Gunby Hall Estate: Monksthorpe Chapel
Monksthorpe, Lincolnshire, UK
Gunby Hall is a red-brick country house dating from 1700.
Visiting Gunby Hall is peaceful as, with its 100 acre park, eight acres of Victorian walled gardens and the magnificence of it’s Grade 1 listed buildings, you can’t help but feel refreshed away from the everyday pressures of life.
Tennyson was a frequent visitor and wrote the line ‘a haunt of ancient peace’ in the poem ‘The Palace of Art’.
Yet that peace was breached in the time of Sir William Massingberd when he shot his daughter and her lover as they fled the building. He then allegedly threw the dead man into the pond. Locals believe that the hall was cursed and claim that the murdered servant is to be seen haunting the path by the pond as he waits for his lover.
The hall is about 8 miles from Skegness on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds near Spilsby and is described as ‘a large doll’s house nestled in an idyllic spot’. It is reached by a half mile of driveway and is made up of 42 rooms, a clock tower, carriage house and stables.
In 1944 it was given to the National Trust with all its contents and 1500 acres of land.
Skegness was developed on some of the original land of Gunby Hall as in the 19th Century it used to stretch right up to the coast there.
The Hall contains significant collections of art, furniture, porcelain and silver including original pieces by a variety of poets and artists.
The gardens are laid out in an informal English style with large Victorian Walled and Kitchen Gardens, lawns, an arboretum and carp pond believed to be older than the main hall. There are 50 types of apple tree, 21 of pear and over 50 types of rose in the gardens. There is also a 17th century dove cote, a grass tennis court, croquet pitch, cottage, apple store and studio.
On the edge of the formal gardens and within the Park lies St Peter's Church. Rebuilt on Medieval foundations in the 1870s the Church is accessible only through the Hall's gardens but it remains the active Parish Church of Gunby with a service once a month.
Gunby Hall is currently leased from the National Trust and open to the public on Weds and Sundays
Dogs are welcome but on leads in the garden only and children in back carriers only, no prams.
There is mobility parking just 10 yards from the house, Braille guide, a drop off point, tea rooms.
More details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
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