Part of the Ilkeston Cam "Days Out" Series

Kelham - Part 01 - Kelham Hall
w/e 31 July 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Kelham Hall

This was not so much a "Day Out" but rather an afternoon outing to meet up with some friends from church for a pre-arranged guided tour around Kelham Hall. It could quite easily be extended though into a longer excursion as the Hall stands in a Country Park and is within easy reach of Newark-on-Trent with its Castle and historic connections to the English Civil War. As it was we set out early and took the scenic route from Ilkeston via Linby, Papplewick, Calverton and Southwell rather than the more direct alternative of Nottingham and then along the A46 into Newark. This gave us plenty of time to make a couple of brief stops along the way.


The first pause in our journey was to take this photo of the picturesque centre of Linby Village. Although now a Conservation Area and looking clean and pristine it is not so very long ago that the village was overshadowed by Linby Colliery. Streams flank each side of the main road and are known as Linby Docks.
(I think it calls for a return visit some time to take a closer look at the village).
Saracens Head

We moved on from Linby and our next stop was in Southwell shortly after passing the attractive and flower bedecked Saracens Head as we headed towards Newark.
Southwell Minster

Southwell is famous for its Racecourse, its Workhouse under the jurisdiction of the National Trust and for being the home of the original Bramley apple tree among other historic events involving the likes of King Charles I and Lord Byron. No visit to Southwell of course would be complete with a look at the Minster.
Kelham Hall

It is approximately an hour's drive from Ilkeston to Kelham Hall whether by the scenic route or the main roads and we arrived well before the appointed time for the tour which gave us the opportunity to explore some of the grounds surrounding the buildings. Part of the Hall is occupied by the Newark and Sherwood District Council who purchased the Hall in 1974 but it was sold in 2014 to Kelham Hall Ltd.

A large green lawn outside the Hall that we later learned had once been tennis courts now has a helicopter standing in the middle of it. Kelham Hall Ltd plan to turn their acquisition into a tourist attraction, spa and luxury hotel and as we also found out later, use the decommissioned helicopter as a novelty attraction for children (and probably adults too) who hopefully will be able to sit in the cockpit and hear the noise of the engine.
Scott's Design

It is thought that the original Hall on this site was a Tudor style manor house in which King Charles I was held after his surrender during the Civil War in 1646 and before he was taken to London for execution. Some time later in 1728, a new Hall was commissioned by the Duchess of Rutland but this burnt down in 1837. Its replacement - the Hall as we see it today - for the Manners Sutton family was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott in 1861. That's the same Scott who was knighted in 1872 and is famous for designing St Pancras Station and Hotel in London plus many other notable buildings across the country.

Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878) is noted for being instrumental in Gothic Revival architecture, the term used to denote nineteenth century use of designs common in mediaeval Europe. He also appears to have a penchant for tall chimneys. Kelham Hall, built for a family of only four, two parents with two children, had thirty five bedrooms and its cost drove the Manners Sutton family into bankruptcy. In 1900 it was sold to the Home Grown Sugar Beet Company, who used adjacent farm land. British Sugar still has a factory in Newark.

By 1903 however, ownership of the Hall had passed to the Society of the Sacred Mission. It was used as a training centre and the Gothic style and the churchlike interior which we would see later would surely have made the monks feel at home. Likewise the mosaic paving outside the Hall adds to the religious atmosphere that pervades. The white flower urns on the left mark the end of the King's Path.
King's Path

Graduating students from the training centre were sent all over the world as missionaries direct from Kelham Hall and although their families were present at the leaving ceremony, there would be no sad goodbyes as they left immediately with no contact with their nearest and dearest. Life for the students at the college involved hard work and learning for long hours to prepare them for their chosen vocation in what are best described as spartan conditions and they would have had little time to wander the King's Path where Charles I was allowed to pace back and forth in 1646.

It is most unlikely too that the students were able to spend long hours in the solitude of the Gazebo that stands a little way from the Hall. Pre-dating the present Hall by about fifteen years or so the Gazebo is thought to have been designed about 1845 by Anthony Salvin for the Manners-Suttons. Now a Listed Grade II* structure the columns were probably added later by Scott.

As the scheduled time for our guided tour approached we made our way to the Reception area to discover more of the architectural delights inside the Hall.

Forward to Part 02

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