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Holme Lodge
16 Long Acre East

Holme Lodge was owned by the Shelford Estate of the Earls of Chesterfield and later, through marriage, the Earls of Carnarvon. In 1925 the estate passed to the Crown in lieu of estate duty following the death of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon in 1923. However, our recent research work with the maps of 1841, 1776 and 1586 reveal that at least until 1841 the property was owned by John Crooke a butcher. Whether the present house was built by then or afterwards is unknown. The size suggests it was built after the Chesterfield Estate acquired the property. See the sections on old maps for further details.

The lodge was supposedly built as a hunting lodge and is said to have been used by the Earl's agent. Certainly there are photographs from the time of large hunting parties and the Earls are known to have hunted here. In his memoirs the sixth Earl writes of hunting in Bingham in about 1925 and staying at the Station Hotel, Nottingham, with friends. A private chapel was built in the grounds and used by the estate workers.

It was actually built for the Earl's estate manager. C Kenrick Jones was the manager in 1896 and 1900 but tantalisingly the directories do not say where he or the estate office could be found. Later directories do record two agents in residence - William Henry Pain in 1908 and John Seymour Rutherford in 1922.

The deeds, as with all former estate properties, are silent as to the history of the house before the Crown sold it. The house is listed Grade II and the description for this suggests a build date of 1831. The elaborate early nineteenth century iron gate is also highlighted.

The deed papers only go back to the sale of the house by the Crown Commissioners in 1951. Normally there would be no record of occupiers before this, but the deeds to Donkey Green Cottage, opposite offer some clues. In 1944 a Miss Violet Catherine Pratt-Barlow, of Holme Lodge, bought Donkey Green's Cottage, but for what purpose it is not clear. A lady resident of Bingham remembers the cottage being derelict, but is not sure when. Miss Pratt-Barlow continued to live at Holme Lodge until her death in 1951. We have no knowledge of who she was or how long she had lived at Holme Lodge before 1944.

After she died the Crown sold Holme Lodge for £1100 to Sir Douglas McCraith, a Nottingham solicitor who lived at Normanton Grange, Plumtree. This fits the pattern we have observed, that the Crown sold only after the death of a tenant and never to the tenant (who would have had the right to a lower price). The plans show the road as Long Acre, the East must have been added later. Parcel 247 seems to have been an orchard, which were common in Bingham at the time. Interestingly, Sir Douglas' wife, Lady Phyllis, had bought Donkey Green's Cottage two months earlier, but never seemed to have lived there. This purchase is recorded in the supplemental abstract of title, 1955, but is not recorded in the bundle of deeds for the cottage. She did live at Holme Lodge, and local folklore has it that Sir Douglas remained at Normanton Grange. She was said to have been keen on horse racing and her jockey is thought to have lived over the stables in the barn on the corner of Dark Lane. Maybe he used Donkey Green's Cottage.

When the estate transferred to the Crown, the Earl of Carnarvon had reserved the mineral rights below 600 ft in respect of the whole estate. He had full power to search for and work minerals but could only access them from existing underground workings. An interesting covenant imposed by the Crown is that the premises shall be used only for private purposes, so no hotel conversions could be considered.

Sir Douglas died on 16 September 1952. In August 1955 his executors, one of whom was Lady Phyllis, sold Holme Lodge and Donkey Green's Cottage to Henry Perry Griffin of Old Mill House, Lowdham, company director. He was a director of the Nottingham department store Griffin and Spalding, later to become Debenhams. He paid £7500 for a total of 2.73 acres.

A small plot of land east of Dark Lane on the corner with Long Acre East (marked X on the plan above) and not shown on the plan attached to the sale documents for 1955 had been added as conveyance from the Crown to Griffin on 6 July 1959. Griffin sold this plot of 0.43 acres to Enid Winifred Stewart on 20 August 1959 for £807.1.0d. No18 was built on this plot. It is actually an engulfed cottage - the modern house has an old cottage at its core. The barn has since been converted to a house (No18a).

On 31 December 1964 Griffin sold the land to the rear of Holme Lodge to Hericon developments, to build the bungalows of Perry Grove. The house itself with some land was sold to John Raymond Sail as sub-purchaser, of 14 Market Place Bingham. This sale included the garage of Donkey Green Cottage. The garage of Donkey Green Cottage was sold to the owner of the cottage in 1988 and Holme Lodge was sold to the present owners in 1998. Mr and Mrs Sail retained some garden including the old chapel, on which to build a bungalow.


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