Restoration Home

This was also on last night. Also not watched this yet!

Restoration Home 8:00pm-9:00pm Tue 19 Jul
Season 1 Episode 3 of 6
Stoke Caroline Quentin visits Stoke Hall in Calver, Derbyshire, the future of which has been uncertain for decades. Years of neglect have caused widespread rot throughout the property, and the 150-year-old Georgian decor is at risk of being lost for ever. However, a pair of local childhood sweethearts are convinced the mansion will make the perfect family home, and as they get to work, Caroline explores some of Stoke Hall’s connections to the highest and most influential people in the land

It’s on iplayer

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34 Responses to Restoration Home

  1. M says:

    ‘the future of which has been uncertain for decades’ ???
    Richard John Jowitt restored Stoke Hall for 25 years, from 1982 – until his death in 2007. Mr Drury purchased the property and restored 5 or 6 rooms! It was interesting that out of 30 rooms, the other 25 were not filmed. As they had been completed I suppose that would have shattered Mr Drury’s and the BBC’s misleading story that they were the saviours of Stoke Hall. That it had been neglected is tosh. Mr Jowitt even spent £1million pounds constructing a garage to the side of the building to ‘house’ the workmen. Working from the top floor down, Richard Jowitt had almost completed the renovation to the main hall, leaving the servants quarters and east wing to do last. The biggest room of the hall on the ground floor was beautiful and complete with italian marble flooring and painted ceiling, restored plasterwork etc. What a shame the BBC could not give coverage to this and other ‘floors’, i suppose that would have shattered the trumped up illusion put forward by Caroline Quentin and its new occupier.

    Also of interest, Mr Drury now has fishing rights?? These were officially sold off decades ago.

    M Jowitt

    • Margaret Ellis says:

      Also wasn’t it a restaurant at one time? And is it also true Mr Jowitt is buried in the grounds of Stoke Hall?

  2. Diane says:

    I’ve only just started watching the episode – my text in the original post is C&P from the TV guide.

    It’s always interesting to find out more about this sort of thing so thanks for your comments!

    I might have a look through the planning applications as that can give you lots of info about who has done what (Assuming planning has been required of course – does it cover listed building permissions too?)

  3. Kevin Garvey says:

    I did not see the programe you refer to having said that if its on again please let me know. Richard Jowitt did indeed buy the hall in 1982 from 2 partners at auction, I had the pleasure of doing a lot of restoration work on Stoke Hall after Richard bought same. What a wonderful dedicated and very hardworking man he was, if any body is responsible for the restoration to the High Standards which I am sure he kept to his untimely death it was Richard.

  4. Diane says:

    Kevin it is still available inn the link in my original post.
    Available until 8:59PM Tue, 16 Aug 2011

  5. Barbara Jowitt says:

    I can not help but reply to all the letters above, Richard and I lived at Stoke Hall for 24 years untill his death in May 2007. Stoke Hall was his dream, he lived and breathed for Stoke hall and every spare moment he had was spent on restoring the Hall to its former glory. We had the pleasure of bringing up four children at the Hall and this we could not have done if it had been in such poor condition as the BBC portrayed, there was certainly no risk of it being lost for ever as they suggested. However this is television we are talking about and I understand they have to make it dramatic. I was very upset that Richard was not mentioned but so i understand where Mr and Mrs Drury. The dry rot occured after Richards death as he had just removed part of the roof in the north wing which was then left to the elements and the rot took hold very quickly. It needed someone like Mr Drury to complete Richards dream and I only hope they will be as happy in Stoke Hall as we where. In answer to M’s statement I understand Mr Dury has become a member of the fishing club so now has the rights to fish and to the Ladies question Richard is buried in the grounds of Stoke Hall, it was only right that Stoke Hall should be his resting place. Thank you to the other gentleman for his kind comments on Richard he was indeed a wonderful Man. B Jowitt

  6. john wagstaffe says:

    i was watching restoration home and am sure it was a night club back in the 70s,i used to go there it was like park hall country club at spinkhill, a real jetsetting place to go,i am sure

  7. Diana says:

    How very interesting it’s been to read these comments – especially those from Mrs Jowitt. I live in Australia and we’ve just seen the Restoration Home program tonight featuring Stoke Hall . I was fascinated by it I decided to look for any more information on the internet and found this site. It’s most enlightening to realise how the BBC has misrepresented the actual situation to make such a story. I had been mystified about how the Drurys could buy a property apparently in almost total disrepair and start living in it with their 2 children. Now I understand that wasn’t the case and Mr jowitt had restored so much of it I’m delighted – but disillusioned – I will take what i hear in future with a pinch of salt! By the way – I LOVE watching these programs from England about the wonderful gracious homes and etsates in Britain as we have so few here in Australia and nothing at all over about 200 years old.

    • caroline newton says:

      Well done to all who helped bring this glorious period house back to its former glory. What a great pity that for some the glass always has to be half empty. Well done Jowitts and Drury family for having a dream. Live the dream and when you move on there will be no regrets. Well done to the BBC even if the facts may have been fiddled a bit, I love every moment of these programmes and I dont care how you get there as long as we can live a dream through you. Keep doing what you do and I’ll be here in Aus. watching every minute. Cheers

    • Keith Hartley says:

      Just watched the programme in New Zealand. Thank you to both Richard Jowitt and the Drury family for saving this beautiful building. So sad at the start of the programme to see so many stately homes in ruins because of the level of death duties levied on “rich” aristocrats. What a progressive policy. No death duties collected and ruined buildings left behind. The economics of envy in practice. It certainly saddens this Anglophile to see heritage destroyed in this way

  8. Julia says:

    Can anyone please tell me who owned Stoke Hall prior to 1982 – and particularly the name of the person who owned it when it was run as a Hotel and Restaurant?

    • B.GUY says:

      I would also be very interested to know who owned Stoke Hall around 1911 as I just found out my G. Grandfather was a Butler to that household.

      • Michael Haslam says:

        Was your relative George Hardy ? His wife Hannah Maria (Haslam) was caretaker in 1911 and her sister Mary Emily Haslam helped.They were both sisters of my great grand father.
        M Haslam.

    • J says:

      It was the Vickers family – they ran it as a hotel/restaurant prior to it being sold to my father at auction.

  9. John Bacon says:

    Ive just found this site and read the letters so i thought id put some of my own up for anybody thats interested. Im actually the mason off the telly (restoration homes) and i have worked at the hall since steve and natalie got it . Me and about 10 other differant tradesmen have put in quite a lot of dedicated work to get it back to its former glory. i do have to say that the tv show has missed most of it as its not 6 rooms we have completly renovated but all but 6!!!! .the rot was actually widespread throughout the house. yes the work the previous owner had done, some of it was superb (woodwork,paneling) and some was downright dangerous ie electrics the whole house has basically been rewired with some of the most up to date systems you can imagine. it has also had a total new heating and boiler system. neither of these where done with any ease. wherever possible we replaced like for like or reused as much as possible the old materials. all being well the whole main restoration will be completed this summer and i think i can say that for all of us that have worked up there it has been a fantastic job for great clients, on the whole fun . and yes i did leave my mark!!

    • J. Nicholas says:

      I was very impressed with your contribution to the programmes and the building work. My Great Grandma x 8 Elizabeth Welles lived at Stoke Hall 1618-1629 and other relatives lived there about 1650 to 1700 plus. ( I have proof through wills and other evidence.) Elizabeth later married my ancestor Thomas Froggatt of Folds Farm, Calver. He was born in Froggatt and his family can be traced back through documentary evidence to the 1560s in Froggott . I and other Froggatt descendants are quite desperate to hear whether the remains of the old Hall still exist. Recent owners have not replied to requests for information.

  10. George says:

    Unfortunately we tuned in towards the end of last night’s program (Sydney). I picked up references to the Arkwright family having been previous owners. These of course were the “Spinning Jenny” family – one of the world firsts in terms of production mechanisation (and its consequences). Fascinating to know this was their home. At the glorious Russborough House in Ireland (truly not to be missed) one of the bedrooms has a rather outstanding bedroom suite previously owned by the Arkwrights. One would assume this furniture was previously at Stoke Hall. As a superfluous aside, the next room at Russborough features pencil drawings of the Mitford daughters who were related to the owner of Russborough. Great to see the investment being put into Stoke Hall by both present and previous owners. “On yer” or ‘good on you’ as we would say down here.

  11. Dee Walkley says:

    I loved seeing the restoration. I am trying to find the earlier owners I think it was Richard and Robert AHCRYTE. wife of Robert was a Francis Kendal. THE BROTHERS OWNED A MILL . I think this is the information I gathered off the t.v. show. I am trying to see if my g.g.g.grandfather worked at their mill in Shroud. I have gathered information regards the riots when the looms were mechanized. My g.g.g.grandfather was a rioter. who absconded to Devon .in the 1830’s.

  12. John wagstaffe says:

    Did anyone go to stoke hall when is was a nightclub in the 70s it was brilliant i am living in melbourne now

    • Jill Platts says:

      I think you’re getting it mixed up with the Marquis of Granby which was a hotel with nightclub on the side. It was in the village of Bamford Derbyshire.

      • Paula says:

        I went to the night club at Stoke Hall in the 70’s … And there was also another night club at The Marquis of Granby. Completing the trio of country night clubs was Fiveways/Fannys at Owler Bar …

  13. Stephen Richards says:

    I had the misfortune to catch part of this programme and whilst not a big issue, it was quite misleading in the way that it suggested that their experts had managed to unearth both the identity of the person for whom the house was originally built, and its architects. You can find all this information in Pevsner’s Buildings of England for Derbyshire, published in 1978!

  14. Tracy Onofrio says:

    Can any one tell me the name of the family that are Sue Hunts grandparents as she mentioned in the program aired this evening at stoke hall Derbyshire also when they bought the property her grandmother was featured in photo by the fire place

  15. steve says:

    It was owned in the early 70’s by Les Vickers who turned it into a restaurant and then a night club. He was a scrapman and property developer who also owned fiveways at owler bar and turnups originally at nether edge and then in the old gas board building on commercial street. Does anyone know what happened to Les and is he still alive. I heard that he had fell on hardtimes, hopefully not, he was a bit of a character

  16. J. Nicholas says:

    Disappointed in this programme. I cannot understand why it is stated that the Rev Simpson was the first owner. He built the Georgian extension but the original Hall goes back more than a century. My Great grandmother x 8 Elizabeth Welles, later Froggott, nee Barker lived at Stoke Hall for eleven years after her marriage to William Welles in 1618. They were joint tenants with Bernard and Barbara Welles who built Holme Hall, Bakewell. The owners of the Hall at this time were Charles and Katharine Cavendish. They granted the tenancy to the Welles family in 1608. Previously the Hall had been owned by the Barley family. Elizabeth’s stepsons, Thomas Frogott of Bubnell and William Welles Junior took up the tenancies later, attracted to the Stoke Hall Estate because of the lead smelting mills that stood on the Stoke Brook that formed the Calver / Stoke boundary of the estate.

  17. Stephen Richards says:

    …not the same Stephen Richards as above.

    I saw the programme last night and took it as face value until coming across this site when I was trying to find out more about the house. So, yes, the programme was misleading.

    A potted history was included in the Auction particulars in 2008:

  18. J. Nicholas says:

    This is what Caudwells published about Stoke Hall when they advertised it for sale in Derbyshire Countryside Magazine in 2008.
    Desscribed by Pevsner as being ‘quite stately’-probably by comparison with its super-stately neighbours Chatsworth and Haddon Hall- Stoke Hall stands in 22.5 acres of gardens, grounds and woodland, overlooking the River Derwent that flows along its eastern boundary. The present house was designed by James Paine and built in about 1757 by William Booth, both of whom were working at Chatsworth about that time.

    The estate dates from Domesday, although its first known occupant was the Norman Gerbert de Stoke who lived there in 1204. It was then held by the Greys of Codnor before being sold in the 1460s to the Barlows of Barlow Hall; 17th-century owners included William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle.

    In the early 18th century, the estate passed to the Rev John Simpson who is thought to have commissioned the present Hall, and it remained in his family before being sold in about 1850 to the Hunter family of Greystones.

    In the 20th century, Stoke Hall was the home of industrialist Emile Viner, and later a hotel and restaurant, before being sold at auction to the current owners in 1982.

    The 14,962 sq ft Hall consists of two distinct parts: the main three-storey Georgian house, now largely restored, with its grand reception hall, five elegant reception rooms, kitchen, breakfast room, master suite, five principal bedrooms, two bathrooms and staff apartment, with ample space for more bedrooms and bathrooms; and the older north wing, where the bulk of the outstanding restoration work is needed.

    In the main house, the exquisite detail of the exterior stonework and fenestration is matched internally by the exuberant Rococo decoration of the walls and ceilings, and the splendid carved panelling of the drawing room-its focal point a chimneypiece by Grinling Gibbons.

  19. Graham Taylor says:

    In case anyone is interested, the Rev. John Simpson is an ancestor of Sarah Ferguson. Amazed that the BBC has not yet picked this up.

  20. Glenn Trezza says:

    I have not seen the programme, but I did have the pleasure of getting a personal tour from Natalie Drury of Stoke Hall a few years ago shortly after the Drurys moved in. My mother’s family originated down the road in Stoney Middleton and I was in the area for two weeks visiting family and doing genealogical research–and I cheekily drove up to Stoke Hall and asked if I could have a look about, because the mason who rebuilt Stoke Hall and built the stables at Chatsworth, William Booth of Stoney Middleton, was my many-greats-uncle (his second wife, Sarah, nee Hallam, and the widow of William Wright, was the elder sister of my six-greats-grandfather Joseph Hallam of Stoney Middleton (1701-1760)). William Booth worked under society architect James Paine and is alleged to have worked also on the rectory at Eyam and the new octagonal church of St. Martin in Stoney Middleton as well (I own Pevsner’s Buildings of Derbyshire, by the way–it’s well worth owning if you have interests in Derbyshire history and architecture). Mrs. Natalie Drury couldn’t have been more gracious–she let me walk around outside and gave me a tour of the house, which was very much in the remodeling phase–there were workmen all over the place. I’d love to see the programme at some point to see what else has gone on at Stoke Hall since my visit; Natalie kindly invited me back to see what they’d done to the place next time I was in the area from the USA, but I felt a little embarrassed about having just baldly barged in like that, so I haven’t been back. I’m a distant cousin of Mrs. J.Nicholas who commented above on this thread, and, like her, have other family connections to Stoke Hall and to much of the surrounding area. Natalie, if you happen to read this, I don’t know if you really believed the cheeky American who waltzed up to your home a few years ago asking to “see my uncle’s house”, but I really am William Booth’s six-greats-grandnephew and it was wonderful to see the place my uncle built to Paine’s designs in the 1700s, and I remember with gratitude your kindness to me that day. I hope Stoke’s become everything that you and your husband have hoped for; it clearly was an ideal home for Mrs and the late Mr. Jowitt, and I hope it’s continued to be for you and your family as well.. Cordially, Dr. Glenn R. Trezza, Boston, MA, USA

  21. Wendy says:

    I had my wedding reception at Stoke Hall on August 1976, we had a beautiful day with a fabulous location.

  22. john wagstaffe says:

    steve thanks for that info les vickers had some great clubs ,turn ups at nether edge hall was great i think stoke hall was similar to park hall country club at spinkhill you never knew what famous person you would meet.yes the 70’s were definitely the best times.

  23. Cynthia Ann Harris says:

    Anyone, have information about the lady who told the story about working at Stoke Hall, as a French silver polisher, in 1939. Her name was Kit and she was 91 years old. She spoke about the Butler who couldn’t keep his hands to himself. And how she had to put a chair against the door at night to keep him out. I need to know her genealogy, as old woman she look and sounded like my grandmother , the picture of her as a young woman looks like my mother. It was amazing, Is she still alive?

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