History of Lamcote House
The actual date of when the house was built is rather obscure, however records do show that Mr John Topott, a Nottingham confectioner was the first person recorded as living there, so we can assume that he had it built on land purchased from Earl Manvers.
John Topott was baptised in 1749 at St Nicolas church in Nottingham, he had two brothers and two sisters. His father Beaumont Topott was also a confectioner, druggist and chemist. According to the UK Land Tax* Redemption List a John Topott is recorded at Lamcote paying 5s.6d in 1798 and a further 7s in 1799. He married Penelope Stanford on 16 June 1777, she died in 1789. In 1806 whilst living here he is recorded as becoming sheriff of Nottingham, a post he held for the next three years. He was elevated to acting Deputy Lieutenant for the county in 1815. The house earned the nickname ‘Sugar Plum Hall’ either from his profession or the shape of the trees. John Topott died at Lamcote House on 4 July 1827 aged 78. In his will dated 1827 he left bequests to Penelope Elliott, spinster, a relative of his wife who was living at Lamcote House at the time. He also left the house and lands to Henrietta Julia Burnside (more on this family later) wife of the Reverend John Burnside, rector of Plumtree.
*The Land Tax was made a permanent charge on the land in 1798 and supposedly fixed at 4/- in the pound (20%)—but this shows variation. However proprietors were given the option to pay a (considerable) lump sum or purchase government stock to free themselves from future liability.
In 1829 an advertisement appeared in a number of newspapers:-
LAMCOTE HOUSE and grounds and 25 acres of land, near Nottingham in the best possible order for immediate occupation. – To be let by Mr George Robins, for a term of year, or from year to year-
LAMCOTE HOUSE, with its beautifully disposed grounds and plantation walks,
and 25 acres of land.This residence has long been deservedly the subject of
admiration; it is built in a superior manner and partakes of
THE ROMAN STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE
It possesses abundant accommodation to render it suited to the views of a
gentleman of family and fortune, with corresponding offices of every description.
It is within easy reach of 3 packs of hounds, and 2 London mails and 6 coaches
pass the skirts of the park like grounds daily.The county is justly esteemed for
its quiet but picturesque scenery.It is within half a mile of the river Trent, and
the grounds approximate upon the high road to Grantham and Newark, and not
far distant from the extensive properties of the Earls of Chesterfield and Manvers.
Further particulars may be had on application to Mr Wood, architect, Nottingham
and at Mr George Robin’s offices, Convent Garden.
The following residents we assume were renting the house as they appeared to have spent a relatively short period of time in residence.
- 1832 – Francis Wright with his wife Selina (nee Fitz-herbert), they had a son Francis Beresford who was born at the house. Francis belonged to a junior line of the banking family, J & J C Wright & Co. They had moved by 1838.
- 1848 – George Bacon is living here with his wife Mary. He was born in 1806 in Nottingham. He was a Lace Manufacturer and also the first Sheriff of Nottingham under the Municipal Reform Act of 1835 (The Act established a uniform system of Municipal Boroughs to be governed by town councils elected by ratepayers). Recorded in the 1851 census at Lamcote House he is living with Mary, and four servants. They moved to Hempshill Hall later that year. A sale of the contents of the house was held in April 1851 and was advertised-
J M Pott is favoured with instructions from G Bacon Esq (who is leaving Lamcote House)
to offer for unreserved sale, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2-4th April, the major
part of the contents of this elegantly furnished Mansion, containing in part, richly
carved and gilt console table and glass (plate 102 inches high), antique chairs
upholstered in crimson tabarrette; suite of rosewood couch chairs;Loo table and
chiffonier, a splendid set of circular extending Dining table of
mahogany on massive pedestal with carved mouldings in high condition, with sideboard
and occasional table to match: noble chimney glass; Spanish mahogany bookcase;
superb octagon hall lamp of stained glass; a knotted oak winged wardrobe (a fine
piece of workmanship), Fourpost, tent and French bedsteads; goose-coat beds,
mattresses and bedding and other sleeping chamber appendages; Blue Saxony
cloth curtains for 5 windows and 5 beautifully carved and gilt raised cornices;
also requisites for hall and servant’s offices, French window blinds etc.
A number of high class paintings. A SMALL LIBRARY OF BOOKS for the most
part richly bound, together with prints in superior frames.The plate comprises a
beautiful tea service complete, perforated cake basket, goblets, waiters, spoons, forks etc.
Among the miscellaneous articles are the wines, carriages, harness and a collection of
hot house plants.
Photograph of the house 1851
George died on 27 June 1880 in Scarborough.
- 1851 – The next resident was Thomas Marriott, a magistrate. He had three daughters and a son. He married Sarah Ann Breedon on 8 May 1821 and they lived in The Park, Nottingham before moving to Lamcote House. His wife had died in 1845. He died 3 December 1857 in East Langton in Leicestershire by committing suicide while on a visit to his son-in-law, the Reverend J M Piercey of Slawston, Leicestershire. Suffering from depression, he drowned himself in a water cistern while looking over a new house being built for the Pierceys at East Langton. He was judged temporarily insane at the inquest and buried at Saddington near Market Harborough where he had married Sarah Ann Breedon. One of his daughters Mary Ann was to marry the Rev. John Burgess, vicar of Radcliffe from 1845-1873. A furniture sale at Lamcote House followed Thomas ‘s death and gives a glimpse of the interior of the house in the mid-nineteenth century. The dining and breakfast rooms were furnished in the ‘finest Spanish mahogany… of the most substantial make.’ The elegant drawing room contained items in ‘Zebra and Rosewood’ and a noble console table and glass (the plate of the glass was 102 inches high). Also included in the sale were rich window draperies, the ‘superior’ contents of eight bedrooms and dressing rooms, furniture from the hall, staircase and servants’ offices, highly finished Guns and Rifles and handsome china services. Also advertised were greenhouse plants and valuable carriage and hackney horses, fashionable Brougham, four-wheel dog cart, Tilbury, harness, saddles etc, two stacks of prime hay, fat and store beasts, pigs, farming implements and other effects. The house was advertised to let in the following March, along with its hothouse, pleasure grounds and gardens, stabling for six horses and eighteen acres of adjoining land.
- 1859 – We know Ichabod Charles Wright (see photograph ) was living here in 1859 as a newspaper report of November 1859 states that a valuable hunter from the Wright stables at Lamcote had been killed. In the 1861 census he is living here with his wife Theodosia the daughter of Lord Denman and four children. A butler and four female servants lived in while a coachman and his family lived in a house at the stables (where the present Lamcote Gardens is sited). Not only was he a banker and the author of two works on currency but he had a distinguished academic career and was the translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy and Homer’s Iliad into English verse. He also became an M.P. For Nottingham from 1868-1870. They did not stay here long but during their time at Lamcote House their second daughter, Frances, was married in May 1861 at St Mary’s in the Radcliffe to Mr Edward Cropper of Thorntonfield near Gainsborough. In an account in the Nottingham Journal the bridal procession of five carriages, and of six bridesmaids dressed in white net trimmed with blue ribbons and with white tulle bonnets was recorded. The bride’s dress, showing ‘simplicity and taste’ was in a similar style, with a veil of white silk thrown over a fragile coronet of orange blossom.
- 1862 – Henry Hawkes from Spalding, a magistrate was the next resident. He married Martha Clark and they had four daughters. One of his daughters, Martha, got married in the local church in 1863 to a Sussex clergyman, but the local newspaper does not seem to have found this wedding as worthy of such coverage as the Wright wedding. They left Lamcote House in 1865 and moved to Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding. By 1871 he had moved to Hove in Sussex. He died in 1883 aged 76 in Huntingdonshire.
- 1867 – 1904 (THE BURNSIDE YEARS)
1867 – The Burnside sisters are now resident. Their father Rev John Burnside was the rector at Plumtree. He is noted in White’s Directory of 1864 as having an estate in Radcliffe, although it is possible that he owned Lamcote House before then. One of the sisters, Frances Emily, records in the 1871 census that she was born at Lamcote House in 1830, so they probably were living there at that time.
Shortly after they had moved to the house a fire broke out. In March 1867 according to a report in the local paper –
One of the ladies’ maids who was sleeping on the second floor was awoken about a quarter to 4 in the morning by a crackling noise and a smell of burning. On opening the door to the landing she saw the shutters and casing in the parlour were in flames. The staff set to work to put out the fire, assisted by some of the villagers who on hearing the alarm bell ringing ran at once to the Mansion. A messenger on horseback was sent to Nottingham for the fire brigade but by the time they arrived with an engine and four horses the fire had been put out, causing damage to no more than a window, which could be repaired for £30 through the Burnsides’ policy with the Imperial Fire Office. It was concluded that the fire was caused by an overheated flue.’
In 1871 three of the sisters are shown to be living here: Julia (born 1821), Frances Emily (born 1830), Mary (born 1831) along with their nephew William and a staff of eleven resident servants including a butler (Thomas Harrison who died in 1873 at Lamcote). Frances, after visiting a seaside mission with her sisters in 1875, underwent a religious conversion and worked for missions in the village and Nottingham until her death on 27 December 1875. Even without Frances’s evangelising spirit, Lamcote House became a focal point for religion and charity in the neighbourhood. Anne Adelaide the eldest sister, born in 1820, known as Adelaide was living in Brighton at this time. She was probably the owner of Lamcote House.
The Burnside sisters quickly involved themselves in village life and newspaper reports confirm this:
At a show held in the village by the Radcliffe Gardening Society in 1875 the Misses Burnside won various prizes for vegetables and flowers in the category for ‘gentlemen and gardeners’.
A vestry meeting held in the village on November 8 1877 passed a resolution that the parish church should be enlarged and restored. Contributions were sought to the fund from the village residents. Adelaide donated £500 and Mary £800.
Another regular event that Adelaide was involved in was the annual treat for aged people, widows and others of the village, an example of which was reported in the local newspaper when ‘upwards of 100 persons partook of a substantial tea on the lawn of Lamcote House. Many other guests included Rev John Cullen and relatives of the Burnsides. Reference was made to the kindness and hospitality of Miss Burnside.’
In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses Adelaide is living with the family at The Rectory in Plumtree. However in 1871 she is recorded as living at 65 Regency Square in Brighton (described as an Annuitant) along with her maid Sarah Streeton. Sarah was to be a lifelong employee of Adelaide; recorded as a maid at the age of 20, she died in 1900 at the age of 84 and is buried in Radcliffe cemetery. They are both still in Brighton in the 1881 census. In the 1891 census Adelaide does not appear but her nephew William is there as is Georgina Peacock and her two sons who are recorded as visitors, and Caroline Yeomans, Adelaide’s companion plus, twelve servants. However Adelaide is listed as a County Elector in the 1892 Electoral Roll registered at Lamcote. Adelaide married very late in life at the age of 72 to the Hon Henry Lewis Noel on 31 August 1892 in London. He was a widower, born in Rutland and had been a captain in the 68th Light Infantry Regiment. He was the son of the Earl of Gainsborough and also a magistrate. He had three sons and three daughters by his first wife Emily Elizabeth Housey, who died at the age of 60 in 1890. After his second marriage he came to live at Lamcote House whilst still maintaining a residence in London. He took an active part in local affairs as the chairman of the parish council from 1894 to 1898. He was instrumental in securing the playground which was opened to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria on June 22 1897. He also placed, for the convenience and comfort of the aged and infirm of the village, a couple of seats in the main street. He also took a kindly interest in the Lamcote House Mothers Meeting, as did Adelaide.
Henry died on 7 June 1898 leaving effects of £27,359.11.7d (equivalent to over £3m today). A report in the Nottingham Guardian dated 18 June 1898 gave an account of the funeral:
On Monday afternoon, amid abundant manifestations of sorrow and regret, the remains of the late Hon. Henry Noel of Lamcote House, Radcliffe on Trent, were interred in the churchyard at Plumtree. The deceased gentleman, who was the brother of the late and uncle of the present Earl of Gainsborough was formerly connected with the 68th Light Infantry and held a commission. A few years ago he married Miss Burnside, a daughter of the late Rev John Burnside of Plumtree rectory. During the time he was resident in Radcliffe his kindly nature and charitable position won the esteem and warm regard of all who came into contact with him. He interested himself in the work of the Parish and from its inception he was associated with the parish council originally as vice president and subsequently as chairman upon the retirement from that position of Lord Newark. The cortege left Lamcote House at 2p.m. Proceeded by way of Cotgrave to the churchyard at Plumtree.
In July 1900 Mrs Noel hosted a visit by the Nottingham Adult Deaf and Dumb Society to Radcliffe, it being the 11th consecutive year that she had extended her hospitality to the society. The grounds, hothouses, vineries, kitchen and flower gardens were all open to the visitors, under the guidance of the head gardener Mr Goodliffe. Tea was served to 58 members supervised by Mr Walter Stafford and the Misses Stafford. After tea they retired to an adjacent field where several amusements had been provided together with a cricket match.
In 1901 Adelaide is living ‘on her own means’ at Lamcote but still with a retinue of ten servants. She continued to work for the parish until her death in 1904. She was incapacitated during her last years due to a fall in the church in 1902 breaking her hip.
Plaque in St Mary’s Church, South Aisle, Radcliffe
In her will she bequeathed various amounts to Church Missionary Society, Nottingham General Hospital, British and Foreign Bible Society, Midland Eye Infirmary, Notts Nursing Association and many more. To her lady companion, Caroline Yeomans she left £10,000 but only if she was in her service at the time of her death. It was Caroline who carried out the unveiling of the drinking fountain in the centre of the village as Mrs Noel had fallen a few weeks earlier and was unable to perform the opening herself. Caroline retired to Bexhill to live with her widowed mother and two sisters. She died in 1942 at the age of 91.
The Burnside sisters all married with the exception of Frances. Mary married William Byron on 23 November 1878. He was a widower, a clerk in holy orders living in London. His father was George Anson (Lord Byron). A dinner was given for all the servants and workmen connected with Lamcote House on the evening of their marriage. Mary died in 1888. Julia Georgiana married John Elliott Burnside, a cousin, who was a landed proprietor, in 1844. They lived at Gedling House and had a son William Elliott. Julia died on 21 March 1887 at Scarborough.
THE DECLINING YEARS
Lt. Col. Charles Birkin became the next significant owner making it a centre for fashionable society, while continuing the Burnside tradition of involvement in the local community. The Birkin family were lace manufacturers and can trace their family back a number of years in Nottingham. Charles was a much acclaimed designer of lace. He was associated with the military from his school days, first with the second volunteers of the Warwickshire Regiment and later with the Robin Hood Rifles. He was in command of the latter when they moved to France in the early part of the First World War and was severely wounded in July 1915. (See radcliffeontrentww1.org.uk for his full war history).
His wife, Claire Birkin, formerly Claire Lloyd Howe of New York, turned Lamcote House into an auxiliary hospital for 20 officers during the First World War (see photograph above) under her charge as Commandant of the Red Cross 94th Notts Voluntary Aid Detachment (see radcliffeontrentww1.org.uk for her biography).
An article in the Nottingham Guardian described the preparations:
Without sacrificing any of the charm of home surroundings, Mrs Birkin has succeeded in meeting all the requirements of a hospital of this kind. Lamcote House is eminently suited for its new purpose as the principal bedrooms are not only spacious and lofty, but are all on one floor. The bathroom accommodation has been supplemented on a most adequate scale, and another room has been fitted up as a surgery. The decorative style adopted in the wards is restful and harmonious, one being in blue, another in rose colour and so on. Nothing has been omitted to make the men forget, if only for a time, the rigours through which they have passed. One end the large drawing room downstairs has been fitted up by Colonel Birkin as a billiard room, with writing room facilities, and the dining room close by. The guests will have free run of the grounds and their tennis courts, while the Radcliffe golf club has also put its links at the officers disposal.
Prince of Wales and Claire Birkin at Lamcote House
The Birkins had four children. One of them, Winifred May (known as Freda) who married William Dudley Ward, MP for Southampton went on to have a notorious affair with the Prince of Wales (Edward V111), said to have begun at a Belgrave Square house party during an air raid in 1918. The prince became a familiar figure in the village during the 1920s and 1930s. Violet married Capt Blew-Jones of the Household Cavalry, who had been a patient at Lamcote House. After they married they lived at The Chestnuts for a while. The Birkins’ other daughter Vera married James Seeley from Brick House on 5 February 1925. Their son Charles Lloyd, born in 1907, married Janet Johnson. He became Sir Charles L Birkin in 1942.
Colonel Birkin purchased Lamcote Farm from Thomas Elnor in 1920 and spent the following years building up the cattle herd and developing a dairy business. He put into practice ideas he had about clean milk production and became president of the Nottinghamshire Milk Recording Society.
In April 1928 there was a burglary at the house. Valuable silver and other property was stolen between 10.30p.m.and 6a.m. The intruders got away with silver, silver plate, miniature paintings, a clock and many other items including a quantity of cigarettes and cigars. The house had been entered by an insecure side door and the ground floor rooms were ransacked.
In October 1931 Lt. Col. C W Birkin put the house and the adjoining Lamcote farm containing 177 acres up for sale. In the local Nottingham Journal where the advert was inserted he said-
I have lived here for over 25 years; it is a delightful place, surrounded by trees and magnificent gardens. The advertisement described it as “delightful as a private residence, and also obviously suitable for a nursing home, country club, or institution.”
Col B said to a “journal” reporter: “Yes I want to sell LH and farm if I can; something has to be done in these times, for business in the lace trade is very bad. Does it mean that you contemplate leaving the district?” our reporter asked Col B. “No, because my business interests are here; but if the sale is effected, I shall probably take a smaller house in or near the city.” he replied.
When asked if his herd of pedigree cattle would be included in the sale he replied that no decision had yet been made, to say nothing of the stud of race horses. One of his horses, Brulette, won The Oaks at Epsom in 1931.
After Col. Birkin’s death on Sunday 3 April 1932 a number of mourners attended the funeral held at St Mary’s in the village. The pall bearers consisted of a number of the Lamcote House staff, i.e. Fred Smith his valet and butler, George Raines the head gardener, Mr Harris, a gardener, Bert Varney, a stud groom, Arthur Varney, a footman , Ernie Whitworth, farm bailiff, Mr Bates, a farmhand and Harry Kemp, the chauffeur.
In September 1932 Turner, Fletcher and Essex advertised the house together with 2 cottages, a house, stabling, malt house and coach house for auction.
Particulars of Lot one
Freehold Residential Estate
known as Lamcote House
Situated on the west of the village of Radcliffe on Trent, and 5 miles east of the city of Nottingham. It is approached by a short carriage drive from the Nottingham and Radcliffe main road and occupies a charming position amidst delightful grounds and well grown plantations.
The residence, which is substantially built of brick, is very conveniently planned, and is replete with all modern conveniences. The interior accommodation is as follows:-
South front Main Entrance with stone portico and stone paved terrace
Ground floor Main hall, 48 feet in length; Morning Room (facing south and west) 18’ x 17’ 6”; a very fine Drawing room (facing West 36’ x 21’ ); North entrance and lobby; Dining room (facing North) 27’ 6” x 19’ 6”; cloakroom and lavatory; Smoking room (facing south) 17’6” x 17’6”.
An imposing staircase ascending from the main hall and leading to the
Principal and east landings (first floor) giving access to the following rooms: octagonal school room (facing west) 18’ 6” x 17’, with lobby and two store closets adjoining; north-west bedroom, 17’ 6” x 17’ 6”; dressing room adjoining and facing north 13’ x 10’ 6”; north bedroom 27’ x 18’ 6″; dressing room adjoining; bathroom 10’ 6” x 10’; south-west bedroom 18’ x 17’ 6″; bathroom adjoining and facing south, 13 feet 6” x 9’6”; bedroom facing south, 13′ 6″ x 11’; bathroom; bedroom facing south 20’ x 18’ 6; bathroom adjoining 10′ 9″ x 9’ 6”; pink bedroom facing north 25’ x 20’; lavatory adjoining; pink dressing room facing north 21′ x 11’6”; housemaid’s closet; lavatory adjoining; service lift. A stone staircase leading to:
Staff landing (second floor) on which are: Sewing room, 19’ x 12’6; visitors bedroom (facing west) 22’ x 17’ 9”; 5 staff bedrooms measuring respectively 12’6” x 10’ , 18’ 6 x 12’, 19’ x 19’, 13’ 6” x 8’, 21’ x 18’ ; staff bathroom and lavatory.
East wing (first floor) three male staff bedrooms, measuring respectively 14’ x 10’, 14’ x 10’ and 14’ x 8’6”.
The domestic offices on ground floor comprise: stone paved corridor and east entrance; storeroom; secretaries office 21’ x 15’; servants hall 20’ x 18’ 6; boot room; butlers pantry 20’ x 11’, fitted with cupboards and lead lined sink, ( hot and cold laid on); strong room adjoining; housekeeper’s sitting room 20′ x 8′; kitchen 25’6” x 20’, fitted with range and china cupboard; scullery, fitted with cupboards and boiler for independent hot water service; 2 larders; dairy; and old laundry.
In basement Excellent wine and other cellars and boiler place.
Out offices in enclosed yard: coalplace, kennel, stickplace and old engine room.
Heating. The residence is centrally heated from a boiler in the basement.
Lighting Electricity is installed throughout and the power is obtained from the Nottingham Corporation supply.
Gas and Water are laid in from Nottingham Corporation supply
It did not sell at the first auction so it was put up for auction again in November 1933, however it was withdrawn at £4,250, far below the reserve figure. The houses and cottages belonging to the estate were sold quickly. The actual house was bought privately by Sir Albert Ball (father of WW1 flying ace Albert Ball), but his plan was to resell the house as soon as possible. It was advertised in the Nottingham Evening Post on 9 June 1934 as ‘suitable for residence or conversion into flats, school or guesthouse, complete with grass and hard tennis courts, low price accepted, mortgage arranged – Apply Albert Ball (Nottingham) Ltd.
By July 1934 the house was still not sold and in a report in the Nottingham Journal it said –
‘ there are 42 rooms including 18 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. It stands in a well-wooded and enclosed piece of land, 10 acres in extent. Radcliffe people for more than one reason were very sorry that this fine residence has no occupants, But it should not be vacant for long, as it is understood that £3,000 (equivalent in 2020- £200,000) would secure it. It is in excellent condition structurally and if it were to be built today it would cost over £20,000.’
Mr Arthur and Mrs Doris Manchester bought the house and lived there with their son Barry, daughter Barbara and John and Fanny Bullimore (parents of Doris Manchester). A report in 1935 in the Nottingham Evening Post read
William Cooling, a retired bricklayer of Radcliffe, was accused of killing a pheasant close to Lamcote House without a game licence. He was fined £1. Mrs Doris Manchester, who said that she was the owner of L H told the magistrates that on the afternoon of November 8th she was in the house when she heard a shot, and on running outside, saw the defendant with a gun in his hand standing in an adjoining field close to the entrance gate. There was a freshly-killed pheasant on the ground, and defendant walked away and refused to come back when someone shouted to him. John Robert Bullimore, the father of Mrs Manchester, said he was in the grounds of the house when he heard the shot. He saw Cooling walking in the adjoining field; near the gate was a hen pheasant which had been shot. Miss Dorothy Taylor, a domestic employed at the house gave corroborative evidence. Defendant admitted being in the field with a gun and said he shot at a peewit.
The Chairman : Well, that was an illegal thing to do.
Defendant: Yes, sir
He added that he should have picked it up had he known it was a pheasant.
Mrs Manchester established Mill House Hand Laundry Ltd, in what had been the stables of the Lamcote House where she employed five or six workers taking in washing from other large house locally and nursing homes.
During the 1940s Mrs Manchester applied to Bingham Rural District Council as Lamcote Estates Ltd ( in May 1944 the Manchesters registered this as a private company with their headquarters on Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham) to convert the house and the outbuildings into flats. It would appear that during the Second World War some of the rooms had been used for offices probably by James Woodhouse & Son, later called the British and Colonial Furniture Co Ltd. A number of advertisements appear in the local papers for their goods and recruiting office staff. On October 1947 Mrs Manchester was planning to convert 2 of the outbuildings into 2 self-contained flats. However according to a letter from the Architect, Alfred J Thraves to Bingham Rural District Council, additional work to the roofs and damp course was found necessary plus the architect had found that the buildings were in a worse state than was anticipated. Each flat was to contain an entrance lobby, kitchen, larder, living room, bedroom and a bathroom. Perhaps the major change was noted in 1946 in plans for converting the dwelling house into 9 flats and constructing 3 five storey blocks of flats, making a total of 171 flats covering 11.75 acres of land. However this drastic change did not occur so in 1948 they planned to convert the Northeast wing into a further 2 flats making new entrances, bathrooms, w.c.’s and kitchens within the existing structure. It would appear that the original plans were not approved so the Manchesters had to resubmit, this time making savings by putting a levelling screed on the existing floor rather than a 4 inch concrete floor in the ground floor flat, deleting the plan for a garage, restricting the approach to the entrance to a pathway rather than a fully paved area and leaving the food store in flat 1 with unplastered walls.
Application to Bingham RDC
During the Manchesters’ occupation a number of interesting residents appeared on the Electoral Rolls living at the house:-
- 1942 William Chell is recorded as living here in 1942. He was a master builder, previously living at Field House in the village with wife Florence Dora. They moved to Lamcote house late 1941/early 1942 but William died shortly afterwards, 27 September 1942, at the age of 59. His wife is still shown as living here in 1950, she died in 1958. William was very interested in cinemas and was a director of a number throughout the county, including ‘The Rex’ here in Radcliffe.
- 1944 Richard Dacre Trevor Roper ( see photograph from the www.specialforcesroh) a former Dambuster lived here for a short time. He lost his life on air operations over Germany in March 1944. He took part in breaching the Mohne and Eder Dams in May 1943 for which he was awarded the DFC. He had already won the DFM in 1941. He was also recorded as the tail gunner for Wing Commander Guy Gibson. He was born in 1915 in the Isle of Wight and married Patricia Audrey Edwards in September 1942 at St Andrew’s church in Nottingham; they had a son Charles Anthony.
The only alterations to Lamcote House was its conversion into flats and the outbuildings but the large scale plans never materialised. The flats were let through an agency and a number of residents came and went. One tenant who lived in a first floor apartment in 1962 gave a good description of the inside of the building; in the front entrance hall rose an original grand wide staircase up to the first floor. The broad passageway leading on from this landing had been blocked off so that a front door could be set into the wall providing a private entrance to the apartment occupying the whole floor. There was a huge drawing room with a large bay window giving lovely views towards Holme Pierrepont. There were three large bedrooms, a smaller dressing room and a mirror-fronted clothes closet which took up the entire length of a whole wall. The large bathroom was original but the kitchen was small. Redecorating was difficult due to the high ceilings and the temperature was only comfortable during the height of the summer. The back stairs were the only ones to continue up to the top floor. It was possible to climb out onto part of the roof over the first floor where there was a domed skylight set into it. There were 2 flats on the top floor. The ground floor rooms were quite grand and there were huge apartments to the left and right of the entrance hall with a third stretching across the rear of the house at the foot of the back stairs. The grounds still held some fine trees and shrubs and elements of the landscaping of days gone by.
Derbyshire Property Trusts were the owners at the end and they advertised it for sale for £40,000. It did not attract many buyers and it was eventually demolished in July 1980 leaving only its wall and gateway to suggest former glories. In its place Yew Tree Close was built along with an earlier development already occupying the grounds in front of the house.
Doris Manchester died on 26 June 1995 and she is buried along with her husband in the village cemetery. She had lived long enough to see this once grand house completely demolished.