Thornbridge Hall

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Thornbridge Hall
Thornbridge Hall 1871.jpg
Thornbridge Hall in 1871
General information
Town or city Great Longstone
Country England
Coordinates 53°14′06″N1°42′18″W / 53.234959°N 1.705112°W / 53.234959; -1.705112 Coordinates: 53°14′06″N1°42′18″W / 53.234959°N 1.705112°W / 53.234959; -1.705112
ClientLongsdon family

Thornbridge Hall is a large English country house situated near the village of Great Longstone in the local government district of Derbyshire Dales in Derbyshire. It is a grade 2 listed building.

English country house larger mansion estate in England, UK

An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a town house. This allowed them to spend time in the country and in the city—hence, for these people, the term distinguished between town and country. However, the term also encompasses houses that were, and often still are, the full-time residence for the landed gentry that ruled rural Britain until the Reform Act 1832. Frequently, the formal business of the counties was transacted in these country houses.

Great Longstone village and civil parish in Derbyshire Dales district, Derbyshire, England

Great Longstone with Little Longstone is one of two villages in the local government district of Derbyshire Dales in Derbyshire, England. The population as taken at the 2011 Census was 843.

Derbyshire Dales District in England

Derbyshire Dales is a local government district in Derbyshire, England. The population of the district as taken at the 2011 Census was 71,116. Much of the district is situated in the Peak District, although most of its population lies along the River Derwent.



From the 12th to the late 18th century, Thornbridge Hall was the seat of the Longsdon family. In 1790, John Morewood bought Thornbridge Hall for the then very large sum of £10,000. He made his money exporting linens from Manchester to St Petersburg in Russia. The Morewood family considerably enlarged the house. In 1859, Frederick Craven rebuilt the house in Jacobean style and installed the William Morris/Edward Burne-Jones window in the Great Hall.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 534,982 as of 2018. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.9 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.

Jacobean architecture

The Jacobean style is the second phase of Renaissance architecture in England, following the Elizabethan style. It is named after King James I of England, with whose reign it is associated. At the start of James' reign there was little stylistic break in architecture, as Elizabethan trends continued their development. However his death in 1625 came as a decisive change towards more classical architecture, with Italian influence, was in progress, led by Inigo Jones; the style this began is sometimes called Stuart architecture, or English Baroque.

William Morris Textile designer, novelist, and socialist activist (1834–1896)

William Morris was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role proliferating the early socialist movement in Britain.

In 1896, George Marples, a Sheffield businessman and lawyer, extended the house to nearly its present form, built lodges and cottages, landscaped the park and gardens, added his own private railway station, and acquired the Watson buffet fountain from Chatsworth House.

Sheffield City and metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 582,506 (mid-2018 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Chatsworth House stately home in Derbyshire, England

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549.

From 1929, Charles Boot, the Sheffield entrepreneur who designed and built Pinewood Studios, added items from Clumber Park and panelling from Derwent Hall. His company, Henry Boot Construction, was contracted to demolish Clumber after a fire in 1938. It was Boot who was responsible for bringing the many items to Thornbridge, although most were lost to private buyers through auction. Thornbridge Hall is now home to a vast array of statues, facades and fountains originally belonging to Clumber.

Charles Boot British film producer

Charles Boot JP was an English businessman and film producer who was the driving force behind the growth of Henry Boot & Sons in the inter-war period. As well as creating one of the largest contracting and housebuilding firms of its time, he was a staunch advocate of the need for better housing and the virtues of private rather than local authority housing. He was also the creator of Pinewood Studios.

Pinewood Studios British film studio and television studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England

Pinewood Studios is a British film and television studio located in Iver Heath on the outskirts of Slough, it is 2 miles (3.2 km) from Uxbridge, and approximately 17 miles (27 km) west of central London.

Clumber Park estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England

Clumber Park is a country park in The Dukeries near Worksop in 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.

Sheffield City Council took over the house in 1945 and it became a teacher training college, Thornbridge Hall College of Education. At this time the house was of sufficient note that a Great Western Railway GWR 6959 Class steam locomotive – No. 6964, built in May 1944 – was named Thornbridge Hall in June 1947. It was withdrawn from service in September 1965 and later scrapped at T. Ward in Beighton, Sheffield. [1] In later years, the hall was used as an educational and conference centre by the council, providing residential facilities for teachers and pupils in the house itself and in various outbuildings.

Sheffield City Council Local government body in England

Sheffield City Council is the city council for the metropolitan borough of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. It consists of 84 councillors, elected to represent 28 wards, each with three councillors. It is currently under Labour control and led by Julie Dore.

Great Western Railway Former railway company in the United Kingdom

The Great Western Railway (GWR) was a British railway company that linked London with the southwest and west of England, the West Midlands, and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament on 31 August 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838. It was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who chose a broad gauge of 7 ft —later slightly widened to 7 ft 14 in —but, from 1854, a series of amalgamations saw it also operate 4 ft 8 12 in standard-gauge trains; the last broad-gauge services were operated in 1892.

GWR 6959 Class class of 71 two-cylinder 4-6-0 locomotives

The Great Western Railway (GWR) 6959 Class or Modified Hall Class is a class of 4-6-0 steam locomotive. They were a development by Frederick Hawksworth of Charles Collett's earlier Hall Class named after English and Welsh country houses.

The Hunt family purchased the house from the Council in 1997, started restoration work to the gardens, and removed additions to the house to reveal its earlier proportions.


The 12 acres of formal gardens were designed at the end of the 19th century by Simeon Marshall, working for the internationally acclaimed James Backhouses & Sons Nursery. They were inspired by the vision of the owner, George Marples, to create a '1000 shades of green' to be viewed from his bedroom window. Areas of the garden include the Italian Garden, Scented Terrace, Water Garden, Koi Pond, Kitchen Garden and Orangery, amongst others.

A programme of redevelopment in the gardens is currently underway.

2017 New Knot Garden created. Replacing a box hedge knot garden, the new knot garden is full of stunning grasses, salvias, alliums, geums and yew

2019 Cascade Garden (phase1) created. Situated below the koi pond, and complete with a waterfall, this area has been terraced by gabions filled with a mixture of tufa and yew. Bananas, ginger, tree ferns, bamboo, gunnera and many other 'exotic' plants fill this area.

In 2017, the gardens became an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Partner Garden. They are open to the public on selected days between April and September.

Present use

The house in 2006 Thornbridge Hall 171166 2c9ad802.jpg
The house in 2006

From 2002, Thornbridge Hall has been owned by Jim and Emma Harrison, owners of Thornbridge Brewery and A4e respectively, [2] [3] and is both a private family home and a venue for events, including weddings. The gardens are open to the public every Wednesday and Thursday, between April and September.

Emma Louise Harrison CBE, is an entrepreneur. She is the founder and a key shareholder of A4e. She was the company's chairperson until 24 February 2012.

Thornbridge Brewery brewery

The Thornbridge Brewery is an independent brewery founded in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, Ashford-in-the-Water near Bakewell, Derbyshire, England.

A4e For-profit welfare-to-work company based in the United Kingdom

A4e was a for-profit, welfare-to-work company based in the United Kingdom. The company began in Sheffield in 1991 with the objective to provide redundant steelworkers with the training required to obtain new jobs.

The original Thornbridge Brewery was based in a converted joiner's and stonemason’s workshop within the grounds of Thornbridge Hall. It aims "to make a small range of quality cask and bottled beers using new recipes, innovative approaches and the use of local fresh ingredients". Its first beers appeared in February 2005 and have won awards.

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