Errwood hall auction 1930

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red_baron
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#2751 Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:19 pm

Firstly I would like to say thank you for allowing me to join!

Now that the formalities are out of the way, I am hoping that someone will be able to help me.
I have been fascinated by Errwood Hall and its estate for over 20 years. I walk in the upper Goyt valley a lot, and visit as many sites associated with the hall as I can.
Most recently I have been looking into the auction in 1930 and I was wondering whether anyone can give me an idea of how I might get hold of a copy of the auction catalogue.
If anyone has such a thing I would happily meet the cost of copying it, as I am interested in the information it contains, so I do not need to have an original if that is not possible.
I would also be interested to see any previously unpublished photographs anyone might have of the hall, either prior to 1934 or during demolition, as I am trying to piece together the interior layout. I have tried without success to locate any plans of the hall, which I must assume are gone without trace, or buried in some private collection or archive somewhere.

I Would like to stress that my interest is solely personal and not for any gain. I would not intend to publish and information I was provided with, but it might help me to progress in my aim to know as much as possible about the old place!

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Gnatalee
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#2756 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by Gnatalee » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:41 pm

If you are not able to obtain a copy of the actual catalogue, perhaps you could try local newspapers. Libraries often have access to newspaper archives online (such as The Times Online, or The British Newspaper Archive). I am sure such an auction would have been advertised far and wide and not just locally.

Perhaps Derbyshire local records office/archives will have a copy (wouldn't seem an unreasonable assumption). Try contacting the Records Office or checking their online catalogue because if they have one they may let you get a copy of it.

Good luck !

Gnats

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#2757 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:58 pm

Thanks for the advice Gnatalee.
I have emailed Cheshire Archives and found that they hold very little, though they do hold a scrap book which was compiled by the Grimshawes themselves, which I hope to go to see at some point as it could prove very interesting.
I have also sent an email to Derbyshire archives and am awaiting their reply.

I still hold out hope that someone somewhere has a copy of the auction catalogue, as I wish to understand more about the contents of the hall. A catalogue appears to have been sold on Ebay in 2014 (annoying as if I had known at the time I would have bid on it) so I know that at least one copy is out there somewhere!

A long while ago, I stumbled across what I believe must have been the place that fire ash and other household waste from the hall was dumped. I know it was above Shooter's clough brook, close to the house, but after all these years, can I remember exactly where? Sadly not! We had had one of our summers, and the rain had washed things down the bank, including some remnants of high quality china and what I believe to have been a port bottle on the basis that it was missing its neck - I believe the convention at one time was to remove the bottle neck rather than the cork to avoid tainting the wine. There were also a few pieces of large stoneware kitchen jars, so I doubt any of this was later than the closure of the hall. I would be interested to know if anyone else has stumbled across this place, as I would love to revisit it again.

Incidentally, the removal of much of the undergrowth close to the hall has revealed an enormous amount of demolition waste, including glass which has clearly been melted by fire, I presume that during demolition window frames which were not for reuse were burnt on site - no one can blame the workmen for keeping themselves warm in what can be a very bleak spot!

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#2758 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:43 pm

Last week I was having a haircut when a chap walked in and I recognised him although I couldn’t put a name to him. He also recognised me but could not remember my name. We exchanged names and realised we lived a few doors apart in Horwich End many years ago.
Now about 8 years ago a very dear old friend and fellow historian died. But he told me many times that the man in the barber’s shop was one of only a handful of people that had been in the Grimshawe’s crypt at Errwood.
Well there’s no point beating about the bush so I asked him if he had been in the crypt. He told me he had with one other person. It was in the 1950’s and, apart from a few bits of odds and ends and some rubbish, the place was empty. The coffins had been removed. He also told me loads of stuff about just what used to be up there when he was a kid. For instance the Grimshawe’s carriage was left just below the Hall for years. He must be in his 90’s now I think but he did invite me around to his house for a chat and a cup of tea next week.
All being well I shall report back to members shortly after I have been to see him.

R. S-S

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#2759 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:27 pm

That sounds absolutely fascinating, R S S!
How lucky you are to know someone who has memories of that time!
I shall look forward to your post with great eagerness!

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#2760 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:42 pm

One thing I do know for certain is that Joseph Oyazabel, faithful servant to the Grimshawes, had day to day tasks.
One was that he had to enter the crypt on a daily basis and polish the glass sides on the lead coffins. I have no idea if anyone ever used to go in and view the bodies.
I believe they have now been re-buried in a Buxton Cemetery.

R. S-S

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#2761 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:46 pm

I thought the glass sided/topped coffins was supposed to be a myth?
Certainly in an interview Joseph Oyarzabal denied that it was the case but perhaps that was to deter ghouls or souvenir hunters?

http://www.negh.co.uk/whaleybridgehistory/errmyths.html

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#2775 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:37 pm

Good evening, Red Barron,

I understand what you say about Joseph and the coffins in the crypt.

A recently retired gamekeeper lives close to me and is a good friend. He is 66 years old. He learnt his trade from his father who was obviously also a keeper.
He told me his dad walked over the moors every morning and always ended up at Errwood Hall. Now you can do the maths as to his age and what years this might have been. But my mate said his dad went for his breakfast every day and he usually sat with the Hall’s gamekeeper and Joseph Oyazabal eating boiled eggs. It was during these breakfasts that he was told about the polishing of the glass sided coffins.
He also knew about the removal of those coffins.

R. S-S

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#2776 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:17 pm

Thank you for clarifying that R S S!

I love learning about the hall and estate and these little details, however apocryphal some may be, really bring it to life. Any other little details you can share would be of great interest to me in piecing together what life at the hall was like!

As soon as the weather permits, I intend to go up there and go over the site thoroughly, to see whether I am still able to locate the rubbish tip I found some years ago - I feel certain it must be somewhere around the kitchen end of the hall, but for the life of me I can't recall where. I think some stout wellies and a walk along the clough stream are in order, as I seem to recall that it was by the stream that I found household objects discarded before.

It is a wonder to me that a house which was described by contemporaries as so luxurious and wonderful has left so little in the way of artefacts or documents. The running of such a large estate and house would have needed all kind of documentation, household account books, cellar books, rent books for recording payments by tenants etc, yet apart from a scrap book compiled by the Grimshawe family which is held at the Cheshire Records office, almost nothing appears to have been preserved. I still live in hopes that there are things held in private archives or collections which may one day come to light, maybe even plans or photos of the interiors, who knows?

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#2777 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:55 pm

Hello Red Baron,

I've just got a few minutes to spare but will get back to you later sometime.
At the back of the house where the stream runs an old safe was found and a well known local locksmith managed to open it but it was empty.
The pets graves were also at the rear of the Hall close to where the safe was dumped over the edge.
There was a very large Monkey Puzzle tree at the front of the Hall and it was said that some Grimshawe valuables were buried under it. The tree disappeared in the 80's.
My old friend Peter Jodrell went down into the cellars when they were accessible and he said there were stone flags built into the walls and the masons had pointed the fronts of them up with mortar and written the names of wines on them with their pointing trowels.
In about 1969 a pop concert was held at the Hall; it was organised by a chap called Mike Jordan from Buxton.
I have a photo somewhere of the Chapel inside the Hall and I thought it was on this site but I can't find it now. I'll look my copy out sometime tomorrow.
If you go to the history side of this site one of the topics is Errwood Hall and there are lots of documents and photos to be seen there.

R. S-S

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#2778 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:56 pm

errwood hall chapel.jpg
errwood hall chapel.jpg (99.89 KiB) Viewed 301 times

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#2779 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by Gnatalee » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:11 pm

That looks so lovely.

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#2780 Re: Errwood hall auction 1930

Post by red_baron » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:51 pm

Thank you R S S for the information. I suspect from what you say that I am right about where the household tip must have been. I will of course let you know should I locate it.
Out of interest do you have any idea when the safe was found? I had not heard about that at all.

I have seen the chapel image before, but it was lovely to see it again, and it rather brings me to another question I have, which is whereabouts in the house it was.

I have seen it written that the chapel was at the top of the tower, but I am not sure that is correct. From my knowledge of Churches and chapels, they are usually orietated East/West with the Altar in the east end, so if the chapel was laid out like that then the photographer was most likely facing east. I /had originally thought that the part of the house in the kitchen wing was a possible location but that would have placed the altar in the south or north.

I read somewhere that an extension was added to the house to accommodate the chapel when it was decided not to build a separate church on the hill about the house as was originally planned, so what I surmise from this is that a wing was constructed linking the front part of the house to the wing which faced onto the hill behind, making the courtyard in the middle a fully enclosed space. A couple of photographs taken from above the house show tantalising glimpses of what appears to be a lower roof line than the surrounding buildings in exactly the location I have described. This building could reasonably be described (as it was in a contemporary source) as being at the north end of the house, as I suspect the writer meant the family part of the house, not the "household offices" (kitchens, sculleries etc) and would be the correct orientation, with its side walls facing north and south, and its ends joining the main house in the east and west. I hope that is clear!

Does anyone know whether my guess is correct?

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