(Site of) Clumber House, Clumber Park

Record ID:  60306*0 / MNA112070
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Registered Park or Garden
NT Property:  Clumber Park; Midlands
Civil Parish:  Clumber and Hardwick; Bassetlaw; Nottinghamshire
Grid Reference:  SK 6258 7446
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Summary

The site of the old Clumber Country House, originally built in 1760-1770 around an earlier hunting lodge but substantially rebuilt in the 1880s following a fire in 1879. Another fire caused further damage to the upper floors in 1912 and eventually the house was pulled down in 1938 (save for the Duke's study and Bow corridoor - 60330*0). The location of the exterior walls are now picked out in stone slabs for NT visitors.

Identification Images (1)

Aerial view of mansion site and parchmarks, July 2018 © National Trust
Aerial view of mansion site and parchmarks, July 2018 © National Trust

Monument Types

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Late 18th C to Mid 20th C - 1768 AD to 1938 AD)

Description

(1) The site of the old Clumber Country House, former home of the Dukes of Newcastle. The former house was originally built in 1760-1770 by the 2nd Duke and was a Classical building of white freestone, flanked by a square wing at each corner. The house was built around an earlier hunting lodge. The house was substantially rebuilt in the 1880s following a fire in 1879 which destroyed the central (oldest) core of the house leaving only the wings standing round a hollow shell. The 1880s rebuilding replaced the lost rooms which an enormous entrance hall. Another fire caused further damage to the upper floors in 1912. Due to lack of funds and expensive repairs eventually the decision to demolish the mansion was made and it was pulled down in August 1938 (save for the Duke's study and Bow corridoor - 60330*0). The park was acquired by the National Trust, with the help of donations, in 1948.

(2-3) Archaeological excavations in 1978-9 (supervised by Stephen Pierpoint) [ENA8172] revealed the tops of the foundations of the former house and the outline of the mansion was picked out on the ground in stone slabs (still visible today). The finds and archive from the excavations (pottery, glass, metal, clay pipes, plasterwork, and drawn plans) were loaned to Bassetlaw Museum.

(4) In 2010 an earth resistance survey was undertaken by Allen Archaeology on the site of the mansion which successfully helped to identify some individual walls of the house, along with possible earlier phases of structure or associated drainage. Some evidence for possible cellaring was also noted in the data. See ENA8170/SNA66666 for further information.

(5) Aerial photograph assessment (as part of Askew Nelson's 2014 Parkland Conservation Plan) revealed that the area of former gardens and hall show as parchmarks in the grass (AP ref: SK 6274/1-27 and vertical aerial photographs).

In July 2018, due to a long hot spell of weather, parch marks of the former gardens and individual rooms of the former mansion again became visible on the mansion site. Property staff organised for a dronw to fly and take some aerial photos of the parchmarks (see attached photos).

(6) During July and December 2015 Archaeological Research Services Ltd undertook an archaeological watching brief during ground works associated with the installation of a new drainage system, within the stable yard and adjacent areas at Clumber Park. Archaeological features associated with the construction and development of Clumber House, 1760 –1938 were identified, including in situ floors and a brick vaulted chamber, various drainage elements, and steps that once formed an entrance to the terraced gardens adjacent to the main house. Phases associated with the demolition of the Clumber House (the majority of which was destroyed in 1938) were also identified. See ENA8168/SNA66664 for further information.

(10) In July 2018 an archaeological excavation of part of the former house's footprint was re-excavated during a volunteer participatory project led by the National Trust and assisted by Trent and Peak Archaeology. Approximately 30 NT volunteers were involved, helping with the excavations and learning new skills and archaeological techniques.

The works comprised two trenches, totalling 22m², targeting two constrasting parts of the former house - the servant areas and the area frequented by the family. Trench 1 revealed part of the kitchen wall, a corridor and the butler's pantry. Cellary were also revealed below these walls. Finds included glazed bricks, and a light switch suggesting evidence of an early 20th-century renovation. The floors seem to have been lost due to the demolition process.

Trench 2 revealed a column plinth outlining the Grand Hall. The plinth shows evidence for the renovations after the 1879 fire, as there is a damp proof course present, which did not become standar practise until 1875. The internal partition wall between the Yellow Drawing Room and the Small Dining Room was also uncovered. Cellars were revealed in this area of the house, but it is unclear as to whether these basement rooms would be for servant use or family use. Remnants of mosaics from the floors were uncovered within the demolition layers in Trench 2, alongside numerous fragments of intricate plasterwork, suggesting the high level to which this part of the house was decorated. A small quantity of pottery was recovered during the investigations. This, alongside evidence for contents auctions in 1937 suggest that there was nothing left in the house of value when it was demolished in 1938. For further details please see the final excavation report by Trent and Peak Archaeology (ENA9217 / SNA67819).

(11 -12) As part of July 2018 investigation of the mansion site by Trent and Peak Archaeology, and also later in November 2018, Magnitude Surveys undertook a couple of ground penetrating radar surveys of the house site and associated formal gardens to the south and east. Overall, the method proved effective with good signal and penetration depth of up to c.2.5m below the present ground surface. A multitude of responses were identified which corresponded with a c.1879 plan of Clumber House. Linear features with mostly strong signal strengths were identified corresponding to former wall locations. Gaps between these probable wall features likely represent the corridors of the mansion, and spreads of material have been highlighted and what would have been the room spaces. The mixed material within the former rooms is likely associated with the levelling of land in the location of the former building, however some of it may relate to demolition rubble after the 1938 fire which destroyed the mansion. For further detail please see the final reports (ENA9218 & ENA9309 / SNA67820 & SNA67933).

References

  • SNA66664 - Report: Archaeological Research Services Ltd. 2016. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.

  • SNA66666 - Geophysical Survey Report: Allen Archaeology Ltd. 2010. Geophysical Survey of the Former House and Formal Garden at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire..

  • SNA66668 - Report: Uncertain. 1978. Clumber Mansion House Progress Report & Proposed Work.

  • SNA66702 - Report: Air Photo Services Ltd. 2013. Land at Clumber Park - Assessment of aerial photographs (Appendix E of Parkland Plan).

  • SNA66704 - Report: BSA Heritage. 2013. Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire - Archaeology Report.

  • SNA67044 - Document: National Trust East Midlands. 1987. Loan agreements between the NT & Bassetlaw Museum for the Clumber House Excavation Archive & Bronze Age Beakers.

  • SNA67453 - Graphic material: National Trust. UD. Ground Floor Plan of Clumber Mansion.

  • SNA67456 - Digital Image: Uncertain. 1908. Historic Images of Clumber House, 1908.

  • SNA67754 - Graphic material: Topographical Models. c.1992. Drawn elevations of Clumber Mansion. 1:100.

  • SNA67819 - Report: Trent & Peak Archaeological Trust. 2018. Lost Treasures Uncovered: Clumber Mansion: Report on an archaeological evaluation.

  • SNA67820 - Report: Magnitude Surveys. 2018. Geophysical Survey report of Clumber Park.

  • SNA67933 - Report: Magnitude Surveys. 2019. GPR Survey of the site of Clumber House and its Formal Gardens.

  • SZE4908 - Unpublished document: Harry Beamish. 1986. The National Trust Archaeological Survey: Clumber Park.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • Country Park

Associated Events

  • ENA8170 - Field Survey, Geophysical Survey of the Former House & Formal Garden, Clumber Park
  • ENA8172 - Archaeological Intervention, 1978 excavations of Clumber Mansion House
  • ENA8200 - Heritage Assessment, Assessment of aerial photographs of Clumber Park
  • ENA8201 - Field Survey, Archaeological survey of features at Clumber Park estate
  • ENA8168 - Archaeological Intervention, Watching Brief in Stableyard and adjacent areas, Clumber Park
  • ENA9217 - Archaeological Intervention, Excavation of the mansion site, Clumber Park (July 2018)
  • ENA9218 - Remote Sensing, Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the mansion site, Clumber Park (July 2018)
  • ENA9309 - Remote Sensing, GPR Survey of the former mansion site and gardens, Clumber Park (Nov 2018)

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

  • Related to: Part of Clumber County House - the Dukes Study & Bow Corridor, Clumber Park (Monument) - 60330*0 / MNA111955