Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flintham Hall
The Nottinghamshire House of Myles Thoronton Hildyard Esq.

Nottinghamshire's Flintham Hall, originally a Jacobean house that was extensively reworked in the 19th century, served as the main stand-in for the Whitaker estate.  The idea of a conservatory gained impetus from Thomas Paxton's designs for the Crystal Palace fir the Great Exhibition held in Hyde  Park in 1851. A lot of conservatories are not adjoining the main building, but here the allure is an suggestion of warm southern skies, as the vegetation of conservatory seems to spill into the whole room.. There's so much glass; you're constantly looking into this greenhouse of foliage that's lush and vibrant 365 days a year. The drawing room is actually double-height,and has a gallery running around it. Up in the gallery is a library, and there's a little Juliet's balcony that overlooks the conservatory. 
In 1853 the owner of Flintham, Mr. Thomas Blackborne Thoronton Hilyard, and a local 
architect added this conservatory to his ancestral home. With its litle fountain it makes an idyllic picture that could be of St John.s Wood in the days of Alma-Tadema: both the qountain and the putto are relics of the Great Exhibition. The windows and door from a neo-Reneaissance screen of stout columns and rounded arches, but the furniture inside the Library is a reminder that this is England of the 9th century. A large fire should blaze in the grate of what looks like a carved oak altarpiece but it's in fact a chimney-piece, designed by a Mr. McQuoid, it was manufactured by Holland & Sons and exhibited as a supreme piese of design at the great Exhibition. It sold for 500 pounds.

Colonel Thomas Thoroton commissioned the creation of Flintham Hall's imposing conservatory between 1853 and 1857.

The arragement of furniture and objecs can have altered little since the room was originally planned. The same areas forreading, conversation, games or writing would have been appropriate in the mid 19th century.


  1. I visited Flintham with the Victorian Society some forty years ago. We were graciously received by the owners (a mother & son). A time capsule indeed.. Have seen grander homes. But this is No.1 for me.

  2. Did Sir John de Hose live here circa 1270?