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Name:Staveley Hall, Staveley
HER No.:13009
Type of Record:Building
Designation:Listed Building (II) 1334671: STAVELY HALL (UDC OFFICES)


Staveley Hall, constructed or rebuilt in 1604, possibly incorporating an earlier medieval manor house [also see SMR 13091]. Only the north-western part survives, now in use as UDC offices

Grid Reference:SK 433 749

Monument Types

Associated Finds

  • FDR13282 - SHERD (Saxon to Post Medieval - 1050 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDR2464 - Excavations, at Staveley Hall, by Staveley History Society and ARCUS, in 2005 and 2006
  • EDR780 - Ordnance Survey Field Report, 03-JUN-59

Full Description

A manor house has stood at the site of Staveley Hall for 700 years but nothing remains of any house before that built by Sir Peter Frecheville in 1604. Only the west front of the house of this period survives. (1)

The house is known as The Rectory. (2)

The Rectory is a large, three storied house with a two-storied north wing. It is built in irregularly coursed stone with dressed stone quoins and detail. The west front, the only part of the original house visible externally, is accurately described by Authy 2. No evidence of a medieval building was seen. See AO/59/48/1 [W part from S] (3)

Staveley Hall (UDC) Offices), the former manor house dating from 1604. Much altered, the front almost wholly late C18 but retaining a carved stone Coat of Arms over the door dated 1604 and the wing to north roofed with old stone slates. Grade 2. (4)

Originally Staveley Hall, later the Rectory. Built in 1604, although the exterior tells little of that, as it was made classical in 1710 by the Cavendishes, who acquired the house from the Frecheville family in 1681. From this period date the pedimented windows on the garden front and two panelled rooms inside. Partly demolished in the early 19th century, then further remodelling, more nearly Jacobean, by Scott in 1867, presumably including the impressive staircase with stone arches. Massive early 18th century stone walls round what was presumably once a formal garden. (5)

There was probably a manor house at Staveley in 1086, held by Ascuit Musard and later by his descendants. In 1301 it came to the Frechevilles. The house endured a siege during the Civil War, having been garrisoned by Lord Frecheville. By that time the present house had been built, of which a rather pathetic remnant survives. An inventory of 1581 mentions the great chamber, far chamber and great parlour hall of the medieval house. However, in 1603-4 a great rebuilding began. This house was no small thing, being assessed for tax on no less than 30 hearths in 1670. The south front was some nine bays wide with an entrance into a hall running almost across the house and with a screen of three Corinthian columns. The building was three storeys high to the east and two to the west. The south front was said in 1684 to have been castellated; no doubt the other fronts were too, especially if John Smythson had been called in to make sense of this really quite large house, as is suggested by the similarity of certain features at Staveley to Slingsby Hall, Yorkshire and the Gallery Range at Bolsover. In the 1750s much of the east front was demolished and most of the south front removed. The house was further reduced in 1843, with the removal of the remainder of the south front and the southernmost two bays of the west façade. Later still, when the house was a rectory, Sir Gilbert Scott was commissioned to rationalise the house. This included rebuilding a bay on the west front and recasing the east front. In the 20th century the hall was sold to the local council which uses it as offices. (7)

A manor house is recorded at Staveley by 1311. The earliest available plan of Staveley Hall,, reproduced in a 19th century source, is dated 1682 although it is not clear when this plan was made and its provenance is currently unknown. This shows a substantial building with bay windows, incorporating part of the present hall at its north-west corner, but also extending some considerable distance to the east, over the present front lawn and car park, and also southwards towards the church. Rooms within the building are identified; of particular interest is the suite of rooms along the northern frontage of the building, the disposition of which strongly suggests a medieval hall with screens passage and kitchen. It is possible, then, that this part of the building represents a survival, or at least a rebuilding, of an earlier core. Documentary evidence suggests that a major rebuilding was carried out by Peter Frecheville in 1604, and an inscribed slab now over the main entrance to the hall also gives this date. It is likely that the plan dated 1682 shows this structure. In 1681 John Frecheville sold the Hall to William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire. From 1726 the Hall became the Rectory of Staveley. There is evidence that parts of the hall were demolished during the earlier part of the 18th century, as James Gisbourne the then Rector protested to the Cavendish family about this ongoing demolition in 1753. It is likely that this demolition involved the eastern part of the hall, in the modern car park and front lawn area; this part of the hall is not shown on a plan of 1783. Further demolition is recorded in the 1840s, when the southern part of the house was removed in preparation for extension of the church. Around 1898 the building was sold by the Duke of Devonshire to the Church Commissioners and was later transferred to the Urban District Council of Staveley. Community excavations were carried out in 2005 and 2006, with a number of trenches being excavated to the south and east of the surviving part of Staveley Hall. These indicated that the original hilltop was levelled in preparation for the 1604 rebuild, with some evidence of pre-existing occupation in the form of medieval gullies, a 13th-15th century pit, and bloomery slags. Footings of semi-circular entrance steps to the north of the building, and the robbed-out foundation trench of the southern external wall were found exactly where predicted by the plan dated 1682. Footings and the foundation trench of the eastern external wall was also identified. Two sub-floor drains were also considered to be part of the original early 17th century build. Footings of a further substantial wall were identified in the area of the north-eastern corner of the hall, but no interpretation of this wall was possible on the available evidence. There was some evidence of cellared or half-cellared areas possibly relating to the hall pantries. Rubble relating to demolition was identified, as was evidence of later remodelling in the form of insertion of insubstantial wall footings and the creation of a cobbled yard and cobbled roadways following demolition of the eastern end of the hall. (8-10)

<1> Court, A, 1948, Staveley: Some Historical Notes, 2nd edition, p20 ff (Bibliographic reference). SDR108.

<2> F1 WW 03-JUN-59 (Bibliographic reference). SDR6479.

<3> F2 WW 03-JUN-59 (Bibliographic reference). SDR6638.

<4> DOE (HHR) Staveley UD Derby Mar 1974 2 (Bibliographic reference). SDR5292.

<5> Pevsner, N, 1979, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised, p 327 (Bibliographic reference). SDR12891.

<6> North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT), North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index: 1825 (Index). SDR11096.

<7> Craven, M & Stanley, M, 2001, The Derbyshire Country House: 2, pp 206-207 (Bibliographic reference). SDR19744.

<8> Baker, S (ARCUS), 2006, Stairways to Nowhere: Community Archaeology at Staveley Hall, Derbyshire (Unpublished document). SDR20948.

<9> Robinson, F & Baker, S, 2007, Stairways to nowhere; community archaeology at Staveley, North-East Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal (Article in serial). SDR20950.

<10> Baker, S (ARCUS), 2007, Community Archaeology at Staveley Hall, Derbyshire: 2006 Season (Unpublished document). SDR20949.

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SDR108 - Bibliographic reference: Court, A. 1948. Staveley: Some Historical Notes, 2nd edition. p20 ff.
[2]SDR6479 - Bibliographic reference: F1 WW 03-JUN-59.
[3]SDR6638 - Bibliographic reference: F2 WW 03-JUN-59.
[4]SDR5292 - Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) Staveley UD Derby Mar 1974 2.
[5]SDR12891 - Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 327.
[6]SDR11096 - Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index: 1825.
[7]SDR19744 - Bibliographic reference: Craven, M & Stanley, M. 2001. The Derbyshire Country House: 2. pp 206-207.
[8]SDR20948 - Unpublished document: Baker, S (ARCUS). 2006. Stairways to Nowhere: Community Archaeology at Staveley Hall, Derbyshire.
[9]SDR20950 - Article in serial: Robinson, F & Baker, S. 2007. Stairways to nowhere; community archaeology at Staveley, North-East Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 127, pp 58-101.
[10]SDR20949 - Unpublished document: Baker, S (ARCUS). 2007. Community Archaeology at Staveley Hall, Derbyshire: 2006 Season.