Palterton Hall built around the year 1740, was and is a country house. It is stone built and stands back nicely from the road (Main Street formerly Main Road) and has a commanding view of the surrounding district.
It is built of stone; coarsed rubble of pink P.M.Lst. from adjacent outcrop, dressing is similar. Roof is tile.
This country house is a plain 5 bay, 3 storey house consisting of a double pile with end gables facing west across the Doe Lea valley. The sashed fenestration is in a flat architrave surrounds, quoins decorate the angles and a cornice the eaves. The central entrance has architrave, frieze and Cornice. A rainwater head bears the date of 1740, suggesting that the builder was Richard, second son of James Milnes of Chesterfield, who seems to have acquired the estate 2 years previously.
In 1797, his heiress brought the property to Robert Lowndes, whose sons Milnes and Thomas Lowndes held it in succesion until their deaths sp. (?) in 1836 and 1840 respectively.
The heiress married Thomas Mee Gorst, who assumed the surname and arms of Lowndes.
He too died sp. in 1853, the heir being Edward Chaddock also later Lowndes, who died childless - this by now becoming something of a habit amongst the heirs of Richard Milnes - leaving the property to Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst, PC, MP, QC, in 1909.
By this time, however, the Hall had long been tenanted as a farm.
A previous house on this site had been built c.1316 by Ralph, second son of 1st Lord Frescheville of Staveley, whose line ended in heiresses about a century late, passing to John Ulkethorpe whose posterity were there until the 1440s.
Later it was held by Hugh Revell (early C16) followed by John Collumbell and the Leakes, and the Leakes, who settled a younger son there.
The Milnes family purchased it from a beak-up of the states of the 4th. and last Earl of Scarsdale.
It contains an entrance hall, three reception rooms, kitchen, scullery, dairy, cellars, ten good bedrooms and two attics.
The Hall had farm buildings, yards, stackyards, garden, orchard and many acres of land. In 1921 the acreage was about 123 acres of excellent land, 28 acres of which were grass.
At different times, the acreage was lower and higher than the 1921 figure.
Palterton Hall was owned "within one family" from 1740 to 1921. The Milns family were the original owners and it passed to a daughter of the family who was married to Edward Chaddock Lowndes. Again it passed to a daughter of the Lowndes family who was married to Sir John Gorst.
1916. Sir John Gorst died and in 1919 Mrs Sully records the visit of Miss Gorst and her niece Miss Kitty Gorst who had just inherited the Castle Combe Estates at the tender age of fourteen.
In January 1927 Miss Kitty was to be married to Mr Jimmy Lysley and all the children were invited to the wedding.
People at the Manor House provided annual treats for Castle Coombe school - Edward Lowndes regularly for many years.
According to DOD'S Peerage Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. Sir John Eldon Gorst was the son of Edward Chadwick Lowndes (formerly Gorst) of Preston, Lancs.
1829. The Land Tax reveals that Robert Lowndes, Esq. owned and Thomas Rolling occupied, House and Land in Palterton. It was Palterton Hall and the farm.
Robert Lowndes, Esq. of Chesterfield and Palterton - p.53 Familiae Minorum Gentium vol. 1 page 53.
1829. Land Tax for the parish of Scarcliffe. Matlock R.O. Ref: Q/RE. Film M226.
|Robert Lowndes Esq.||Thomas Rolling||House and land||Not stated|
|Robert Lowndes Esq.||Thomas Rolling||House and land||Not stated|
|Robert Lowndes Esq.||William Bradley||Land||Not stated|
|Robert Lowndes Esq.||John Mellors||Land||Not stated|
1832. Thomas Rolling qualified as an elector because he occupied land £50 and upwards in Palterton and his place of residence was stated to be Palterton. He did not own either Palterton Hall or the farm.
The Electoral Rolls for years between 1832 and 1847/48, record Thomas Rolling qualifying as an elector, but often the qualification differs slightly. One year they record "£50 and upwards", other years "House and Land as occupier" also "Freehold Land". I conclude that he may have had some land separate to Palterton Hall Farm.
1841. 27 May. The Earl Bathurst Estate Papers relating to 'Scarcliffe, Survey, Valuation and Rate' reveals that Thomas Lowndes Esq. owned Palterton Hall and that it was unoccupied. Its size was 3 roods 39 perches and had an annual value of £28, which when assessed at 5d. in the £. was 8 shillings..9d.
Thomas Lowndes Esq. also owned Hall Farm but it was occupied by Thomas Rolling and its size was 159 acres 0 roods 11 perches. Its annual value was £153..14s..1d, the annual value assessed being £131..15s..1d. The rate being 5d. in the £, the rate payable was £2..14s..10d and 3 farthings.
1841. The census reveals that Thomas Rolling, a farmer lived with his wife and family. He had 4 servants. It does not state the farm he occupied but I conject it was Palterton Hall and the farm.
1842/43. The Electoral Roll reveals that Thomas Lowndes of 2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London qualified as an elector because he owned Freehold Land in Palterton that was occupied by Thomas Rolling.
Thomas Rolling also qualified as an elector by residing in Palterton and occupying land valued at £50 and upwards.
1851. The census reveals that Thomas Rolling aged 43 years, a farmer born Palterton, farmed 165 acres and lived with his wife and family. He had 4 labourers and 4 servants. It does not state the farm he occupied but I conject it was Palterton Hall and the farm.
1859. The Land Tax reveals that Thomas Rolling is not at Palterton Hall and farm. He had gone, William Godber had replaced him.
1861. The census reveals William Godber, aged 36 years, a farmer of 158 acres, born at Codnor, Derbyshire living with his wife Amy Godber aged 28 years born at Ashover, Derbyshire. Their children are stated to be: Ann aged 5 years and John aged 3 years, both born at North Wingfield. They have five servants. This is Palterton Hall and farm.
William Godber was born 24 February 1825 at Codnor, Derbyshire, the eight child of John Godber and his wife Ann Godber. He died at Palterton 27 February 1900 and was buried in the churchyard at Scarcliffe Parish Church.
His wife Amy Godber was born 29 May 1832 at Buntingfield near Ashover the daughter of Thomas and Amy Lee nee Bradshaw. She died in 1912 and was also buried in the churchyard at Scarcliffe Parish Church.
William Godber and his wife Amy formerly Lee were married in 1854 at Ashover, Derbyshire. Their children were Ann b.1855, John b.1857, William b.1859, Sarah b.1861, Joseph b.1863, Amy b.1864, Mary b.1866, Hannah b.1868, George b.1870, Elizabeth b.1871 and Isaac b.1874 at Cossall, Nottinghamshire.
1871. The census reveals William Godber, aged 46 years, a farmer with 207 acres, living with his wife and four children. They have four servants and eight labourers. This is Palterton Hall and farm. The farm has increased by 49 acres.
1871. The Land Tax reveals William Godber as an occupier of land.
1874. William and Amy Godber had left Palterton leaving their son John Godber at Palterton Hall. They moved to Manor Farm, Cossall where their youngest son Isaac Godber was born in 1874. This farm was not satisfactory, so they moved back to Palterton, this time to Hill Top House farm.
William Godber (who died in 1900) was by all accounts a good farmer. Of great strength - he is said to have carried two sacks of corn for a wager - he was broad-shouldered rather than particularly tall. He was kindly.
His wife Amy Godber formerly Lee must have been a woman of steel. Her mother was Amy Bradshaw, descended from the Chapel-en-le-Frith family, which produced Judge Bradshaw who sentenced Charles 1. Amy Godber was a woman to be ceaselessly employed herself, and to see that all about her did the like. Butter, cheese, poultry, geese for Nottingham market, knitting and sewing (the cotton patchwork bedspeads were her work).
Those qualities which we speak of as “Godber” - chiefly a driving energy which can be ruthless – have nothing to do with William Godber. They derive from Amy Lee.
1881. The census reveals that John Godber born Williamthorpe, aged 23 years, a farmer of 206 acres, was living with his brothers and sisters together with 3 servants and 1 labourer in Palterton.
1881. Kelly's Trade Directory records William Godber, a farmer in the village.
1880's William and Amy Godber were considered to be well off but suffered in the 1880's when a local bank in which they had deposited money went bust. It was said that otherwise William and Amy would have driven their carriage and pair. However they survived this crisis without having to sell their home, which at that time was Hill Top House farm, Palterton.
1891. The census reveals John Godber, aged 33 yrs, a farmer, born at Williamthorpe. Derbyshire, living with his wife and 3 servants. This must be Palterton Hall and farm. He occupies it but does not own it.
1897. The Rent Charge in lieu of Tithe on Lamb and Wool for 1897, reveals that Edward Lowndes owned Hall Farm but John Godber paid the Apportioned amount of £2..15s..3d., the value being £3..0s..4d.
1900. 2 March.
1901. April. The census reveals that John Godber aged 43 years, married, head of the household, born at Williamthorpe, Derbyshire was a farmer at Hall Farm. His wife Catherine Godber aged 35 years, born Gotham, Notts. lived with him. They had four servants living with them, namely: Jessie Johnson, a single woman aged 17 years employed as a general domestic servant, born at nearby Heath. John Dickenson a single man aged 51 years employed as an Agricultural Labourer and born at Palterton. Thomas Bainbridge (?) a single man aged 23 years employed as a Horse waggoner, born at Carlot Scroop, Lincs. Frederick M. Allwood a single man aged 23 years, an Agricultural Labourer born at Thorpe, Notts. (Ref. RG13/3133).
Let us pause a moment and have a glimpse of Isaac Godber meeting his wife Bessie and their early days together.
When were the dances of which Bessie afterwards spoke so happily? Was it on brief visits home? Happy days, they sounded to her children: driving off in the trap on a frosty night well wrapped up, with straw to protect their feet from the cold; and plenty of partners, among whom the name Leonard Newman seemed to recur most.
In Bedford another candidate for her favours appeared. Isaac Godber was running a small nursery at Kempston. Two of his sisters had married Bells of Bierton, and they recommended their brother to call on their connections in Bedford, the Eustaces. To the young man living in lodgings the Eustace home circle was a pleasant change.
It began with chrysanthemums for a dance. There were evenings walks along the Embankment. Isaac, who laid the most modest foundations for his career, realised he had found his life's partner.
Bessie was taken by surprise, she was 18; she was happy in the Eustace household. They had travelled - had been to Japan (they had in fact with them Japanese servants); might they not travel again and take her with them? Must she so soon assume the responsibilities of life? She wrote to him “This can never be”; but so distressed was she to think of the pain she was giving that, to a man of Isaac's calibre, the gentle refusal was almost an invitation.
The Eustaces moved to Croydon, and Bessie with them. This availed nothing - Isaac followed. Now there were walks in the direction of Shirley; probably it was there that the engagement was made when Bessie was 19. In December 1902, she gave up her post and returned to Puttenham to prepare for her wedding. In after years, when asked why she had married so young, she said ”Well, you see, dear, Dad had been living in digs for several years, and it seemed selfish of me to delay.”
There was one last youthful fling in January, 1903. Lord Roseberry and Mr. Leopold Rothschild held a joint coming-of-age ball for their sons. The Puttenham party went in carriage and pair. Otherwise the six months were spent in preparing a trousseau. There had to be 12 of everything, and all the sisters were pressed into service. The wedding-dress however was bought ready-made in London; it was rather coarse cream material, trimmed with matching ribbon (a small piece survives ). It may have come from D. H. Evans, whose name is on the box which holds the oraange blossom. Isaac cycled over from Kempston (nearly 30 miles) at weekends.
Once Bessie paid a visit to Isaac's home at Palterton, Derbyshire. William Godber and Amy (nee Lee) had brought up most of their family of eleven (6 daughters ~ and 5 sons) at Palterton Hall, a beautiful 18th century house overlooking a valley, once lovely now studded with coal pits.
1918. 1 October. The Rent Charge in lieu of Tithe on Lamb and Wool for 1897, reveals that Sir John Gorst owned Hall Farm but John Godber paid the Apportioned amount of £2..15s..3d., the value being £1..18s..7.5d.
1921. The Hall, was let with other lands on a yearly tenancy to Dr. I. Hodgkinson at a rental of £200 per annum. The total Tithe was £5..5s..5d. The Land Tax was £1..12shillings..5d. The appropriate rent for this lot was £140.
1921. 10 September at Hotel Portland, Chesterfield. Sale of Freehold Estate, embracing an area of about 170 acres, known as Palterton Hall and situate in and around Palterton village.
The Hall and farm was ofered for sale but was withdrawn on the day on account of the price offered. Subsequently it was sold to Mr. Cornelius Hufton Turner of The Wrang, Sutton Scarsdale for £2,000.
1922. Lady Day The Turner family moved to this farm from Carr House Farm.
The late Cornelius Turner born 5 March 1913 in his unpublished autobiography recalls his early memories at Palterton Hall Farm. Writing in 1983, aged 70 years he wrote.
On the night of Lady Day 1922, six days after his tenth birthday, twenty after my (Cornelius) ninth, we had climbed those stairs together for the first time, with a candle perhaps as a special treat, to light the way in that great strange house, echoing in its emptiness. We had moved, that day, lock stock and barrel from Carr House Farm, a mile away below the hill, and it had surely been the most exciting day of our young lives; no doubt we were too soon asleep from sheer exhaustion to worry about the dark, unfamiliar shadows, the wind singing through fresh trees, and all the creepy whispering voices of those old walls. You must have laid awake yourself, listening to them, when you slept there for the first time, alone at the top of that house,last year.
Not much had changed in all that time. School books laid down all those years ago were in the bookcase still, Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, Warner and Martens history and Berchardt’s Algebra, fire scorched along the spine; and when I pushed open the door of the adjacent store-room, there lay the family cradle. In the rush and bustle of moving and finding places for everything - anywhere will do 'til we sort ourselves out- up the back stairs had gone the cradle and fifty years on there it was still. George had only been three, so I suppose it was kept handy in case it was needed again. A simple rectangular box, hooded at one end, on wooden rockers, it was black japanned and decorated with varnished-over cut-outs, Victorian fashions, impossibly corseted young ladies, animals at bay, redcoats on guard, ships in full rig flying before the gale, mighty engines, delicate forget-me-nots. It had already served several generations before us, and we five had each spent most of our first year lying in that box, and tedious hours later rocking it.
And what a day it had been, the day we came to Palterton Hall. We would all be afoot before daybreak. Milk the cows and feed the stock first thing - it was going to be a trying day for them. All done and breakfast over, the half a dozen great shire horses were harnessed up, Smart, Blossom, Violet, Flower and the rest; it would be a long hard day between the shafts of the wagons, drays and carts. Ten rooms there were to be cleared of furniture to be loaded behind the horses, old hard stuffed horse-hair sofas, rush bottom ladder back chairs, kitchen pots and pans, milk buckets, butter churns, brass bedsteads, wash tubs, the grandfather clock that's still ticking away at Auntie Beth's. Cupboards, sideboards, stools and the round mahogany table where I sit at this moment putting these words to paper. There were no carpets, but a variety of home-made mats and pegged rugs. The heavy iron mangle, wash tubs and the pig-killing bench made a cart-load on their own. Over all that Mama presided like a commanding general. But we were outside which was Dadda's province and where we lads, running wild for the day could hardly breathe for the excitement of it.
The hens, shut in their roosts overnight, would be slung in sickbays willy-nilly a dozen at a time and thrown into the carts and the piglets likewise - and what a commotion they made of it. Now would come the drive. All this cackling, squealing and shouted orders would have conveyed itself to the livestock, and when the young horses, calves, every man and boy on hand with shouts and sticks, well then up would go their tails, heads down, heels in the air, up and off and away, ho, hey tally-ho across the meadow, through the drive gate and up the road, over the hill and far away! Yells and shouts and waving of arms and racing ahead to turn them here and block a gap there! That would be a day to remember for a lifetime.
Luckily for all concerned, with a mile to go the animals had time to get out of puff, and long before they'd rounded the Dark Corner, raced past the Sally Gap, and reached the village street at the top of the hill, they'd be sampling the flavour of the road-side grass and giving us the chance of getting our own breath back too. The sheep, of course, were well used to driving, and in any case our collie dog Gyp could handle them on her own so long as Dadda walked ahead to show her the way. The cows too soon calmed down but the young beast, bold and spoilt by an hour’s freedom in this new exciting world would make pretended rushes at the dog with mock tossing of heads from a safe distance as if to say "Just you wait until my horns grow and then I'll show you!"
All day long, back and forth the procession of animals, wagons, carts, ploughs, mowers, cultivators, harrows, rolls, reapers, tools, harness, ladders, ropes, barrows, mills and engines, root-choppers, cattle-cake mills. chaff-cutters and such would have continued while we lads raced through the house, counting the eighteen rooms, the twenty six windows, the attics and the cellars.
All day too, as the rooms were cleared, my mother would have systematically swept and scrubbed down each one until by evening she could declare the old house clean, bright and respectable for its new tenants. And turning perhaps for one last look at the room where three of her children had been born, she turned wearily to face a new house and arrived, last of all, and fit to drop, at Palterton.
The next morning she'd have said "Get that cradle up the back stairs-it'll do there for now!".... and it's there yet!
Thank you, Cornelius for this lovely description of your family moving house and first day at Palterton Hall farm.
Please note: This extract re Cornelius Turner was written on this web site pre December 2006.
1938. Ellen Turner, now heiress to the Hall and farm married Charles Spray and continued to farm there.
1983. May. The house was for sale for £72,000. At that time, the Hall and the farm were separated. The Hall became a private dwelling. Shortly afterwards the Spray family had a house built in the croft next to the Hall. Thus the new building with the farm became known as Hall Farm.
References : Lysons 252, Milnes of Chesterfield/Glover. 11.286: Lowndes and Gorst/Blg.(1937) 1418. Frescheville B/V. 1662 & BDEP 224: COLUMBELL/V. 1611 : Revell/V.1569 : LEAKE/V.1569 & sub Scarsdale, E/BDEP 319.
Reference : Miss Kitty Gorst later Lysley. She died in 1989, her final home being Upper Combe House, now rather dilapidated. Her son William Paul Gorst Lysley, known as Paul, is believed to be an organic farmer at Castle Combe.  (December 2007).
Created 2 December 2003
Last updated: 7 February 2013