VIDEO WEDNESDAY: THE RESTORATION OF STOKE HALL




One of the UK shows I like to watch on YouTube is Restoration Home, in which homeowners restore historic houses whilst historians uncover the story of both the houses and the families who lived in them. 

In this episode, the house under renovation is Stoke Hall, a thirty room Georgian mansion located eight miles from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. The Grade II listed building is leaking and is being threatened by dry rot, but it's surviving architectural details and historical importance prompt new owners Steve and Natalie Drury to set about restoring the house to it's 18th century glory. 

In this episode, architect Kieran Long explains Stoke Hall's construction and decorative details, whilst Dr. Kate Williams uncovers the story of some of those who lived at Stoke Hall - Robert Arkwright, whose grandfather made millions from his inventions during the Industrial Revolution, was living at Stoke Hall when he scandalized his family by eloping with actress Frances Kemble. His elder brother Richard was hot the heels of the couple, but arrived too late to stop the marriage. Luckily for us, Frances, the new lady of Stoke Hall, kept a scrapbook, in which she's saved pressed flowers from the 6th Duke of Devonshire.  And, it seems that the Duke invited the Arkwright's to be guests at Chatsworth when Princess Victoria, aged 13, visited in 1832. That night, Mrs. Arkwright sang for the Duke's guests - and so did Victoria.


More history on those who have owned Stoke Hall can be found in the blurb from Wikipedia below. 


You can watch the restoration of Stoke Hall here (1 hour)

A follow up episode, Stoke Hall: One Year On
can be found here



Stoke Hall is a Grade II* listed Georgian Palladian mansion near the village of Grindleford, Derbyshire, England. Listed in the Domesday Bookthe first known occupant of Stoke was Gerbert de Stoke, in 1204. Stoke was held by the Greys of Codnor and sold in the 1460s to the Barlows of Barlow Hall.In the 17th-century it was owned by William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle. Early in the next century, it passed to the Rev John Simpson, who commissioned the current building following his acquisition of the estate upon his marriage to the granddaughter of Admiral Benbow. The house was designed by James Paine and built c. 1757 by William Booth. Both men also worked at nearby Chatsworth HouseIt was later described by Nicholas Pevsner as ‘quite stately'.
In about 1850 Simpson's descendant Henry Bridgeman, 5th Earl of Bradford sold the estate to the Hunter family of Greystones, who lived there until at least the late 1930s.The Hall was later occupied by the industrialist Emile Viner, until 1950/1, and was then purchased by Hedley and Ida Abson, becoming a family home. After Hedley and Ida died, the Hall was sold in 1972, and subsequently used as a hotel and restaurant. It was sold at auction to Richard Jowitt in 1982. After an incomplete 25-year restoration, Jowitt died, and the house was offered for sale in 2008, with a guide price of £2.75 million, but not sold until 2009 for £2.5 million to a local couple, Steve and Natalie Drury, who have spent a further £1.5 million completing the restoration. Their restoration was shown by the BBC in 2011 and 2012.

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