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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.
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 had married Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon in 1861. 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. The Carnarvons 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 J. D. Wragg, a Swadlincote industrialist. The proceeds helped to fund Carter’s search for the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt in the early 1920s.
Bretby Hall today
In 1926, the Hall was sold to Derbyshire County Council and was run as an orthopaedic hospital until 1997. It was sold to a private developer who has converted it into luxury apartments and suites.
- English Heritage: Images of England, architectural description
- Bretby Hall: Racing elite rode at Bretby
- Bagshaw's 1846 Trade Directory of Derbyshire
- South-Derbyshire Gov. - Bretby pdf
- A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland Vol II Sir Bernard Burke (1855) p103. Google Books