Sutton Scarsdale Hall
Sutton Scarsdale Hall is a Grade 1 listed Georgian ruined stately home in Sutton Scarsdale, just outside Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Estate history
The original Hall formed part of a Saxon estate owned by Wulfric Spott, who died in 1002 and left the estate to Burton-on-Trent Abbey. In the Domesday Book the estate was owned by Roger de Poitou. In 1225 the Lordship of Sutton-in-the-Dale had been given by King Henry III to Peter de Hareston, but by 1401 it had been purchased by John Leke of Gotham. A later John Leke was made a knight by King Henry VIII. His son Francis Leke was created a Baronet by King James I in 1611, and elevated to Earl of Scarsdale by King Charles I in 1640. When the English Civil War broke out, Leke joined the Cavaliers and the Hall's structure was strengthened, particularly so with Bolsover Castle on the opposite hillside swearing loyalty to the Roundheads. When a Parliamentarian force of 500 men led by Sir John Gell surrounded the estate, Leke resisted until the house was stormed and he was taken prisoner. With the estate seized by Oliver Cromwell's forces, after the end of the war a forfeiture fine of £18,000 was levied and paid for Leke's support of the imprisoned King Charles.

House history
The existing structure is believed to be the fourth or fifth built on the site. In 1724, Nicholas Leke, 4th Earl of Scarsdale commissioned the building of a design by architect Francis Smith, to develop a Georgian mansion with gardens, using parts of the existing structure. On a scale and quality with Chatsworth House, internally it featured both oak ornamental panels and stucco plasterwork by Italian craftsmen Francesco Vassalli and the Atari brothers; carved Adam fireplaces in both marble and Blue John, and a signature carved mahogany staircase. Following the death of the 4th Earl, Member of Parliament Godfrey Bagnall Clarke purchased the estate in 1740. After his death in 1774 the Marquis of Ormonde then gained ownership by marriage, and after his death in 1824, Richard Arkwright Junior of Cromford Mill fame, became the owner. . William Arkwright of Sutton Scarsdale was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1890.

Derelict shell
After many years of neglect, in November 1919 the estate was bought by a group of local businessmen who literally asset stripped the house - this went as far as removing the roof in 1920. Some parts of the building were shipped to the USA, where one room's oak panelling was bought by newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, who planned to use it at Hearst Castle. After many years in storage in New York, Pall Mall films bought the panelling for use as a set in their various 1950s productions. Another set of panels are now resident in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1946, the estate was bought by Sir Osbert Sitwell of Renishaw Hall, with the intention of preserving the remaining shell as a ruin. Scarsdale Hall is now in the care of English Heritage, and is freely accessible to visitors.


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Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
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    about 6 years ago via