Clumber Park

Coordinates: 53°16′23″N 1°03′50″W / 53.273°N 1.064°W / 53.273; -1.064
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Clumber Park
The Lime Tree Avenue, two miles long, with 1,296 common lime, the longest of its kind in Europe, was planted in 1840
Clumber Park is located in Nottinghamshire
Clumber Park
Clumber Park
Clumber Park within Nottinghamshire.
LocationWorksop, Nottinghamshire, England
Nearest citySheffield
OS gridSK625755
Coordinates53°16′23″N 1°03′50″W / 53.273°N 1.064°W / 53.273; -1.064
Area1,537 hectares (3,800 acres)
Operated byNational Trust
Visitors666,997 (2019)[1]
OpenPark: 7.00am to dusk. Other facilities have more restricted times.
StatusSSSI (for map see Map)
Other informationPostcode: S80 3AZ

Clumber Park is a country park in The Dukeries near Worksop in the civil parish of Clumber and Hardwick, Nottinghamshire, England. The estate, which was the seat of the Pelham-Clintons, Dukes of Newcastle, was purchased by the National Trust in 1946. It is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[2]

The main house was demolished in 1938 after damage by several fires. The nearby Grade I listed chapel in Gothic Revival style and a four-acre walled kitchen garden still survive.

The gardens and the estate are managed by the National Trust and are open to the public all year round. In 2020/21 over 350,000 people visited Clumber Park, making it one of the National Trust's top ten most visited properties.


Clumber Park in 1829

Clumber, mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1087, was a monastic property in the Middle Ages but later came into the hands of the Holles family.[3] In 1707 permission was granted to John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle to enclose 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of Sherwood Forest, and re-purpose it as a deer park.[4] Clumber House, close to the River Poulter, was a pre-existing hunting lodge, which became the core of a new residence built on the site.[5] At the 1st Duke's death in 1711, his nephew Thomas Pelham-Holles inherited the estate, but did little with it, other than spend the money he inherited.[6] At his death in 1768, his nephew Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, inherited the title and the estate, and made Clumber Park his residence.[4]

From 1759, work on the house and park proceeded, under the supervision of a carpenter and builder named Fuller White (although he is likely to have been working to plans from the architect Stephen Wright)[note 1]. White was dismissed in 1767 and Wright took charge of the project, replacing some of the 1760s features in the 1770s. The project was still not complete when Wright died and some features in and around the park may have been designed by his successor, John Simpson, in the 1780s.[8]

In March 1879 a serious fire destroyed much of Clumber House.[9] At the time of the fire the house contained around 500 pictures and around a fifth were destroyed in the fire.[10] Fortunately twenty-four of the best of the collection were on loan to Nottingham Corporation, including The Beggar Boys by Thomas Gainsborough. Serious losses included a portrait of William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke by Anthony van Dyck, portraits of an old man and old woman by Rembrandt, portrait of a lady by Titian and Virgin and Child by Albrecht Dürer.[citation needed]

Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle was a minor at the time of the fire and the trustees approved the new plans by Charles Barry in 1880.[11] Work was still going on in 1884 when it was reported that a temporary front had been built pending the erection of two large wings and an entrance hall. The other sides of the houses were completed, including the addition of a billiard room.[12] By 1886 the building was mostly restored although it was reported that part of the west front was yet to be added.[13] One significant improvement was a scheme whereby the sewage which used to go into the lake was diverted to Hardwick Meadows, over a mile away from the house.[14]

Another fire, in 1912, caused less damage, but the effects of the First World War and the Great Depression forced the abandonment of the mansion, which, like many other houses during this period, was demolished in 1938 to avoid a tax bill.[15][3][16] Prior to demolition, the 9th Duke sold the contents of the house to repay debts.[4]

Sale and demolition[edit]

In 1938 Charles Boot of Henry Boot Construction, was contracted to demolish the house and he removed a vast array of statues, facades and fountains to his Derbyshire home, Thornbridge Hall, although most were purchased by private buyers at auction.[citation needed] The Duke's study, designed by Barry, is all that survives of the main house and is presently home to the Clumber Café. It is Grade II on the National Heritage List for England.[17]

Most of the ducal properties and land assets were sold to the London and Fort George Land Company (LFG) in 1927 by the Duke of Newcastle to pay off debts and acquired by the National Trust in 1946.[18]


The Church of St Mary the Virgin

Clumber Park is over 3,800 acres (1,500 ha; 5.9 sq mi) in extent, including woods, open heath and rolling farmland. It contains the longest double avenue of lime trees in Europe. The avenue was created by the 5th Duke of Newcastle in the 19th century and extends for more than 2 mi (3.2 km). Clumber Lake is a serpentine lake covering 87 acres (35 ha; 0.136 sq mi) south of the site of Clumber House and extending 1.2 mi (2 km) to the east. The lake was partially rebuilt in the 1980s and again in 2004 after suffering from subsidence from coal mining.[19] Hardwick Village lies within the park, near the eastern end of the lake.

Church of St Mary[edit]

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, a Grade I listed Gothic Revival chapel, was built by the 7th Duke of Newcastle.[20]


The Grotto, one of the 18th-century Park and Garden features

The 4 acres (1.6 ha) walled kitchen garden east of the cricket pitch has a glasshouse 450 ft (140 m) long and containing Pelargoniums, grapevines and a Butia capitata palm. It was once heated by an underfloor system, fired by local coal, allowing exotic plants to be grown all year round. The pipework is in place beneath the ornate metal floor grates. The garden is divided by pathways and contains vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers and an ornate rose garden. The garden grows locally derived varieties such as the 'Clayworth Prize Pink' celery and more than 101 varieties of apple from the Nottinghamshire and East Midlands region including the 'Sisson's Worksop Newton' apple. The garden has large collection of rhubarb, numbering over 135 edible varieties. The lower end of the garden is reached by an iron gate to Cedar Avenue allowing colder air and moisture to move out of the garden avoiding the creation of frost pockets which could damage tender plants or reduce the growing season.[21]

Clumber Park Bridge[edit]

Bridge with extensive ornate balustrades

In March 2018 the park's ornamental bridge suffered extensive damage after a car was deliberately driven into it. The car, thought to be stolen, was burnt out nearby. The National Trust said it appeared to be "an act of intentional damage". The Grade-I listed bridge over the River Poulter was believed to have been built in the 1760s.[22]

The bridge remains permanently closed to vehicular traffic. Police divers recovered hundreds of pieces of broken stone knocked into the river as a training exercise. A floating pontoon platform to support scaffolding was built and stonemasons started to rebuild the bridge using some original fragments in October 2019.[23][24][25][26] The bridge was re-opened to foot-traffic only in July 2020 after extensive restorative stonework.[27][28]

Just over a week after the bridge damage, a waste-bin, a National Trust van and a barn known as The Bunk House were set alight in an arson attack.[29] Two months later in May, six engraved brass plaques containing the names of men who had died in wars were stolen from nearby Hardwick Village War Memorial. The memorial is a Grade-II listed structure and the plaques were 100 years old.[30][31]

Discovery Centre[edit]

Starting from 2009, a grant of £797,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled renovation of the Grade II listed derelict old brewhouse, part of the old stable block, to create an exhibition and discovery centre.[32][33][34]

Site of Special Scientific Interest[edit]

English Longhorn cattle

In 1981 an area of 1,301.20 acres (526.58 ha) was designated an SSSI. A wide variety of species-rich habitats surround the former mansion, including the lake and wetlands, grassland, heath and mature deciduous woodland. The mature trees and dead and decaying ancient trees provide good habitats for beetles. There are breeding birds of woods and heath including nightjar, woodlark, redstart, hawfinch, water rail and gadwall ducks.[35] Ancient breeds of English Longhorn cattle and Jacob sheep have been introduced to pastures surrounding the lake as part of the process for managing the grassland habitats while safeguarding rare livestock breeds. In January 2018 the National Trust sent a "heartfelt letter" to the environment manager at fracking company Ineos, asking her to visit the park and to stop its survey there for shale gas reserves.[36]

Access and events[edit]

Close to the main parking area is a cricket pitch with a thatched roof pavilion in the style of a cottage, clad in rustic split logs. Along the road side are large open areas to park and picnic. The park is used by walkers and has several miles of paths and cycle tracks surrounding the lake. The park has bicycles for hire. The visitor centre is in the old stable block, part of which houses a display on the history of the park, a shop and restaurant. Off the main lime tree avenue are camping facilities.[21][37] Route 6 of the National Cycle Network passes through the park, linking it to Sherwood Forest and Sherwood Pines.[38]

In 2020/21 over 350,000 people visited Clumber Park, making it one of the National Trust's top ten most visited properties.[39]

As of 2013 a parkrun takes place in the grounds every Saturday.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This differs from the dates of 1768-78 that are referred to by the National Trust[7]


  1. ^ "ALVA - Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ Historic England, "Clumber Park (1001079)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 14 December 2017
  3. ^ a b Clumber Park Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Bassetlaw District Council Planning Dept. (1999)
  4. ^ a b c Stubbs, Susie (2016). Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire : a souvenir guide. National Trust. Rotherham. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-84359-484-0. OCLC 965609546.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ "Clumber House | England's Lost Country Houses". Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  6. ^ Browning, Reed (2004). "Holles, Thomas Pelham-, duke of Newcastle upon Tyne and first duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1693–1768), prime minister". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21801. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 12 July 2022. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ "History of Clumber Park".
  8. ^ Michael Symes, "The Garden Designs of Stephen Wright" Garden History vol. 20, no. 1 (Spring 1992)
  9. ^ "The Fire at Clumber". Illustrated London News. England. 5 April 1879. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Art Treasures Lost at Clumber House". Derby Mercury. England. 4 February 1880. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "The Restoration of Clumber House". Derby Mercury. England. 30 June 1880. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Notes by the way". Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald. England. 12 July 1884. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Clumber House". Mansfield Reporter. England. 30 April 1886. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ "Improvements at Clumber. Interesting Sewage Scheme". Nottinghamshire Guardian. England. 30 April 1886. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "Clumber House on Fire". Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald. England. 1 May 1912. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ Hudson, Jules (2018). Walled Gardens. 43 Great Ormond Street, London: National Trust Books. ISBN 978-1-90988-196-9.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  17. ^ "CLUMBER PARK HOUSE, THE DUKE'S STUDY AND BOW CORRIDOR, Clumber and Hardwick - 1156466 | Historic England". Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  18. ^ "Dukes of Newcastle". University of Nottingham, Notts. Retrieved 30 October 2007.
  19. ^ Published on 10/09/2004 11:45. "Where has all the water gone? - Local news". Worksop Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "The Chapel of St Mary the Virgin". National Trust. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  21. ^ a b National Trust page for Clumber Park
  22. ^ "Car hits National Trust Clumber Park bridge 'deliberately'". BBC News Nottinghamshire. 3 March 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  23. ^ Clumber Park: Vandalised bridge stone recovered BBC News Nottinghamshire, 9 February 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019
  24. ^ Iconic bridge will not reopen to cars again - and here's why Lincolnshire Live, 16 March 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019
  25. ^ Work to restore Clumber Park ornamental bridge starts next week WestBridgfordWire, 12 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019
  26. ^ Pontoon goes up as work starts to restore Clumber Park's historic Ornamental Bridge Nottingham Post, 16 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019
  27. ^ Clumber Park bridge lovingly restored two years after vandal attack- what it looks like now Worksop Guardian, 30 June 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020
  28. ^ Clumber Park's 'iconic' bridge restored more than two years after it was vandalised Nottingham Post, 29 June 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020
  29. ^ "Eight escape after arson attack on barn". Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  30. ^ "'DESPICABLE': Plaques stolen from Clumber Park war memorial". Worksop Guardian. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  31. ^ ""Despicable" thieves wrench brass plaques with names of war dead from Clumber Park memorial". Lincolnshire Live. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  32. ^ "Clumber hits Lotto jackpot to create discovery centre." Chad, 4 November 2009, p.28. Accessed 17 September 2022
  33. ^ Converting a brewhouse into a discovery centre at Clumber Park The National Trust. Retrieved 17 September 2022
  34. ^ Discovery centre for Clumber Park, 12 November 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2022
  35. ^ "SSSI citation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  36. ^ Sarah Knapton (7 January 2018). "National Trust sends heartfelt letter to fracking company asking it to abandon Clumber Park survey plans". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire - Visitor Guide". Retrieved 30 October 2007.
  38. ^ Council, Nottinghamshire County. "Capturing the beauty of Clumber". Nottinghamshire County Council. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  39. ^ "National Trust Annual Report 2020/21" (PDF). National Trust. 2021. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  40. ^ "home | Clumber Park parkrun | Clumber Park parkrun". Retrieved 3 July 2022.

External links[edit]