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record MDR7705 - Former Snelston Hall (site of), Snelston Park, Snelston

Type and Period (2)

  • (Georgian to Mid 20th Century - 1827 AD to 1953 AD)
  • (Medieval to Georgian - 1300 AD? to 1827 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Ruined remains of large neo-Gothic house with attached walls and gateways built c.1828 by L. N. Cottingham for the Harrisons and mostly demolished in 1951. It is built from sandstone and brick with stone dressings. One wall of the former hall survives with a courtyard to the north, surrounded by stone walls which in turn link up to a gateway to the north and garden walls with gates which encompass the site of the former hall. The remaining wall of the hall comprises a tall blank stone wall with towers to either end, a continuous stringcourse near the top and embattled ridgeback coped parapets. The western tower has a stone basin to the base, set in a basket headed niche with a gargoyle head, from which water spouted. Above is an ovolo moulded lancet in a recessed flat headed surround with incised spandrels. Over the stringcourse is a 3-light recessed and chamfered mullion window with ogee headed lights and pierced spandrels, in a flat headed surround with a hoodmould and corbelled embattled parapets above. The east tower has a double lancet in a flat headed surround and a 2-light window with ogee lights similar to those on the western tower, plus corbelled embattled parapets above. Attached to the north side of the wall is a brick lean-to, also attached are plain stone walls running round the courtyard, of which the west wall links to a gateway with a large four-centred arch with corbelled barrel vault and small similar arch to the north, both with Gothic panelled gates. To the south of the gateway is a thin circular tower with embattled parapets. A walkway runs over the gateway and along the west wall to the tower. Attached to south side of gateway is the original garden wall with ridgeback copings, which runs southwards and connects to a similar wall to the east by a retaining wall running in front of the former hall. Approximately 4 metres south-west of the west tower is a gate in the wall with a central four-centred arch, surmounted by corbelled ridgeback copings and flanked by columns with circular embattled tops and incised arrow slits. In the section of wall that runs to the east side of the former hall are two pairs of gates, each with circular columns, topped by pyramidal copings and with original gates between. These are made up of a timber grid with panels of decorative ironwork to the top.(1) In 1826 John Harrison gained full possession of the Upper Hall at Snelston, which was by that time a dilapidated building of some age. The site had been occupied by the Upper Hall by at least the 14th century, if not before. Several designs were put forward by Lewis Cottingham, the final design being influenced by the building of Alton Towers just across the Dove, resulting in a large neo-Gothic house with a very exciting romantic profile. The main front was redesigned with nine bays, each separated by buttresses running right up through the embattled parapet to end in crocketed pinnacles. There was a vast baronial great hall, the gable end facing west being decorated with a huge Perpendicular window full of stained glass heraldry. The main building was ashlar throughout, of Keuper sandstone from an adjacent outcrop. Following World War II the vast house was considered impractical and was demolished in 1953, the family having moved to the adapted stable court (see SMR 25905). (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1281004.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Craven, M & Stanley, M. 1991. The Derbyshire Country House. pp 184-186.



Grid reference Centred SK 15799 43565 (119m by 105m)

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Record last edited

May 21 2024 3:29PM

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