Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Please Note (Update August 2008)

 The Site has been substantially redesigned with a lot of new content recently, if you entered from a search engine or bookmark to a particular page it's possible you have missed the new section, to visit it, please go to the Intro Page and navigate from there. If you wish to return to this old site there are links available in a menu on the right of the new pages, which when clicked will show the full listing.

Parlington Hall :: The Demolitions of 1952 :: Page One

The image at the head of this page was taken in 1952 by a photographer called Herbert Felton, for the National Monuments Record [NMR], at that time many houses were being demolished and the NMR made efforts to record for posterity the buildings that had for many years been part of the English landscape, before they disappeared forever. Parlington was one such example. The following pictures are the best examples available of the final days of the old hall.

There are four photographs of the Hall all taken on the same day in 1952, judging by the angle of the shadows, they were taken in the afternoon, in the summer months. Two pictures are of the south elevation and two more from the opposite side looking at the exposed structure on the north elevation. This section will look in some detail at these revealing pictures.

Detail One

Joint between Bay and South Elevation

Detail One image above shows the junction between the bay window and the main wall, this reveals that the bay window may well have been added on to the south elevation, the clue is the stone coursing which is different from that of the main wall. A clear indication that the bay window is a later feature.

Detail Two

Parapet on Bay window

A second clue is the nature of the stone detailing in the jambs and parapet stonework of the bay, both have more intricate embelishments, than the stone jambs, string courses and parapet of the main elevation.

Detail Three

Main Elevation Detail

The elevations shown here were constructed in the 1730's for Sir Edward Gascoigne, from his diaries of the time he noted the payment Pd Thackeray for corner stones and windows of the east end of the front.

Bay Foundations of South Elevation

Recent excavations show the stonework of the south elevation and bay window. [Bay stonework plinths on the left & the main wall to the right, in the centre is a box shaped surface water drain.]

The stones shown in the photograph above are from the corner of the bay and main wall, both were disturbed within the excavation and hence removed to allow the line of the structure to be clear. [The stones disruption was possibly due to the proximity of the rainwater pipe in the corner which may have been of lead, which would have been recovered during demolitions]

The stonework is limestone and looks to be of a similar type to that found on the nearby Almshouses, perhaps from the quarry at Huddlestone which had come into the ownership of the Gascoignes with the marriage of Sir Edward to Mary, daughter of Sir Francis Hungate of Huddlestone Hall.

The iron stains on the masonry are probably from the fixings in the wall which carried the creeper!! The stone has a chamfer along it's top and is clearly a plinth projecting at the foot of the wall by around 2 inches.

The wall plinth stones continuing to the east, shown above. The hole in the centre is the partly blocked air vent into the cellar, this wall is that of the small drawing room adjacent to the bay window of the dining room.

The Original Parlington Site :: Circa 2003

The Parlington Website is approaching it's fourth birthday! The first site, comprising just a couple of pages, can be viewed by clicking on the link above, or here.

This site was the starting point of what has become a serious research project. It all started following a discussion with a local resident who firmly believed that the existing structures [The West Wing] had nothing to do with Parlington Hall, which in any event had been deliberately burnt down by the Gascoigne Family themselves. [Where do people get these ideas from?]

I was intrigued to discover more of the old place and started to seek out information from wherever I could. The resulting website has grown substantially during this period. However it has ceased to be suitable to cope with the continuing volume of data that I would like to present on the site.

The site is now being re-designed along the lines of this page and to make things easier I am going to run it via a database and use Lasso to add logic to the mechanics of the site.

Notes

Bay Window Copings
[Revision 26th August 2007. A weekend of digging has produced some new finds, the discovery yesterday of the end wall of the Drawing Room and a plinth which carried the Conservatory still insitu, leads me to the conclusion that the stone parapets mentioned here, are not from the Bay Window. They are in fact pieces of the base (plinth) to the Conservatory. The curved stone pieces are from the semi-circular end of the glass Conservatory. More on this later, but two things are cleared up, one, the stone is sandstone which was in contrast to the limestone of the bay and had always puzzled me, secondly the inserts for what I took to be a balustrade fixing are obviously the supports for the conservatory frame!] Amidst the woods, not far from where the Hall stood, are these sections of stone parapet from the bay. Both have signs of being ripped from their respective locations by a hauser or chain being wrapped around the centre of the stone and pulled from the wall by a heavy machine such a crane, pure vandalism! The stone is still largely in excellent condition and could have found a use elsewhere, were it not so damaged.

Bay Window Copings
Although not apparent from the main views of the Hall, in any pictures featuring on the site, there are lead filled sockets in the top of the stonework from an iron balustrade around the bay, indicating it was used as a terrace. Therefore the centre opening overlooking the bay may have been a door. The two outer windows are seen in some pictures with the lower sash open.

Comments

The site has grown considerably over the last couple of years and to reflect the increasing need to update the site a different design and layout is being introduced, progressively. This section reflects the new design, which is simpler in form and uses Lasso to add enhanced features that are not possible with straight html pages.

References

The National Monuments Record, based in Swindon, Wiltshire is the public archive of English Heritage and have a collection of over 10 million historic photographs. The pictures of Parlington were taken during 1952 by Herbert Felton F.R.P.S. They were presented to the [NMR] in November 1953.