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Name:Pye's Hall, North Somercotes
HER Number:48452
Type of record:Monument

Summary

A Victorian house built by Henry Pye of Louth and now demolished.

Images

Pye Hall from east  © J Lingard

Pye Hall from east © J Lingard

Pye Hall from south (top) and from north (bottom)  © J Lingard

Pye Hall from south (top) and from north (bottom) © J Lingard

Grid Reference:TA 408 005
Map Sheet:TA40SW
Parish:NORTH SOMERCOTES, EAST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

A house built by Henry Alington Pye (1800-83), solicitor of Louth, and later Mayor of the town and County Treasurer. He was involved in land reclamation in North Somercotes and built a house there by Somercotes Haven and the sea bank. Henry Pye suffered from financial problems in later life and lost his reputation in 1868 when he was found to have stolen money to ward off his creditors. The house is present on the 1888 OS map and survived until at least the 1960s. His daughter was Charlotte Alington Barnard (who used the pen-name ‘Claribel’) the Victorian poet and song writer. {1}{2}{3}

Pye's Hall, North Somercotes was the home of Henry Pye, a Louth solicitor who was involved in a financial scandal and escaped to Belgium. The house was abandoned and finally demolished about 1972. A photograph of the south front of the house shows a large Victorian house of two storeys and attics built of red brick with slate roofs. It has an eight bay arcade across the whole ground floor frontage with a balustraded balcony above, accessed from the first floor. This arcade appears to be stone, but may be stuccoed, each bay is a Tudor-arched opening. The dominant features of the facade are the two, tall, flanking, coped and rendered gables with narrow sliding sashes that light the attics. The gables front two double-pitched roofs that run parallel to each other at right angles to the house front with a gap between them. Between gables on the roof is a short section of balustrade that is probably part of a flat viewing-platform between the two roofs that allowed the occupiers to view the North Sea from one side of the house and the reclaimed saltmarsh inland on the other side. The eastern roof has a central ridge chimney stack while the western roof has a side stack on the left side of the house. {4}

A newspaper article, probably from the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, perhaps in the early 1980s, traces the rise and fall of Henry Pye. Within the article Pye’s Hall is described as built in about 1851, close to the sea bank and with allowance made for flooding with the main rooms supported on iron pillars. It was built in red brick with terracotta urns, balconies and bathrooms attached to bedrooms which was an innovation at that time, and a range of outbuildings including one to house the Donna Nook lighthouse. {5}

Correspondence from a former resident of the house included several photographs of the house. These show that the arcade on the south elevation of the house was mirrored on the north side although with a later, single-storey, roofed passageway on the eastern end linking the house to the outbuilding. This passageway blocks off the eastern two openings of the northern arcade. The northern arcade is brick which would suggest that the southern arcade was also brick, but rendered, rather than being built of stone. The eastern elevation had a large two-storey bay window, partly blocked by the later passageway. These photographs also show a passage across the flat roof between the two double-pitched roofs, linking the attic rooms, and with doorways on both sides to provide access to the two roof viewing platforms to the north and the south of the house. {6}

In 1856, in White's Directory of Lincolnshire, the author notes under North Somercotes that 'Henry Pye, Esq., one of the chief landowners, has lately erected here a handsome "marine residence", which he visits in summer'. {7}

The site of the Hall was visited on 31 May 2011. There are no surviving remains above the ground surface of the grassed field in which the hall stood. {8}

A letter from a sergeant of the 5th Reserve Battalion of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment and, perhaps later, in the Grainthorpe Volunteer Training Corps, states that he was billeted at Pye Hall. It therefore seems likely that the house was used during the First World War to house soldiers who were protecting the east coast from enemy attack. [The Voluntary Training Corps was a volunteer home defence militia during the First World War. The 5th Reserve Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was stationed at Grainthorpe, Louth and Saltfleetby from 1916 to 1918.] {9}{10}


<1> Ordnance Survey, 1884-1888, 6 Inch Ordnance Survey County Series Map - First Edition, XLI.NW (Map). SLI9454.


<2> Ordnance Survey, 1902-1906, 25 Inch Ordnance Survey County Series Map - Second Edition, XLI.1 (Map). SLI3566.


<3> Lincolnshire Archives, 2011, Web page about Claribel on LCC website, Accessed 2011 (Internet Website). SLI13347.


<4> Pacey, Robert, 2010, Lost Lincolnshire Country Houses, vol.6, p.67, Fig.78 (Bibliographic reference). SLI13348.


<5> -, 'He gambled and lost ...' in Grimsby Evening Telegraph, col.3 (Article in serial). SLI13352.


<6> Lingard, Jill, 2011, Letter about Pye Hall, North Somercotes, - (Correspondence). SLI13353.


<7> William White, 1856, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition, p.236 (Bibliographic reference). SLI886.


<8> Allen, Jan, 2011, Information from Jan Allen of the Historic Environment Team, 1 June 2011 (Verbal communication). SLI13359.


<9> Neale, Richard, 2014, Information from Richard Neale, 23/07/2014 (Verbal communication). SLI14641.


<10> Baker, Chris, 1996-2014, The Long, Long Trail. The British Army in the First World War., Sherwood Foresters, accessed 29/07/2014 (Internet Website). SLI13126.

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1851 AD? to 1972 AD?)
  • REQUISITIONED BUILDING (Modern - 1915 AD? to 1918 AD?)

Associated Events

  • Site visit to the site of Pye's Hall, North Somercotes

Sources and further reading

<1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1884-1888. 6 Inch Ordnance Survey County Series Map - First Edition. Digital. 1:10560. XLI.NW.
<2>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1906. 25 Inch Ordnance Survey County Series Map - Second Edition. paper. 1:2500. XLI.1.
<3>Internet Website: Lincolnshire Archives. 2011. Web page about Claribel on LCC website. http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/archives. Accessed 2011.
<4>Bibliographic reference: Pacey, Robert. 2010. Lost Lincolnshire Country Houses. volume 6. vol.6, p.67, Fig.78.
<5>Article in serial: -. 'He gambled and lost ...' in Grimsby Evening Telegraph. col.3.
<6>Correspondence: Lingard, Jill. 2011. Letter about Pye Hall, North Somercotes. North Somercotes. -.
<7>Bibliographic reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. p.236.
<8>Verbal communication: Allen, Jan. 2011. Information from Jan Allen of the Historic Environment Team. 1 June 2011.
<9>Verbal communication: Neale, Richard. 2014. Information from Richard Neale. 23/07/2014.
<10>Internet Website: Baker, Chris. 1996-2014. The Long, Long Trail. The British Army in the First World War.. http://www.1914-1918.net/index.html. Sherwood Foresters, accessed 29/07/2014.