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Donington Hall, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, c 1913 ?
Scarratt, F W
c 1913 ?
About this image
The south or entrance front of Donington Hall looking north-west.
The 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 a chapel projecting to the east (seen here on the right). 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 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.
This view was taken by Derby-based postcard publisher F W Scarratt but the number he allocated it in his series (and therefore the date it was taken) have not been verified. Scarratt made several trips to photograph the Hall - in about 1905, 1913, 1915 and possibly 1931; of these 1913 seems the most likely occasion, which would suggest the card's number is 782. Confirmation or otherwise would be welcome.