Melbourne Hall

Melbourne Hall is a Georgian country house in Melbourne, Derbyshire, England. Once the seat of the Victorian Prime Minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the hall is the origin of the name of the city of Melbourne, Australia.[2] The house is now the seat of Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr and is open to the public.[3] The house is a Grade II* listed building;[4] more than twenty features in the grounds are Grade I listed.

Melbourne Hall
Melbourne Hall - panoramio.jpg
Melbourne Hall - the garden front
General information
Town or cityMelbourne, Derbyshire
CountryEngland
Coordinates52°49′13″N 1°25′27″W / 52.8202°N 1.42420°W / 52.8202; -1.42420Coordinates: 52°49′13″N 1°25′27″W / 52.8202°N 1.42420°W / 52.8202; -1.42420
Construction started17th century (with earlier origins)
ClientSir John Coke
Design and construction
EngineerRichard Shepherd
DesignationsHouse Grade II* listed[1]
Aisled barn Grade I listed
Laundry Grade I listed

HistoryEdit

Melbourne, a manor that had belonged to the bishops of Carlisle in the twelfth century, was partly rebuilt in 1629–31 for Sir John Coke by a Derbyshire mason, Richard Shepherd.[5] In 1692 it was inherited by Thomas Coke (1675–1727), a gentleman architect in the golden age of English amateur architecture, who laid out the formal gardens that survive, with some professional assistance from Henry Wise, between about 1696 and 1706: there are avenues, a parterre, a yew walk that has become a yew tunnel, basins and fountains, and lead and stone sculpture, much of it supplied by John Nost. Coke travelled in the Netherlands and he turned to Nost, the famous sculptor born in the Austrian Netherlands, with premises in Haymarket, London, who provided lead figures of amorini, vases, baskets of flowers and mythological figures, still identifiable at Melbourne, and most notably the lead "Vase of the Seasons" (1705), that is one of the finest examples of Baroque sculpture in lead in an English garden.[6] Nost also provided a number of chimneypieces in the house as well as for Sir Thomas's London house in St. James's Place, one of which came to £50. At the sale of Nost's effects, Sir Thomas purchased his copy of Serlio's Five Books of Architecture, English'd by Robert Peake, which is still in the Library.

Though he drew up a plan for remodelling the sixteenth and seventeenth-century house and had the west wing rebuilt by Francis Smith of Warwick, it remained to his son, G. L. Coke to rebuild the east front, facing the garden, and adjust the south front, in 1743–44, to a design by William Smith, the son of Francis Smith.[7] His design for a gatehouse, built "according to his Honour's Draught" was built by Smith of Warwick but dismantled before the end of the eighteenth century. Unidentified alterations undertaken in 1720–21 were carried out by the builder William Gilks of Burton-on-Trent. The figure of George Lewis Coke remains an ambiguous one. Some believe that he was never at Melbourne after he left for a foreign tour in his late teens.

Redecorations of the interior were carried out throughout the century, in several campaigns. In 1745 Joseph Hall of Derby was paid for the chimneypiece in the Great Dining Room;[6] in the 1760s, stucco by Samuel Franceys was executed, and for the First Viscount Melbourne, in 1772, further interior alterations were carried out by the leading Derbyshire architect, Joseph Pickford.[5] The second Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria's Prime Minister, was separated from his wife, Lady Caroline Lamb, in 1825, when her liaison with Lord Byron had become notorious.

The house passed into the hands of the Cowper family when Emily Lamb, sister of the childless third and last Viscount Melbourne, married the 5th Earl Cowper. (She later married another Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston.) It remained in the Cowper family until Lady Amabel Cowper married Admiral of the Fleet Lord Walter Kerr who made Melbourne the family home in 1906.

The current owner is Ralph Kerr,[8] a former High Sheriff of Derbyshire.[9] He also owns Ferniehirst Castle in Scotland and is the heir presumptive to the Marquessate of Lothian and the chiefship of Clan Kerr, currently held by his brother, the politician Michael Ancram.[10]

ArchitectureEdit

HouseEdit

The house was reroofed in 2012.[11]

GardenEdit

Among fine wrought iron made for the grounds at Melbourne by Robert Bakewell is the arbour known as the "birdcage". This was restored by the architect Louis Osman in 1958, in conjunction with the ironwork specialists George Lister & Sons Ltd. Osman researched Bakewell's plans, removing a ton of paint and inserting a thousand new pieces of wrought iron to replace crude repairs, as well as restoring the original colours.[12]

Listing designationsEdit

Historic England is the statutory body with responsibility for the listing of buildings in England. It uses a tiered rating system, classifying listed buildings into one of three categories; Grade I, the highest grade, for buildings of “exceptional interest”, Grade II*, the next grade, for buildings of “more than special interest”, and Grade II, the lowest grade, for buildings of “special interest”.[13]

Melbourne Hall is a Grade II* listed building.[14] The gardens contain an unusually high number of listed structures and statuary, the majority of which are listed at the highest grade. Those features listed Grade I include: six pairs of cherubim,[15][16][17][18] statues of Perseus,[19] Mercury,[20] and Andromeda[21] the Birdcage Arbour,[22] the Muniment Room[23] and a barn,[24] seats near the Fountain Pond,[25][26] eight vases,[27][28][29][30][31] two fountains flanking the Lower Terrace,[32][33] and the steps that link the Top, Upper and Lower Terraces.[34]

Those structures listed at Grade II* comprise the Tea Rooms,[35] a pair of statues depicting slaves,[36] and the walls to the south and east of the house.[37] Features listed at Grade II include the water channel which runs through the garden and the bridges that cross it,[38] the stables and stable cottages,[39] a pair of benches,[40] a grotto[41] and an ice house,[42] an urn[43] and a pair of metal flower baskets,[44] and three sets of walls.[45][46][47]

GalleryEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Historic England, "Melbourne Hall (Grade II*) (1204079)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 25 October 2017
  2. ^ Fraser, Virginia. "The magnificent gardens of Melbourne Hall". House & Garden.
  3. ^ "Melbourne Hall and Gardens". Visit Derbyshire.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Melbourne Hall (Grade II*) (1204079)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Colvin
  6. ^ a b Gunnis
  7. ^ William Jackson, of Melton Mowbray, was the master mason, paid £1500 (Gunnis).
  8. ^ "Melbourne Hall & Gardens | National Forest". www.nationalforest.org.
  9. ^ "Lord Ralph Kerr: Derbyshire's High Sheriff". Great British Life. February 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Robinson, John Martin (March 14, 2021). "Ferniehirst Castle: The castle designed specifically for left-handed people". Country Life.
  11. ^ "Melbourne Hall | ASBC Ltd".
  12. ^ Hughes, Graham (17 April 1996). "Obituary: Louis Osman". The Independent. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Listed Buildings". Historic England. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  14. ^ Historic England. "Melbourne Hall (Grade II*) (1204079)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Two pairs of cherubs NW of the Grand Basin in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096372)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Pair of cherubs S of Statue of Mercury in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096412)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  17. ^ Historic England. "Pair of Cherubs N of Statue of Mercury in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1334595)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  18. ^ Historic England. "Two pairs of Cherubs SW of Grand Basin in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1334615)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  19. ^ Historic England. "Pedestal with Statue of Perseus in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096374)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  20. ^ Historic England. "Pedestal with Statue of Mercury in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1204240)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  21. ^ Historic England. "Pedestal with Statue of Andromeda in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1334616)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  22. ^ Historic England. "The Birdcage Arbour in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096375)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  23. ^ Historic England. "Muniment Room in Melbourne Hall Garden (Grade I) (1281353)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  24. ^ Historic England. "Aisled Barn N of stables at Melbourne Hall (Grade I) (1281386)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  25. ^ Historic England. "Covered Seat E of Fountain Pond in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096377)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  26. ^ Historic England. "Covered Seat W of Fountain Pond in Melbourne Hall Garden (Grade I) (1262770)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  27. ^ Historic England. "Pedestal with vase SW of Fountain Pond in Melbourne Hall Garden (Grade I) (1096378)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  28. ^ Historic England. "Vase and pedestal NW of the Four Seasons Vase in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096380)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  29. ^ Historic England. "Pair of pedestals supporting Fruit Bowl Vase in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096409)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  30. ^ Historic England. "Pedestal and Four Seasons Vase in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1281182)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  31. ^ Historic England. "Three pairs of vases flanking central path of Upper Terrace in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1204146)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  32. ^ Historic England. "Stone Fountain N of Lower Terrace in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1204272)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  33. ^ Historic England. "Stone Fountain S of Lower Terrace in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1204317)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  34. ^ Historic England. "Five flights of steps between terraces at Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1096411)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  35. ^ Historic England. "Tea Rooms and attached walls N of Melbourne Hall (Grade I) (1334633)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  36. ^ Historic England. "Pair of Pedestals with lead slaves in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade I) (1334634)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  37. ^ Historic England. "Garden Walls to S front of Melbourne Hall and railings and walls attached to E (Grade I) (1334648)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  38. ^ Historic England. "Water channel and three bridges in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II*) (1204519)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  39. ^ Historic England. "Hall cottages and stables at Melbourne Hall (Grade II*) (1096408)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  40. ^ Historic England. "Pair of curved benches at the Grand Basin in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II*) (1096373)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  41. ^ Historic England. "Grotto to South East of the Old Mill in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II*) (1334617)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  42. ^ Historic England. "Icehouse SE of Four Seasons Vase in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II) (1281190)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  43. ^ Historic England. "Urn to East End of Yew Tunnel in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II) (1096376)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  44. ^ Historic England. "Pair of metal basket flower beds in Melbourne Hall Garden (Grade II) (1204150)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  45. ^ Historic England. "Three forcing walls and greenhouses in Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II) (1096379)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  46. ^ Historic England. "Walls enclosing Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II) (1096404)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  47. ^ Historic England. "Pair of Garden Walls Flanking Top Terrace of Melbourne Hall Gardens (Grade II*) (1096410)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 July 2021.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit