The sale of Stanhoe Hall Estate, 1932
The big event of 1932 was the sale of Stanhoe Hall and its associated farms and cottages – almost the whole village, in fact. Click on the picture to see the sale catalogue (4MB PDF file).
How did the estate come to be sold?
In 1932 the Stanhoe Hall estate extended from the Docking parish boundary in the west as far as that of Burnham Westgate (Burnham Market) in the east. Most of the land was bounded on the south side by the Stanhoe to Burnham road, and to the north by the Docking to Burnham road. The head house was Stanhoe Hall, the present house being built there in 1702.
We know that the estate existed at the time of the Norman conquest, when it was called March’s Manor. In Elizabethan times it grew to include the land formerly owned by Calthorpe’s, another ancient manor. In the 1300s, when sheep were the most profitable “crop” of all, the land to the north of Docking Road was almost completely taken up by grass and heather, making a vast sheep walk.
In 1837 John Calthrop from Lincolnshire bought the whole estate. He lived in the Hall and over the next 30 years divided the great sheep walk into seven farms, each of which had its own head house. Six of these still exist: Chalk Hill, Cradle Hall, Crow Hall, Friars Thorn, Muckleton Hill and Grange Farm, the last of which Calthrop kept as his home farm. With additional marsh land on the coast, paddocks, houses and gardens, the estate extended to over 2,000 acres.
John Calthrop had only one child, a daughter named Mary Esther who was born in 1835. She married James Hollway but died in childbirth in 1856, having given birth to a healthy son. Her tomb with its “weeping lady” statue is prominent in All Saints’ churchyard.
This left the child, christened Henry, heir to the whole estate on his grandfather’s death in 1872. The will specified that young Henry Hollway should take John Calthrop’s surname, so he became Henry Calthrop Hollway Calthrop.
Henry lived on his income from his work as bursar of Eton College and what he received from the letting of the many farms. He had been a generous landlord, as can be seen by the cottages he had built and their large gardens, but by the time of the Great Depression income from farm properties was minimal.
Although Henry married, he had no children to inherit the estate, and in 1932 he put it on the market. All the farm land sold, as did some of the houses in the villages, but most of the houses, including the Hall itself, remained unsold. They were not finally sold until 1949, on Henry Calthrop’s death.