Gunthorpe Hall

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About 1914 to 1927, Frank Drakes (1889-1957) and his wife, Emily Kate (Daisy) Crossley (1886-1964), owned and lived at Gunthorpe Hall, Notts., near the River Trent, a few miles northeast of Nottingham. This was where their two daughters, Nora Barbara Drakes and Joan Barnby Drakes, were born. On 18.9.1914, he left from here to serve in the South Notts Hussars during World War I, but he became ill with Tuberculosis (TB) and was discharged on 22.3.1915 before he saw action. About 1926/7, they sold Gunthorpe Hall and emigrated to Canada, where he had previously worked as a cowboy in 1908. By the end of the Great Depression they had lost most of their money and eventually returned to England, where they later died.


The Hall, Gunthorpe, Nottinghamshire in 1906, with pony and trap.


Gunthorpe Hall, Nottinghamshire - a medieval fortified hall, with a Victorian extension.


The Hall, Gunthorpe, Nottinghamshire c1930.


Gunthorpe Hall, Nottinghamshire c1950, showing the lower floors of the tower (far left) alongside the Victorian extention (white building).


The old fireplace at Gunthorpe Hall c1914.

On 11.8.1961, Gunthorpe Hall became a Grade II listed building though the description on the 'listing' is apparently incorrect as far as its period of origin is concerned, according to what my grandfather knew about its history. He told my father that the tower part of the house was mediaeval and that it had been moved from a nearby site about the mid 17th century to its present due to flooding from the river Trent; he also said that the large wing to the south was a Victorian addition. He had found several artefacts (a spoon & etc.) when digging the ground on the original site, just to explore the area. Recent photos of the hall and village can be seen at panoramio.com. For further information about Gunthorpe village, near the river Trent in Nottinghamshire, see Gunthorpe Village Community Website. [NB. This 'Gunthorpe' is near Nottingham, and is not the village of 'Gunthorpe' in Norfolk.]


Driving sheep through Gunthorpe Village, Nottinghamshire c1920.


Emily Kate (Daisy) Drakes standing at her husband Frank's grave in 1957.


Frank Drakes died on 13.3.1957 at Luton, Beds., aged 67. His wife Emily died on 10.9.1964 at Luton, Beds., aged 77, and she was interred in the same grave at Luton Church Cemetery, Crawley Green Road, Luton, Beds. Her name was added to their headstone (above); sadly, only 40 years later, most of the gravestones at this cemetery had been cleared, including theirs. So much for all the love and expense put into a 'lasting memorial' to our loved ones.