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Interior of the chapel at Donington Hall, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, c 1915 ?
Scarratt, F W
c 1915 ?
About this image
An interior view of the chapel at Donington Hall looking east. It is in Early English Decorated style and dates from c 1793. Despite appearances here, the canopies of the choir stalls were fashioned not from carved wood but from plaster with cast iron finials. The stained glass in the east window was much older than the chapel itself, being German and of 16th century date.
Donington Hall was built between 1790 and 1793 to the design of plasterer and architect William Wilkins the Elder (1751-1815) for Francis Rawdon Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira and subsequently (from 1816) the 1st Marquess of Hastings. It is constructed to a courtyard plan in the 'fanciful Gothick manner' favoured by Wilkins with the chapel projecting to the east. It remained with the Hastings family until 1902 when it passed to the Gillies Shields family who retained ownership until 1976.
During the First World War the Hall acted as a prisoner of war camp for captured German officers and then between the wars it was run as a hotel before being occupied by the Army again (this time as a vehicle depot) during World War Two. Both the house and surrounding deer park were left in a poor state following this but the Hall was Listed Grade II-star in 1962. In 1981-2 it was refurbished to become the headquarters of British Midland Airways (who operated from the nearby East Midlands Airport) and remained in this use until 2012. The following year it was purchased by Norton Motorcycles.
From 2014 the former chapel was made available as a wedding venue but while the hammerbeam roof and east window remain, most of the other internal fittings proved less durable and have not survived.
This photograph was taken by Derby-based postcard publisher F W Scarratt and it was probably numbered 1008 in his series.