Bretby Hall

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Bretby Hall
Bretby Hall is located in Derbyshire
Bretby Hall
Map showing the location of Bretby Hall within Derbyshire.

Bretby Hall is a country house at Bretby, Derbyshire, England, north of Swadlincote and east of Burton upon Trent on the border with Staffordshire. It is a Grade II* listed building. The name Bretby means "dwelling place of Britons".

The first Bretby Hall was built in 1630 after Thomas Stanhope bought the manor of Bretby from the family of Stephen de Segrave, to whom it had been granted by Ranulph de Blondeville, 4th Earl of Chester.

In 1628, his grandson Philip was made Earl of Chesterfield by King Charles I of England. From then on, Bretby Hall was the ancestral home of the Earls of Chesterfield.

The second Earl was responsible for a complete restyling of the gardens so that some compared them favourably with the gardens at Versailles.

The fifth Earl demolished the mansion and built the present Hall (c.1812) to a design by Sir Jeffry Wyatville.

The sixth Earl, known as the "racing Earl", loved cricket and shooting, so he built a cricket pitch and raised game birds.

Following the death of the 7th earl in 1871, the Estate passed to his widowed mother, Anne Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Chesterfield (1802–1885), whose good friend, Benjamin Disraeli, paid frequent visits to Bretby. On the death of the Countess, her estates devolved upon Lord Porchester, the eldest son of her daughter, Evelyn (died 1875), who married in 1861 the 4th Earl of Carnarvon. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the famous egyptologist for whom Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, commenced breaking up the Bretby estate during World War I. They never lived at Bretby, preferring their home at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire. They did make regular visits, however, particularly for shooting. The main estate was sold to Mr J D Wragg, the Swadlincote industrialist. The proceeds helped to fund the Carter’s search for the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt in the early 1920s.

In 1926, the Hall was sold to Derbyshire County Council and was run as an orthopaedic hospital until the 1990s when it was sold to a private developer, who has converted it into luxury apartments and suites.

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Coordinates: 52°47′57″N 1°33′29″W / 52.79924°N 1.55797°W / 52.79924; -1.55797