The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: From London to Sheffield in the Spring of 1839

Bretby Hall

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Bretby Hall, the Seat of the Earl of Chesterfield, is situated in a beautifully undulated country, and the mansion, which is in the castellated style, by Wyatt, has fine views on two sides. The building is not finished; and the gardens round it are not laid out, as they doubtless ultimately will be, in a style at all suitable to the house and the place. All that can be said in favour of Bretby Hall is, that the situation has very great natural advantages, and that there is abundance of scattered trees and plantations. Near the house is a large cedar of Lebanon, supposed to be one of the first which was planted in England. The circumference of the trunk at 4 ft. from the ground is 15 ft., and its estimated height 70 ft. It has lost several branches within the last few years, but it is still a noble tree, and being situated on a small artificial knoll, has a commanding effect. Among the pictures in the house are three portraits of this tree, taken at different times, and showing the tree in different states. The architectural details of the exterior elevation of the house shows how little Gothic architecture was understood 30 years ago, even by a master in this style, to what it is at present. [In 1926, Bretby Hall was sold to Derbyshire County Council and used an orthopaedic hospita. In the 1990s when it was soldand onverted it into luxury apartments.