Plans to restore historic hall and parkland submitted in time for 300th anniversary

South Ormsby Estate in the Lincolnshire Wolds is submitting plans for the restoration of its historic hall and parkland - 300 years after the birth of its former owner

Situated in the Lincolnshire Wolds, South Ormsby Hall is a Grade II* listed country house surrounded by 174 acres of 18th century parkland and gardens which are part of the 3,000 acre South Ormsby Estate.

The plans are being submitted in time for the 300th anniversary of the birth of William Burrell Massingberd, who commissioned renowned architect James Paine to rebuild his family home in 1750 and who also commissioned the redesign of the estate’s historic parkland.

Under the plans being put forward to East Lindsey District Council, the restoration of the hall will restore many of the original features Paine designed but which have been removed or altered over the centuries. This includes a pediment across the principle facade; a feature Paine included in many of his most famous designs including Kedleston Hall, Cusworth Hall, Thorndon Hall, New Wardour Castle and Nostell Priory.

Internally, many rooms, including the entrance hall and principal rooms, will be restored to how they would have looked in the 1920s, with paint analysis being used to replicate colour schemes. Once the work is completed, the most impressive rooms on the ground floor will be open to the public once per month and the main rooms will be available for hire for events and functions.

Upstairs and in the adjacent stables, heritage apartments will be created to provide short stay visitor accommodation. Meanwhile, the remainder of the house will be retained as a private home for the estate’s custodians, Jon and Jan Thornes.

South Ormsby Hall is currently listed on Heritage England’s At Risk register and parts of the building date back to the 15th century. The application will preserve the building fabric and prevent further deterioration of the historic building. If planning permission is approved, the restoration will give the hall a new lease of life, enabling people to appreciate and explore the hall for generations to come.

As well as having the hall rebuilt in 1750-52, William Burrell Massingberd also commissioned Edward Gardner of Dunston to redesign the 174 acres of surrounding parkland in 1749. Under the plans, this too will be restored, with tens of thousands of trees planted to restore broken tree lines while arboricultural works will reestablish view lines across the estate. A new boathouse and a bird hide are also to be constructed.

Leading conservationists are behind the restoration and regeneration of the historic buildings. One of whom is heritage architect, Marcus Beale of Marcus Beale Architects who previously worked on the restoration of Westminster Abbey’s Chapter House and several restorations and new builds at Oxford University’s Oriel College. Meanwhile, a number of new structures are designed by RIBA award winning Takero Shimazaki Architects.

These new buildings will include a bathhouse and a luxury spa for visitors of the apartments which will be situated in the grounds of South Ormsby Hall. The bathhouse would be built on the footprint of a garden structure which was demolished in the early 20th century and its design is inspired by a Georgian orangery. Situated behind the bathhouse, the spa will resemble a Georgian glasshouse. These designs will ensure that both structures are in-keeping with the surrounding buildings and respect the heritage and appearance of the site.

Damien-Howard Pask, spokesperson for South Ormsby Estate said:

“This year, it’s 300 years since William Burrell Massingberd was born; he was the former owner of South Ormsby Estate who commissioned Paine to rebuild the hall and had the parkland redesigned and laid out. It’s lovely to think that we’re now turning back the clock to restore South Ormsby Hall and the parkland to be just as he wanted it.

“The South Ormsby Estate has an ambitious vision for regenerating the village and wider local area to improve it as a place to live, work, rest and play. While we’re working on exciting projects across the area, creating spaces for businesses to thrive and communities to meet and share experiences, the restoration of the historic hall and parklands is a key part of our vision. South Ormsby Hall and the 150 acre parkland is of great heritage value, with a long and rich history upheld by beautiful architecture and landscaping.

“We hope to bring South Ormsby Hall and the parkland back to its former glory so that future generations can continue to enjoy and appreciate it, so that we can create jobs and reinvigorate the local economy.

“Simply patching up the building and leaving it unused and empty won’t protect it; we’re making sure it has a viable future which respects its history, heritage and the needs of the community so the South Ormsby Estate can continue supporting the local area for centuries to come. If these plans are approved, we’ll be able to protect these important heritage assets for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors alike. It’ll be absolutely beautiful.”

Smaller changes that are being proposed for other areas of the estate parkland include the creation of a tennis court as well as discrete parking bays and shelters for visitors. New, strengthened bridges will be constructed over waterways to improve access and a number of gates have been designed, based on historic wrought iron gates on the estate.

The South Ormsby Estate is working towards wider ambitions that look at how the estate can help with tackling climate change, restoring habitats for wildlife, using water efficiently and storing it for times of drought, controlling flooding in local chalk streams and the effective management of waste. The estate aims to preserve and protect local heritage through the restoration and refurbishment of existing properties over the next five years and it also aims to support the long-term future of the community with better opportunities for employment and improved living conditions.

The estate has been engaging with the local community on its estate plan over the last three years and the valuable contributions of the community are being taken into account. Leading rural planning specialist Guy Maxfield of WSP | Indigo is heading up the collaboration with ELDC’s planning team and other statutory bodies to ensure that the estate’s long term vision goes above and beyond the council’s own strategic objectives for the district.

Local residents as well as tenants and farmers working on the estate have been notified of these plans and South Ormsby Estate has hosted public exhibitions to allow people to find out more about the plans and share their views on the proposals as they’ve been developed.

Subject to the relevant permissions and planning approval, it’s hoped that work on the restoration of South Ormsby Hall and parkland can begin in 2021.

Negotiations with East Lindsey District Council will be carried out by award winning planning consultancy, WSP | Indigo.

You can find out more about the South Ormsby Estate and it’s vision for the future at www.southormsbyestate.co.uk.


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