hall is also a Scheduled Monument. Garden walls and ha ha, of mid-18th century date, are also listed, Grade II. (13)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1914-38. OS 6".
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, 1st edition. p. 229.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 WW 18-NOV-59.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F2 JB 09-JUN-66.
  • <5> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. 1839, 2200.
  • <6> Article in serial: Ackermann, R. 1827. 'Views of country seats: Sutton-Hall, Derbyshire, the seat of Richard Arkwright, Esq.', Repository. Volume 9, No. 49, plate 1.
  • <7> Article in serial: Jourdain, M (Country Life). 1919. 'Sutton Scarsdale, Derbyshire', Country Life. February 15, pp 166-173, illust..
  • <8> Article in serial: Christian, R. 1969. 'The salvation of Sutton Scarsdale', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. January.
  • <9> Article in serial: Cornforth, J (Country Life). 1970. 'Uncertain future of Sutton Scarsdale', Country Life. April 16, pp 850-851.
  • <10> Bibliographic reference: Clemenson, H A. 1982. English Country Houses and Landed Estates. p 134.
  • <11> Article in serial: Gomme, A. 1981. 'The genesis of Sutton Scarsdale', Architectural History. Volume 24, pp 34-38.
  • <12> Bibliographic reference: Kettle, P. 1988. Sutton Scarsdale's Story. Part 1: the Leekes of Sutton. pp 60-64.
  • <13> Bibliographic reference: DOE(HHR)Dist of North East Derbyshire, Aug 1984, 20.



Grid reference Centred SK 4419 6890 (38m by 44m) Centred on

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR2550
  • EDR3927
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Record last edited

Jan 26 2024 7:50PM

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