Rushton Hall

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Rushton Hall
Rushton Hall 01.jpg
Location Rushton, Northamptonshire
Coordinates 52°26′12″N 0°46′17″W / 52.4366°N 0.7713°W / 52.4366; -0.7713Coordinates: 52°26′12″N 0°46′17″W / 52.4366°N 0.7713°W / 52.4366; -0.7713
Listed Building – Grade I
Rushton Hall is located in Northamptonshire
Rushton Hall
Location of Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire
East front of the Hall in 1829

Rushton Hall in Rushton, Northamptonshire, England, was the ancestral home of the Tresham family from 1438, when William Tresham bought the estate. In the 20th century the house became a private school and it has now been converted to a luxury hotel. The estate is about 227 acres (92 ha) of which 30 acres (12 ha) are formal gardens. The River Ise flows from west to east south of the Hall.[1]

History[edit]

Rushton Hall had been the possession of the Catholic Tresham family since the fifteenth century, when William Tresham bought the estate in 1438. He was Attorney General to King Henry V and Speaker of the House of Commons[2] and was murdered in 1450. Sir Thomas Tresham (1500–59) was MP for Northamptonshire and three times High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. The latter's grandson Thomas (1534-1605), also a High Sheriff in 1573, built the Triangular Lodge in the grounds of the hall in 1592. His son, Francis Tresham, was involved in the Gunpowder Plot and died in the Tower of London in 1605. The estate then passed to his brother Lewis.

The Hall was sold in 1619 to Sir William Cockayne, Lord Mayor of London who was the first Governor of Londonderry, Ireland.[2] and on his death in 1626 passed to his eldest son Charles, later Viscount Cullen, who was appointed High Sheriff of Northamptonshire for 1636–37. The 2nd Viscount, Bryen, married Elizabeth Trentham, heiress to the Trentham estates including both Rocester Abbey and Castle Hedingham. Those estates would later be sold to fund the couple's extravagant lifestyle.

In 1828 the Hall was sold to William Williams Hope, the family of Thomas Hope (1769–1831), a Dutch banker. After his death in 1854 the estate was sold to Clara Thornhill (later Clarke-Thornhill). Charles Dickens was a great friend of Clara and visited Rushton several times. The fictitious Haversham Hall in Great Expectations was conceived from the Hall.[citation needed] The Clarke-Thornhills owned the hall until 1934. After the death of William Clarke-Thornhill, the Hall was let to an array of tenants including American socialite James J. Van Alen who reinstated much Tudor and Jacobean architectural detail.[3]

It became a Grade I listed building in 1951.[4]

In 1957 it became a school for blind children run by the RNIB; the school moved to Coventry in 2002.[5]

The Hazelton family bought the hall in August 2003,[6] and restored it to open as a 4 star hotel and spa.

Estate[edit]

The estate has early 20th century formal terraced gardens designed by Thomas Mawson between 1905-1909. The rest of the estate has separate ownership to the hotel with features dating back to the 16th century and before. The 16th-century Triangular Lodge in the former parkland is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Parks and Gardens UK website, accessed 25 March 2012
  2. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1961). The Buildings of England – Northamptonshire. London and New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 397 et seq. ISBN 978-0-300-09632-3. 
  3. ^ Rushton Hall Hotel history section
  4. ^ British Listed Buildings
  5. ^ About Pears Centre, RNIB
  6. ^ http://www.rushtonhall.com/news/celebrating-10-years-of-business

External links[edit]