Spotlight on Hodsock Priory
Hodsock Priory is a beautiful country house, in Worksop in north Nottinghamshire.
Over the years, Hodsock has had many owners and the estate has both thrived and suffered at their hands. The country house has a very interesting and colourful history, dating back to 2000BC. It has even played host to numerous kings of England such as Henry II, John, Edward I and Henry VIII.
Hodsock timeline –
2000BC – 1765: Hodsock Priory has had people living within the grounds for over 2000 years, with evidence from the Bronze Age, Roman and Saxon farmers being discovered in the grounds. In 1086 the estate was recorded in the Doomsday book.
Mid 12th century: The Cressey’s owned Hodsock for over 200 years. During their ownership of the estate, they entertained Henry II, John, and Edward I.
Early 15th century: The estate passed to the Clifton family, who owned Hodsock for 14 generations until 1765. The Clifton’s built the Tudor Gateway in due to King Henry VIII paying a visit to the home in 1541.
1765 – 1805: In 1765, Hodsock was sold for the first, and only time, to another family – the Mellish family. They owned the neighbouring estate at Blyth. William Mellish and his son, Charles Mellish, were both prominent in Nottinghamshire affairs. When Charles passed away, the house was passed to his younger son, Colonel Henry Francis Mellish, as his older son Jospeh had been disinherited for extravagance. Unfortunately, Colonel lost the Blyth estate to gambling and so it was passed to his sister, Anne Chambers.
1805 – 1930: During this time, the house was rebuilt twice, once in 1829 and again in 1874. The first half of the 20th century saw the redevelopment and changing styles of gardening. The splendours of the Hodsock gardens were well known thanks to the head gardener, Mr Arthur Ford and his team of five.
1930 – 2006: Unfortunately, during World War Two, Ford’s gardens were used as vegetables patches and maintained by the Women’s Land Army who were billeted in the house. After 1945 many country houses were knocked down or sold, however Hodsock survived and was passed down to descendants of the Mellish family. Although artefacts, furniture and valuables were sold, the house eventually passed to Sir Andrew Buchanan in 1966 and lived there with his wife and raised four children.
2006 – Present: Since January 2006, George and Katharine Buchanan have taken over the management of Hodsock Priory from Sir Andrew and Lady Buchanan. George, Katharine and their four children live in the house, so you get a real family feel when visiting. Fortunately, the house has been carefully rebuilt and restored to its former glory.
Make sure to stop by Hodsock in February and enjoy the annual snowdrop display, with 12 acres of snowdrop-covered woodland. The snowdrops which bloom are a sign that spring is finally on its way! Whilst here, make sure to indulge in a hearty lunch or traditional cream tea and, if our fact file has intrigued you, find out more about the history of Hodsock with a series of FREE daily talks! As well as snowdrops, you can expect to see hellebores, cyclamen and more in this unforgettable garden.
The Snowdrops at Hodsock will bloom daily between 1 February – 2 March 2014, 10am – 4pm. Visit Hodsock’s official snowdrops page here for more details. It truly is magical, so make sure it is on your to-do list for 2014!