The Hall and Gardens
The History of Thrumpton Hall
This magical house in the East Midlands has a history that reaches back into the 16th century, when it belonged to the Powdrills, a Roman Catholic family who lost their home and lands through their involvement in the regicidal Babington Plot. (The plot was led by their young neighbour, Anthony Babington, who owned the Kingston on Soar estate.) Remains of the ancient Powdrill house can still be seen in the wall timbers, a Priest’s hiding hole and a secret staircase, leading up to what was the Powdrill family chapel.
In 1605, a new family took over Thrumpton. The Pigotts already had local connections at Ratcliffe-on-Soar. They were both ambitious and politically amoral; the second Gervase Pigott used the fortune of his wife (a local Miss St Andrews, from Gotham) to transform the Powdrill manor house into a spectacular showpiece. He removed much of the old interior, in order to create a magnificent carved staircase and an exquisite double-cube reception room overlooking his formal garden.
This magical house has a history that reaches back into the 16th century
Ambition ruined the Pigotts; in 1685, the house was taken over by their lawyer, a Mr Emerton, to whom they had been unable to keep up mortgage payments.
In the 1820’s, the house and lands underwent a significant transformation. Mr John Emerton, said to be the most handsome man in Nottinghamshire, spent what was then the enormous sum of seventy thousand pounds on improvements: these included creating a beautiful lake that lies in front of the house. The pavilion which now stands to the west of the house, looks towards Mr Emerton’s lake; beyond it, lies the celebrated 350 acre park which he and his descendants landscaped and planted with rare specimen trees, including several magnificent Lebanon cedars.
In 1838, the house was inherited by Mr Emerton’s 16 year old niece, whose marriage to Lord Byron brought many fascinating Byron relics to the house.
In 1838, the house was inherited by Mr Emerton’s 16 year old niece, whose marriage to Lord Byron brought many fascinating Byron relics to the house. Thrumpton Hall became a welcoming home to the poet Byron’s daughter, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, on her visits to Nottinghamshire. Lord Byron’s nephew (the 10th Lord Byron) was succeeded by his nephew, George Fitzroy Seymour, father of the present owner. George and the Hon. Rosemary Seymour (a sister of the 8th Lord Howard de Walden) devoted some fifty years to the restoration and preservation of this beloved family home.
The house has been owned, since 1994, by Miranda Seymour and her husband, Ted Lynch, who share it with Miranda’s mother.
Tours for parties of 20 or more can be arranged throughout the year. These are generally led by the owner.
Find out more about the tours here or contact [email protected] for further details.
“The gardens of Thrumpton, truly, are a joy to the eye and to the heart.”
of Thrumpton Hall
Much of Thrumpton’s glory lies in its spectacular two acres of landscaped gardens, part of which dates back to the seventeenth century.
The Elizabeth knot garden, hidden away behind a spectacular wall of sculpted yews, is shaded by a magnolia grandiflora and offers a sunny retreat among its pretty herbal beds, and red brick walls.
The front of the house leads out into what was once the carriage court, now a ravishing formal rose garden, at the side of which a border of peonies, lilies and delphiniums stretches below a graceful wisteria-draped stone terrace. Long vistas of lawn lead out towards a concealed wall (a ha-ha), beyond which extends a seamless view across gentle parkland.
Thrumpton’s history is apparent in the magnificent trees that are one of the great features of the garden: cedars of Lebanon, catalpas, prunis, maples, redwoods, gingko biloba and two of the most ancient larch trees in Britain.
The gardens are always under transformation. For the past six years, our wonderful National Trust-trained head gardener, Brenda Heard, has worked with Rosemary Seymour to create spectacular new areas for the garden: a magnificent shrub border, a ravishing spring garden, a lakeside walk of daffoldils, blue scillas and snowdrops.
The gardens of Thrumpton, truly, are a joy to the eye and to the heart.
We are a member of the Historic Houses Association and offer free access to the gardens for HHA member's every Wednesday.
Look at The Historic Houses Association website or contact us for further details.
In My Father’s House
book by Miranda Seymour
Miranda Seymour is the present owner of Thrumpton Hall. You will have the chance to meet her and to have her sign a copy of In My Father’s House during your visit to Thrumpton Hall.
Take a look at Miranda Seymour's website to find out more about Miranda and her other books.
“Thrillingly odd, yet oh-so-elegant and tasteful, I devoured it in one swift sitting, and have been urging it on my friends ever since”Evening Standard
“The detail is thrilling…Needless to say, perfect for anyone who’s ever obsessed about a beautiful house in the country”Tatler
“Very funny and very sad”Sunday Times
“Fascinating,charming and candid”Mail on Sunday
“A fascinating and beautifully written study of love and obsession”Waterstone’s Books Quarterly
“In My Father’s House is disarming in its honesty, endlessly surprising and oddly touching”Spectator
“It is a gem of a memoir and I wish there were others like it.”Alexander Waugh
“Perceptive, passionate and entirely real”Selina Hastings
“Astonishingly powerful and brilliantly written…A masterpiece”Simon Jenkins
“What a gripping, dramatic, emotionally searing book Miranda Seymour has written!”Joyce Carol Oates
More about Thrumpton Hall
Paula Straw - Events Manager 07796 956556
Lynn Priestley - Assistant Manager 07702 015845