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History of Quorn Hall

A History of The Nether Hall (Quorn Hall) - source and date unknown.

It was not until almost the middle of the 15th century that the junior branch of the Farnham family was founded. This was established by Thomas Farnham, second son of John Farnham, who broke away completely from the old family. He build a hall on the east side of the village of Quorndon, near the River Soar, in what was known as the 'Barley Close'. His Hall gives us the first reference of a building of any description being on or near this site. If there was a previous building there, although it is extremely unlikely, no mention of it occurs in the records. Therefore it appears that, Thomas Farnham's Hall was the original Hall which became known as the Nether Hall thus distinguishing it from the seat of the far older branch of the family then called 'Over Hall'.

There exists a certain amount of controversy over the question of determining the exact date of the building of the original Nether Hall and at present the correct date of erection is unknown, neither is the original shape of the Hall known to any degree of certainty, for, as a result of subsequent rebuilding alterations and additions, the original shape has been largely lost. A careful study of scraps of information, and of the Hall as it stands today, with its varying thickness of walls ranging from one to four feet, reveals that the Hall has undoubtedly undergone many alterations and extensions. A systematic inspection clearly shows that the varying thicknesses of the walls fall approximately into three quite separate groups. Taking the view that the thickness of walls in buildings have become progressively less during the centuries, it seems logical to suppose that the thickest walls are the earliest remains of the Nether Hall, probably those of the original building. Indeed, while some alterations were being carried out a few years ago, it was found necessary to cut two hatches and a doorway through one of these very thick walls. Normally this is a relatively straightforward job, but the workmen had not contemplated having to cut into slabs of granite. Before the work was completed, huge blocks of granite had to be removed, weighing far more than one man could possibly carry by himself. With walls constructed of such solid durable material, it is quite easy to see why parts of this ancient hall have survived so many years.

After due consideration of these facts and of the present arrangement of the rooms and the innumerable attempts at reconstructing the earlier layouts, it seems justifiable to believe that the original shape of the Nether Hall was that the main entrance possible faced north east. How many storeys it had and what out houses it possess is quite impossible to determine. However, it is more than likely to have been a two storey building with the usual outhouses appropriate to the period.

In addition to building the original Nether Hall, Thomas Farnham gathered together during his long life, a somewhat large estate. I do not expect that he realised he was laying foundations of a Hall and estate which was to have during the centuries, a history of such changing fortunes. Thomas was a successful lawyer and held several public offices during his life, including that of Justice of the Peace and he was also one of the King's Commissioners for assessing certain subsidies. His law suits, from the Plea Rolls would make a book in themselves. In a Chancery suit of 1454, his cousin, Robert Farnham of the Over Hall, the plaintiff, describes him as:

'A clerk and a writer, a maker of deeds and a great court-holder'.

He married twice, first Emmota, daughter of Sir Hugh Hercy of Grove, Nottinghamshire, by whom he had one son John, and secondly, Maud - whose surname is unknown. In the closing years of his life, Thomas was greatly harassed by the knowledge that his only son John, contemplated selling part of the landed estate at Quorndon which he had so carefully striven to put together. So he strictly entailed his estates in his will and some Chancery proceedings taken in 1475 show the pains he took to try to prevent his son dissipating his estate.

However his son and heir, John Farnham, married Joan Strelly in 1450 whose friends 'Old Thomas' says, paid him a large sum of money for the marriage. Therefore he was regarded as desirable in the marriage market. Unfortunately John did not make good use of his means and seems to have been most extravagant and careless, as most of these references to him are in respect of unpaid debts.

In spite of all his father's efforts to ensure that the estate was kept intact, John managed to find some loop-holes in the Will whereby he disposed of large sections of land. The result of this selling meant that by the time John died, the Nether Hall estate had shrunk considerably - just as his father had feared.

This John Farnham's grandson was also named John and was born in 1506. He started life as a soldier but soon after the accession of Queen Elizabeth, he was appointed one of her band of Gentlemen Pensioners, which post he held until his death. As this appointment entailed a residence of nine months in each year at the court, he could rarely have been at the Nether Hall for which he seems to have had no great affection. He was obviously held in considerable esteem by the Queen who made him large grants of land as a reward for his services. The grants are so long that it is impossible to reproduce them here, but, the land granted was nearly all taken from religious sources or Town Lands in many different counties.

Thomas Farnham, John's younger brother, and his wife Dorothy Nevill, were possibly the most hard working and progressive members of the family. Thomas was thoroughly successful in life and on the 6th March 1551 bought the Nether Hall and estate from his brother John. By his industry and exertions Thomas raised himself to the honourable and lucrative position of Teller of the Exchequer, which office he held under Edward VI and Queen Mary.

Thomas Farnham's early death was a disaster for the Farnham family of the Nether Hall. He was the only member of that family who, from the death of the original founder, about 1460, did anything to increase family possessions. He showed his strong attachment to his father's family in his Will by strictly entailing the Nether Hall and all his possessions at Quorndon to his brothers, John, Matthew and Robert instead of to his daughter Catherine.

Thus John was rather fortunate, insomuch as he had sold the estate to his younger brother Thomas, and when the latter died, the estate reverted back to him.

After John's death in 1587, he having no male heir, the Nether Hall and estate descended to his brother Matthew, who married Lawrentia, daughter of Richard Barrett, of Medbourn, by whom he had a son, Humphrey. In 1588 Matthew Farnham made over to his son Humphrey the Nether Hall and certain lands in Quorndon on the latter's marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of William Digby of Welby, Leicestershire. Matthew retained for himself the New Hall in Quorndon, later called The Hall on the Green as well as some lands for his own use. Matthew died in 1594 and his will is a quaint document, thought doubtless interesting and valuable, for written by himself, it gives a valuation of his effects at the prices he considered them to be worth at the time. For instance, it shows that sheep were worth approximately ten shillings each, while a horse was valued at one pound and an ox at thirty shillings.

Will of Matthew Farnham of the Nether Hall:

"My last Will oen thousand five hundred ninety two. My goods as I thincke they be worthe:

First my sheepe, being 500, 200

My horses worthe 50. My plate, 40. My neate beaste, being three-score, 90. My howseholdstuffe, 80.

My woodcartes and thinges to husbandrye, 30. Hogges and other provision for my howse, 10.

Suma - 640.

Things I give away by this my last Will:

First to my sonne Humfrye Farneham and his heires all my landes in Quarne or within the parrishe of Barowe-uppon-Soore with all the concealed lands in the same towne and parrishe, paying to the Queene the farm fee, 10s by the yeare; and to finde a scolemaster, 40s a year for ever with that my cosen Farneham and Frauncis Chawney payeth.

I give to my sonne Humfrye Farneham all my rights, title and interest in Knighton or thereto beonging wheresoever, 20.

I give to my sonne Humfrye Farneham seaven score sheepe 70. Neate beaste six Kyen and fowre younge beaste, 15. A bason and ewer of silver, 20. One of my best silver bowels, 50s. A silver tankerde the best, 50s. Six silver spoons, 50s.

One silver salt occupyed every daye, 40s. All the furniture of the beddin the Buttrye chamber, a feather bed, a mattrice, twoe blankets, twoe pillows, one bolster, twoe payre of good sheetes, the curtens and the tester, 5. All my golde buttons, 7

To his three children 10 amongst them all, 10.

To Humfrey twoe of my best clokes, twoe payre of best hose, my best satten dublett, 5. To Humfrey my curtail nagge, my best colte or fillye that I have at my deathe, 5. My sealing ring of gold, 3. To Humfrey in money to be paid within twoe yeares after my decease, 30.

Suma - 207

And my sonne to be bounde to my supervisors in 500 to discharge me, my wife, our heirs and assignes for all bonds that I stande bounden for him and to make three good leases, one to John Swan, another to John Hampe, another to William Greenam for twenty years after my decease, paying the rent they nowe paye me, they to enjoy all they nowe occupye to their farmes.

To fowre of my sonne Stacye's children that I have given no legacie, 20s apiece, 4. To Matthewe Stacye my godsonne to be delivered to my Supervisors to his use, 20. To Susan Stacye to helpe bringe her upp, 5. To my daughter Stacyeto doe her good, 5. To the poore of Cotsmore, 20s. To the poore of Barowe, 6s 8d. I give to my sonne Dawes his wife, Mr Stacye of Bitam, 20s apiece to make them a ringe of. To every man I have at my deathe, 6s 8d. To every maide 3s 4d, about 5

Suma - 76

There is to be paide in all from my wyfe 250.
My wife to be bounde to my sonne in 200 to discharge all my landes for all my writings and bookes and all things ells in my studys, but plate, gold, silver and all my subbarde in the parlor the lyke.

To my sonne William Farneham I give 10" (He means here his son's son)

Proved 8th October 1594 (Quorndon Records)

It was most unfortunate for the Farnham family that the next two Farnhams who succeeded Matthew died so very soon after they had taken over the estate. This rapid succession of deaths place exhorbitant demands on the family fortune in the way of death duties, with the result, that it became necessary to sell parts of the estate in order to pay these duties.

Matthew Farnham's great grandson, Thomas succeeded in 1626. He had married in 1622 and had two sons and four daughters. Thomas Farnham did not involve himself in the Civil War which proved so disastrous to his Royalist cousin, Edward Farnham of the Over Hall. Nevertheless, he does not seem to have been a successful manager of his property and soon began to sell of portions of it. He was often at law, one outstanding occasion being the dispute between himself and the Lord of the Manor of Barrow-on-Soar, to whom ancient feudal service was due.

When Thomas Farnham died, he was succeeded by his eldest son Henry Farnham, a captain in the Army. He succeeded to an estate impoverished mainly by the crippling death duties which had come rapidly one after the other. Henry continued to sell portions of his patrimony, but at the same time thought it necessary to rebuild his house. It would probably be more correct to say that he spent considerable sums of money improving the existing Hall and adding extensions to it. He changed the main entrance from the N.E side to the S.E so that it faced the River Soar and built a wing on the NE side of the entrance so that the Hall was more symmetrical than previously. The Hall then consisted of a double storey building having a central hall and main entrance facing the river with a wing on either side of the entrance.

Henry Farnham incurred such enormous debts, mainly caused by his extensive building programme, that on his death in 1684 the Nether Hall was left to William Leak of Wimeswold and Benjamin Mowsley of Lullington, Derbyshire as trustees for the sale in order to pay his debts and provide something for his large family of six sons and six daughters.

His fourth son, Benjamin Farnham, married at Woodhouse on 14th May 1703, Sarah, daughter of Edward Farnham of the Over Hall and from him the last Farnham family at Quorn House traces lineal descent.

So, in 1686 the Nether Hall, this grand old country seat was sold to George Morton of Sileby for 1,750. This was the first occasion on which somebody other than a Farnham became to own it, since it was originally built about 1430.

Hugo Meynell and the Quorn Hunt

The Nether Hall passed out of the hands of the Farnham family in 1686, only a year after its restoration, and was sold to George Morton of Sileby. The next few years saw a rapid succession of owners and in 1709 the Hall was concerned with a legal dispute when Henry Collingwood mortgaged it to Noble and Farnham and at the same time sold it to his brother George.

Eventually the Hall passed into the hands of Justinian Raynesford who sold it to Hugo Meynell, then still a minor and who became the most famous of the Hall's owners. The following extract concerning the sale of the Hall is interesting:

"By indentures dated 5 and 6 February 1753, Justinian Raynesford of Brixworth, Co Northants, esquire, conveyed to John Heath, of Derby, gent., in trust for Hugo Meynell, esquire of Bradley, Co Derby (at that time a minor under the age of 21 years but of sufficient age and ability to understand and judge properly of his own affairs) the Nether Hall and certain lands and enclosures in Quorndon. William Shore of Ashbourne Co Derby, gent the legally constituted guardian of the said Hugo Meynell concurring in the purchase, for the sum of 3,000, which sum was advanced by John Heath, as being a convenient purchase for Hugo Meynell, but as his affairs were then circumstanced his money could not be called in to answer the time of payment of the purchase money."

The sale included:

"All that capital messuage or mansion house in Quorndon, County Leicester, called or known by the name of the Nether Hall together with the barns, stables, orchards, gardens and other appurtenances thereto belonging and all that close of pasture called the 'Cunnerys' containing eight acres or thereabouts".

Heath transferred the property by indentures dated 5th and 6th April 1773 at which time Mr Meynell completed the purchase by paying Mr Heath, and thus became the absolute owner of the Nether Hall and estate.

It has been erroneously stated that Hugo Meynell bought the Hall from Earl Ferrers. The Earl Ferrers was merely the tenant and Justinian Raynesford the owner. Meynell already possessed a pack of fox hounds even before he bought the Nether Hall. Part of this pack formerly belonged to Thomas Boothby of Tooley Park, Leicestershire, and on his death in 1762, the pack was taken over by Meynell, who married Mr Boothby's daughter. Ann Boothby was Meynell's second wife, by whom he had two sons. When Meynell set up residence at the Nether Hall, which from now on was known as Quorn Hall, he immediately started fox hunting in the 'widely stretching Quorn country'. No doubt the situation of Quorn Hall attracted Mr Meynell's attention, since it was near Charnwood Forest, then far more open than it is today. It must have been quite a paradise in Mr Meynell's eyes as a schooling ground for his younger hounds, and a grand area for spring and summer-autumn. Moreover his hunting country extended almost from Nottingham to Market Harborough.

It was Hugo Meynell who founded the world famous Quorn Hunt at Quorn Hall and gave the village of Quorndon the reputation of being the best known village in England, for no other ever contained so many residences of the aristocracy. At first the difference between the Quorn Hunt and others lay in Mr Meynell's own exceptional character and unusual disposition. Later, the difference lay in the composition of his field, while he also experimented like 'Turnip Townshend'.

Meynell was a most successful breeder of horses and hounds. Unfortunately, he did not record his breeding principles and all that is known is that, broadly speaking, they were in and in breedings. In passing, it is of interest to note a contemporary of Meynell, named Robert Bakewell of Dishley, which is situated less than six miles from Quorn. He learned how to breed sheep very successfully and taught the world modern sheep and cattle farming. It may not have been a mere coincidence that Bakewell and Meynell lived to so close to one another, and both experimented in scientific breeding. It is quite possible that they often worked together.

Soon after coming to Quorn Hall, Meynell must have found it imperative to build stables and kennels to house his horses and hounds, as well as to provide quarters for his huntsmen and grooms. These were completed in 1755 and although many of these buildings have survived the years of use, others are in a very bad state of repair. The following untechnical description of the Quorn Kennels gives a good account of them when they were at their best. Speaking of Colonel Cheney, the author writes:

"Near the Colonel's estate are the dog kennels of the Quorn Hunt, a college for rearing and educating fox hounds. It is composed of several buildings, the principal apartment is the dinner hall, the whole being filled with separate troughs, at each of which four dogs feed at the same time. The larder is a spacious place in which the joints of six or seven horses are hung up every week. The whole is eaten raw, and the gourmand taste of these animals is such that they will not touch it unless it has been seasonably kept, which the insupportable stench that surrounds the place fully proves.

In the kitchen are conveniences for cooking vegetable diet, of which oatmeal forms the principle part. The litter houses comprise many berths for the mothers where the puppies are kept until they are admitted into the junior college. In this building are lodged the young dogs from eight to twelve months old. The play-ground is a large court in front, neatly flagged and always clean. A similar one is on the western side for the older dogs. Nothing can surpass the regularity and orderly behaviour of these intelligent creatures at the dinner-hour; on the ringing of a bell, the dogs in the courtyard wait patiently until they are called by fours, when Ponto, Jowler, Music and Trinket leave the crowd and go to their stated trough. Other parties follow, dine, retire and make way for the remaining sets. The kennelman cracked a long whip two or three times before he introduced the colonel and myself into the junior court. On entering I was surrounded by a score of playful whelps, who all pressed forward to be caressed. We then passed into the court of the grown up gentry and I followed with very different feelings. These gaunt fellows came round me with a more savage look, smelling my person in such numbers that I could scarcely proceed."

The above extract, interesting though it may be, does not unfortunately, give an overall picture of the kennels and stables. Meynell erected all this outbuildings on the N.W side of the Hall, having the long line of stables with haylofts above, set nearest the Hall and running parallel with the N.W wing. The kennels appear to have been situated among the present farm buildings and the Huntsman's Cottage just where it is today which is more or less at right angles to the end of the stables furthest from the river. Although used for different purposes now, the stables still possess their original Swithland slates. These slates are exceptionally durable, and their hardness and close grain enable them to withstand the weather excellently. Swithland slates a peculiar charm of their own, and are soon recognised by their rough and varied texture and range of sizes, from the large ones at the eaves to small ones at the ridge. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Swithland slate was extensively worked, not only for roofing, but also for grave headstones, but in later years, it was used almost solely for roofing. Its discontinuance for this purpose was mainly due to the competition of the far lighter and thinner Welsh slates, and the only source of Swithland slate nowadays is found in the demolition of old buildings.

The dog kennels have all disappeared although two circular brick huts remain, measuring approximately fifteen feet in diameter and having vertical sides topped with a brick cupola, which has a circular hole in the centre, the outside of the roof being covered with Swithland slates. These 'kilns' or drying rooms were intended to be used as artificial means of drying the hounds after washing and grooming. A fire was lit in the centre of the floor, smoke escaping through the hole in the roof and the hounds were forced to remain in the hut till dry. There appears to have been a shelf approximately 18 inches high and about 15 inches wide running round the circular wall.

Another curious building is an egg shaped building almost two thirds below ground level and is some fifteen feet high and ten feet wide at its widest point. Originally it was used as a type of meat store to keep meat for the dogs. Horse carcases were put inside and left until wanted.

Meynell also paid a great deal of attention to the Hall itself and made some considerable additions to it about 1790. In all, he raised the whole building as left by Henry Farnham by a storey and added the rooms on the N.W centre, as well as laying large pleasure grounds near the river. He also moved the footpath which crossed his estate, leading from Quorndon to Barrow, from the S.E side of the Hall to the N.W side where it still runs today under the name of 'the slabs'.

Although there is not a lot of detail available concerning Hugo Meynell and the early days of the Quorn Hunt at the Hall, occasional reference can be found in contemporary books written about the district. For instance, Throsby states that Meynell at one period turned the Hall into a private hotel. Bray gives us more information of the state of affairs:

"The hounds were kept by subscription, but that gentleman (Mr Meynell) permits his servants to accommodate as many of his friends as his house will hold, with apartments, where they are furnished with dinner, and all the provisions as at any public place."

The meaning of the passage concerning apartments is somewhat obscure and does not indicate whether Mr Meynell took payment or not. Yet, while Mr Meynell was a tolerably wealthy man, his purse could hardly have stood the strain of keeping an absolutely open house for nearly half a century.

Hugo Meynell has often been called the father of English foxhunting, a great sporting celebrity, and as a horseman, classed amongst the best of his time. By the time Meynell gave up the actual management of the Quorn Hunt, he had created such a reputation through the country that sportsmen aspiring to fame were most anxious to become Masters of the Quorn Hunt. Consequently many strangers became Masters, there only being three or four Leicestershire men in the long list.

Successive Hunt Masters 1800-1929

On giving up the actual management of the hounds to his eldest son, Mr Meynell built a cottage near the kennels with a passage running into them from his house. However after his son had been killed in a riding accident in 1800, Meynell sold his hounds and Quorn Hall to Lord Sefton who succeeded him as Master of the Hunt. Meynell continued to go out with the Hunt, and Lord Sefton for the five years that he was Master, maintained the hounds in princely fashion.

From the time of the Quorn Hunt's first Master, Quorn Hall came to be regarded as a sort of official residence for succeeding Masters. Lords Sefton and Foley, Mr Assheton Smith, Mr Osbaldstonn, and Sir Billingham Graham bought the Hall as they bought the Hunt, stock and fixtures. Therefore when Lord Southampton became Master of the Hunt, he like his predecessors occupied Quorn Hall, but, perhaps owing to the distance of some fixtures and to other reasons, decided in 1830 to move to Belgrave Hall, hear Leicester. Thus the Hall was once again up for sale and its attraction were duly set forth in the local journal. Blew says:

"It was stated that it was surrounded by one hundred and seventeen acres of land, and was described as standing in the heart of the Leicestershire country. One of its features was the fine long stable containing 21 stalls and 5 loose boxes, while there was stabling for 18 more horses. A covered ride afforded scope for exercise in frosty or inclement weather: previous masters have lodged their hounds in the commodious kennels; cottages for huntsmen and stud groom were ready to hand, while the usual appurtances of saddle room, granary and whatnot left nothing to be desired. The house itself is equal to the accommodation of a 'family of consequence' include dining, morning and drawing rooms, hall or billiard room, 24 bedrooms beside domestic offices.'

It is unknown who was the purchaser of the Hall in this sale, but certainly he had no connection with the Hunt. According to one authority between 1830 and 1850 the Hall belonged to the Oliver family and about 1848 was used as a girls' school run by Mrs Arnold and Miss Jeay. No corroboration had been found for these suppositions but in lieu of contradictory evidence the information may be regarded as fact.

When Sir Richard Sutton first took over Mastership of the Hunt in 1847, he rented only the stables and kennels, but after a year or two he bought Quorn Hall and estate and spent considerable sums of money restoring the building. Sir Richard is said to have kept a large establishment on a very bountiful scale, which cost him about 10,000 a year. Nevertheless, on Sir Richard's death in 1855, the hall and estate was sold to the firm of Cartwright and Warner. Mr Edward Warner lived at Quorn Hall himself and rented the stables and kennels to Lord Stamford who resided at Bradgate Park and was Sir Richard Sutton's successor as Quorn Hunt Master. When Lord Stamford retired from the Hunt he sold his stud and hounds by auction, an account of which appeared in the London Illustrated News, 1863:

"The Hall is a large pile of buildings having a frontage on the South, with a lawn down to the water's edge and to the North looking to Loughborough. The stabling and kennelling are close to the Hall on the West side and the long range is pleasantly sheltered by a row of trees.

It was originally intended to have the sale in a large square at the back of the stables, and a raised platform covered with an awning and capable of holding about a 1000 people was prepared. But it soon became evident that this place would not hold a quarter of those present and Messrs Tatters all decided late in the morning of the sale to move out into the open space which was hastily prepared.

Some 6000 to 7000 people were present, including most of the leading sportsmen in the country and a large number of the nobility. The complete list would be very long but I may mention in passing that during the week and on the day of the sale, there were present the representatives of the Prince of Wales, Emperor of the French, Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. The crowd was composed of most well known dealers and there were also several huntsmen and retired sportsmen.

At half past twelve Mr Tattersall, after a short pithy address commenced with the whip's horses at a low figure, but no sooner did he reach the long stables then up went the prices, and the first out of them, Bentwick, a fine chestnut gelding was knocked down for 5 hundred guineas and was followed by high prices throughout, the highest being made by Pilot, likewise a chestnut which went for 546.

There was but one reverse out of the whole lot; it was Trumpeter, a bay horse, very perfect and no-one advanced up to it, he was taken back. Several made 400, 445 guineas and the proceeds of the sale of 81 horses, sadlery and clothing amounted to nearly 16,000 and if we may reckon the hounds, it is evident that Lord Stamford had not much less than 20,000 employed in sustaining the reputation of the Quorn Hunt.

The principal purchasers were the Prince of Wales, Lord H Bentwick, Captain Chaplin and the Marquis of Hastings."

After Lord Stamford's time all the Quorn Hunt Masters kept their hounds and horses either in Melton Mowbray or on their private estates, or in the rented quarters at Quorn Hall. However the last Master resident at Quorn Hall was Captain W P Warner, whose father had purchased the Hall and estates after Sir Richard's death.

Captain Warner brought the hounds back to Quorn Hall in 1886. He built a new front to the Hall towards the river in 1894-5 and moved the main entrance around to the north-west. In all he made many great improvements, restoring the old buildings many of which had grown very unfit for their purposes. Captain Warner showed great interest in the gardens, which had been neglected for many years. He set out new lawns both at the front and on the river side and greatly improved the trees. The eastern approach to the Hall had been lined with chestnuts by his father in 1855 and these had grown so large that Captain Warner decided to thin them out. By removing alternate trees he allowed them to develop into the present fine display.

The hunt had been centred at Quorn for over a hundred and fifty years but by 1900 the need was felt for more modern buildings. New and more modern quarters were built at Barrow and the Hunt made its final break with the Hall in 1906. The Hunt had left several times before but had always returned. It is hardly likely to do so again as the newly built quarters at Barrow are much superior and are in an equally central position for hunting the country with far greater facilities for breeding and rearing hounds. It is a matter of regret at the necessity for the breaking up of the old traditions and historical continuity, mainly due to the condition of the old premises. Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that large sums of money would have been necessary to repair the old kennels. The new kennels cover ten acres, compared with the original acre.

Although the Hunt moved the kennels in 1906, Captain Warner continued to live at the Hall until 1929 when the family moved away from the district.

Subsequent history. 1929 to present day

When the Warner family departed from Quorn Hall, the Hall was once again up for sale and was eventually leased to the Quorn Country Club Ltd. During the comparatively short time that it was used by the Country Club it was fully licensed residential, capable of holding dinner dances with full catering facilities. In addition a squash court was installed and three tennis courts and accommodation was provided for billiards and table tennis. However, the Hall was too much for the Club to run economically and in 1931 it moved to smaller quarters. Thus this fine old country residence was once again billed to come under the auctioneer's hammer. The sale was well publicised and was of great local interest. A folder was published with large photographs of the Hall and outbuildings and a short description about each lot was given.

The Hall and Estate was sold privately and Lot 1 which included the Hall and grounds together with outbuildings were purchased by Loughborough College. The Hall itself was intended to be used as a hostel for students at the College, while the farm, grasslands and cottages were rented out. Alas, fate would have it that the first students to stay at Quorn would be in his Majesty's uniform. By the time the Hall was fitted out and staffed, World War II had started with the result that it was occupied by Navel personnel taking various courses at Loughborough College.

The Hall as it was then, proved too small for comfortable accommodation so in 1941 the old wing was altered, raised by a storey, and extended to almost double its previous length. The new wing now comprises a number of double bedrooms for students and a block of apartments set aside solely for the domestic staff.

The Hall excluding the new wing is almost the same as it was when the Warner Family left. It includes a paved loggia entrance leading to the entrance hall, a spacious lounge with an oak floor, two dining rooms, one facing NW the other having a large bay window facing the River Soar. The upper floors are approached by two staircases the front one being of the Stuart period and has a well decorated plaster ceiling while the back staircase is probably of an earlier date.

 Submitted on: 2011-01-05
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1133

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