Retro: The rise and fall of Blyth Hall

Blyth Hall before it was demolished after Wordl War II
Blyth Hall before it was demolished after Wordl War II

Blyth Hall was a beautiful mansion that stood proud in its 490-acre site overlooking Bassetlaw.

It was once was an important halting place for travellers as there are serveral coaching inns.

In 1603 Sir Edward Stanhope sold the Blyth estate to Robert Saunderson, of Gilthwaite in Rotherham.

However, they did not remain in residence for long and in 1635, the Saunderson family sold the 490-acre estate to John Mellish, a London merchant.

His son Edward, a merchant in Portugal, returned to England in 1671 and in 1684 commissioned the demolition of the old priory which was built in 1088 and one of the oldest examples of Norman architecture the country.

The east part of the priory has since been made into a church.

He then built Blyth Hall immediately north of the church.

Edward was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1692–93 and died, unmarried, in 1703, leaving the property to Joseph Mellish, his cousin’s son.

It descended in the Mellish family until 1806, when it was sold to Joshua Walker, the son of an ironmaster from Rotherham.

Joshua’s son and heir, Henry Frederick Walker, was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire between 1852–53.

At the end of the 19th Century, the hall was bought by Francis Willey, 1st Baron Barnby, a Bradford wool merchantt and High Sheriff for 1908-09.

He was succeeded by his son Vernon Willey, 2nd Baron Barnby, who was the MP for South Bradford.

The hall fell into ruin after the second world war and lay empty for some time.

The hall was finally demolished in 1972 and the site is now occupied by a housing estate.