At Risk - Allestree Hall

Built on land in Allestree which was sold by Mundy of Markeaton to Bache Thornhill of Stanton-in-Peak who wanted a suburban villa close to Derby.

James Wyatt designed a plain five bay two and half storey house with a full height central bow and three ground floor windows divided by ionic columns carrying an entablature. Being built of fine grained Keuper ashlared sandstone (though this is poor quality being quarried locally), with a low hipped slate covered roof behind a dwarf parapet.

It appears that exterior was completed in 1802 and a stone bearing this date and the initials are present near the front entrance, but the interior was incomplete. The house remained empty for three years until Thornhill sold the house to John Charles Girardot who completed the internal works. These works included much ornate plasterwork and Carrara marble fireplaces.

After living in the hall for about 20 years Girardot sold the property to Thomas William Evans who was part of the family who owned the Darley Abbey Mills. He added the front porch which is supported by Tuscan piers and increased the size of the park land by 300 acres. Following his death in 1892 the park and hall were inherited by Willliam Gisborne of Lingen Hall whose son let the property to H.H Raphael a banker from London. In 1914 the Gisbornes sold to Col. H.A Johnson who came from a wire making family in Ambergate.

Johnson was killed by a lightening strike in the park in 1923 and five years later his widow died and the property was sold to a construction firm the director of which was T.H Thorpe the Derby architect. Wyatt Lodge in Allestree village was demolished by the company and they started to build houses in the park but the onset of war interrupted their plans.

During the war the Sherwood Foresters regiment occupied the building then in 1946 the house and 323 acres of park land were sold to Derby Borough Council with the house being handed over to the fire brigade in 1948 with the deal being completed in 1950. The council had previously demolished the west wing 1949 and the conservatory the year before.

It was proposed that the house be demolished in the 1970's but a scheme to create a natural history museum prevented this happening and encouraged much needed repair work to be completed by 1988 the scheme had been abandoned and the condition of the property was left to deteriorate.

In 1998 the building was offered for sale on a 299 year lease and interest was shown by a development company who proposed to turn the building into flats, offices, a restaurant and conference centre but the agreement was never finalised. Today Allestree golf club are tenants in the hall but most of the buildings is unoccupied and falling into further disrepair.

On the 8th May 2013 it was announced in the Derby Evening Telegraph by Derby City Council that they which to dispose of their unwanted buildings which included Allestree Hall. This prompted The Heritage Trust to make enquiries into the future of the building, but to date we have not received a reply. Further updates will be posted.


Recent Posts