Granby House (8 Long Acre)

Numbers 8 and 10 Long Acre is a pair of imposing three storied Edwardian Houses of character. As with many other properties in Bingham, Granby House stands on land once owned by the Earls of Chesterfield and their successors the Earls of Carnarvon. This was originally a relatively small plot in terms of the houses now built on it - only Carnarvon House (No 6), Granby House and its other half, No 10. From the 1901/1915 OS maps it looks as though these three and a few similarly aged properties on The Banks were 'edges' to the farmland. The central portion was not built on until the 1960's/1970's, resulting in Banks Crescent, Melvyn Drive, Walkers Close and The Paddocks as core infill. The parcels of land for these houses were part of the larger Walkers Farm. James Walker was the farmer who turned builder; his yard was where Walkers Close is now. The land of Numbers 2 and 4 was independently owned.

Opposite, Victoria Villa has a date stone for 1887 and we know James Walker built that whole row over a few years around this period. Numbers 1-17 are clearly shown on the 1900 map whereas numbers 6,8 and 10 are not. The deeds for Carnarvon House show it to have been built at the end of 1900. Numbers 8 and 10 are on the 1915 map so must have been built soon after Carnarvon House. We know that Walker built these as well.

The 8th Earl of Chesterfield, George Philip Stanhope settled the land on the 4th Earl of Carnarvon in 1874, in anticipation of his forthcoming marriage to Evelyn, sister of the 7th earl and daughter of the 6th Earl of Chesterfield. The 7th Earl died without male hairs so the title and estates had passed to the 8th Earl via a separate line going back as far as the 1st Earl. The Earl of Carnarvon (or more accurately, his wife) came by the Bingham properties in two tranches, one on marriage, as in this case, and the second on the death of the 8th Earl.

The first record of sale is June 1920 when the Earl of Carnarvon sold the freehold of the house and land to Hebert Simons, a political agent, for £78/2/6d. He later sold Simons an extra plot, for £25, to lengthen the garden. Thus the house was presumably let or used by the Earl during the first few years. No previous lease or letting documents survive as they have in the case of other houses we have examined. It may be that Simons or his father had the house built on leased land, a common arrangement, as with Carnarvon House. Kelly's 1904 directory, which does not give addresses, has Henry Simons, Insurance Agent listed. There are stories of the Earl visiting and entertaining ladies here - tales of policemen guarding the property whilst he was here!

The Earl sold many freeholds in 1920 suggesting he was raising cash for his excavations in Egypt. These had been suspended during WW1 and restarted about 1920, with Tutenkamen's tomb being found in 1922. Mrs Simon was a piano teacher and is remembered by older residents of the town. Another piano teacher lived at number 17 (now the funeral directors). Simon died in possession and his executors sold to Mr and Mrs Staunton in 1950, and they to Annie Ellis and Miriam Patrick in 1958. In the 1958 documents the house was named 'Pant Asaph' which is a small village near Denbigh in North Wales. The present owners purchased in 1968.

Granby House has an interesting set of cellar rooms. One is flagged with York Stone and one floored with brick - the coal place. Outside in common with most other houses in Bingham of this and earlier date was a pump to a well and a soft water cistern fed by rainwater from the roof.

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