Monday, 31 December 2012

Newhill Hall Wath on Dearne

Newhill Hall Wath on Dearne South Yorkshire

John Payne was a wealthy farmer and Quaker who lived at Newhill Grange, Wath upon Dearne. He also owned lead mines and had shares in Derbyshire and Chesterfield canals. In 1785 he commissioned William Lindley (1739–1818) to build Newhill Hall. Lindley was a well known Doncaster architect who had been the first assistant to John Carr from his youth at 14 years old (working 1753 to 1773). He had already built the Doncaster playhouse in 1775 (now demolished) and became a Doncaster freeman in 1783, so was an obvious local choice for Payne’s new fashionable home.

The house was typically classical in style with 4 sets of twin pilasters adorning the higher level of the entrance front, with double bay windows on the ground level which may possibly have been added in the C19th. Round arched door with twin arched windows were used in each of the corridor wings leading to the two storey service wing blocks. A glass house was also added to the SW service wing during the C19th. The house was unusual for Lindley in that he used dressed local stone rather than the usual fashionable stucco, no doubt to give a more impressive and expensive fa├žade.

The house was lived in by various family members until the last family resident died in 1944. Evacuee families from London who had been living locally then moved in and the house had a high occupancy although little repair work was done over the next few years. The council made a compulsory purchase in 1953 and the house was demolished. The whereabouts of the fixtures and fittings, and records of their purchase are not known, but would have been substantial.

The main entrance was in the south front, viewed here in a photograph taken from the SE side. The site of the hall today is grassed over and is the exact centre of Newhill Park. The north garden front would have been parallel with Nicholson Avenue and had a view directly up Hall Drive, a housing estate today.

Surviving work by Lindley in Doncaster includes 26 Hall Gate (1798) and 19-21 South Parade (The Pillared Houses) (1804).

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