DCBR0000405FILEminimizer

Southgate House is a classic example of a modest Georgian country house, a small but sparkling gem located near Clowne in the north-eastern corner of Derbyshire in the border triangle of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire (53.288836°N 1.254169°W). For the most part it belonged to the well-known Butler-Bowdon family, members of the landed gentry originating from Cheshire and from Lancashire. Southgate House was the family’s main seat for about 150 years. Having survived until today it is a paragon of a country house which was permanently inhabited, rather than merely a summer residence for affluent metropolitans or industrialists. It provides a microcosm of the social history of England over two and a half centuries.

DCBR0000406FILEminimizer

Southgate House and Estate is a mirror of its times, an English country house which has weathered the stormy seas of history relatively unscathed. Its good fortune is no doubt largely due to the prudent conduct of its owners, the Butler-Bowdon family and the sensible proprietors succeeding them. The available historical sources show not only how Southgate thrived and expanded, how outbuildings, farms and arable land were added to the estate, but also how the house suffered during the great agricultural depression at the end of the 19th century, how it witnessed the tragic consequences of WWI, and how it played its part in the drastic measures that were undertaken during the Second World War until it was finally granted a new life today as a splendid hotel and restaurant (“Van Dyk Hotel”, click here).

Southgate House has been home to beautiful treasures of art. The most notable one is a unique mediaeval copy of the famous 'Book of Margery Kempe' (British Library, London, MS Additional 61823; original manuscript is lost today). Another significant object of value is the richly adorned and embroidered 'Butler-Bowdon Cope' from the early 14th century (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Inv. No. T36-1955) as is the middle panel of a carved ivory triptych of French origin depicting the death and the subsequent coronation of the Virgin Mary from the 14th century (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Inv. No. A.5-1941). A beautiful stained glass window, most likely manufactured between 1898 and 1907 by John Hardman & Co., Birmingham, had been an integral part of Southgate Chapel. Since 1953 the window is incorporated into the architecture of Pleasington Priory near Blackburn.

Copyright Tony Bak Barlborough Heritage and Resource CentreSouthgate House as it presents itself today has certainly undergone exterior and interior changes over the two hundred years since it was built, so not everything of its original appearance has been preserved, but it seems as if these changes have not been major. Various black and white photographs from the past decennia (click here) show a square and compact house almost resembling an urban villa with three storeys, a truncated pyramid of a roof with two chimneys to the left and to the right and a centred pediment; the frontage of the building bearing a strong geometrical segmentation gained by means of horizontal and vertical alignments in the strictest symmetry. The decreasing size of the windows with every floor serves to further underline the vertical façade design. Alterations to the exterior layout, apart from times when the mansion was partially or entirely covered by climbing plants, could not be detected on the basis of the available photographs, but today the two chimneys have gone. The tripartite front is entirely unembellished, but it reverberates the spirit of the Georgian era/Neoclassic style - although in an extremely reduced and sober way. Following the needs of today’s use, the interior of the house has undoubtedly seen some changes in regard to room arrangements and its floor plan, but what is clearly left from the original structural shell are its strikingly low ceilings.

D1300111FILEminimizer

The purpose of this website is to offer a forum of discussion to interested parties. Feel free to register and get in touch with me. Any comment and contribution to the subject is welcome and I will try to reply to every message or entry in a timely manner.

GrahamDuckmantondrawing

Please click here to view the Butler-Bowdon family tree according to one source, and click here to view a second, alternative version of the pedigree according to another source.

Link to publication/amazon.co.uk

(click here)

front-cover Southgatehouse

Christiane Müller-Hazenbos, Southgate House, A Derbyshire Country Mansion and Its Inhabitants through the Centuries, London 2014

About (click here)

Please visit our partner -
Barlborough Heritage and Resource Centre

 

Timeline

about 1660

Marriage of Henry (1) Bowdon to Mary Hewit(t) of Shireoaks

Mary’s inheritance included the estate of Harlesthorpe

 

before 1757

Southgate House I built, owned by Emmanuel Richardson (?)

 

1757

Last Will and Testament of George Staniforth, Gentleman of Barlborough, Derbyshire, owner of Southgate House

George bequeaths Southgate House and Farm to his son Charles Staniforth

 

1777

Charles Staniforth attested at Southgate House

 

ca. 1786

Southgate House I demolished

 

1787

Southgate House in Clowne advertised to be let as a “good new built stone messuage” = Southgate House II

 

shortly after 1787

Henry (3) Bowdon changes residence from Beighton Fields Priory to Harlesthorpe Estate,

letting Southgate House II from Charles Staniforth’s widow first, then purchasing it

 

1795

Presence of Henry (3) Bowdon attested at Harlesthorpe estate

 

1820s

Southgate House the Bowdon family’s home

 

ca. 1828/1829

until ca. 1957

Southgate Cottages (at the Avenue)

 

1829

Henry (3) Bowdon mentioned as freeholder of Southgate House

 

1833

John (4) Peter Bruno Bowdon of Beighton Fields Priory takes over Southgate House

 

1841

Census returns list five servants at Southgate

Seven members of the Bowdon family and three servants on holiday in Scarborough

 

1850

Henry (5) Bowdon owner of Southgate

 

1851

Census returns list nine members of the Bowdon family (incl. visitors) and nine servants

 

1861

Census returns list four members of the Bowdon family and seven servants

 

ca. 1861 until today

Southgate Stables

 

1871

Census returns list four family members of the Bowdon family and eight servants

 

1879

Auction Sale at Southgate House, John (6) Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon

 

ca. 1881

Southgate House standing empty, no entry in census

Land left uncultivated

 

1882

Newly renovated building of Southgate House advertised to be let

 

1883/1884 until 1957

Toll Bar Cottage, purchased by John (6) Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon

 

1890s

Southgate House left to tenants (Fowler family from Whittington Hall, Chesterfield)

 

1891

Census returns list nine members of the Fowler family and six servants

 

1900 or 1902

The Butler-Bowdons back to Southgate House

 

1901

Census returns list six members of the Butler-Bowdon family and eight servants

 

1901

Southgate Chapel added to the main building by John (6) Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon and his wife Monica Mary

 

1909/1910

Southgate House and its appurtenant farms and cottages attested in Land Values Map

John (6) Butler-Bowdon named as owner of Southgate Estate

 

ca. 1909/1910 until today

Harlesthorpe Cottages (“Lake View”)

 

ca. 1909/1910 until mid-50s

Cottage at Rotherham Road

 

ca. 1909/1910 until today

Cottage The Hermitage

 

1911

Census returns list four members of the Butler-Bowdon family, one visitor and four servants

 

1914-1918

World War I

Continuance of Southgate Estate in the ownership of the Butler-Bowdon family

 

1929

William Erdeswick Ignatius Butler-Bowdon owner of Southgate

 

1938

Auction Sale of Southgate House and Estate with all appurtenant farms (Springfield Farm, South Walls Farm, North Walls Farm, Manor Farm, Little Walls Farm, Eastwood Cottage Farm, Hickinwood Farm), cottages and land by William Erdeswick Ignatius Butler-Bowdon,

new owner Sir Osbert Sitwell of Renishaw, Eckington

 

1939-1945

World War II

Southgate House and Stables requisitioned as housing for British military personnel by Ministry of Works

424th Battery Royal Horse Artillery (?)

Cheshire Yeomanry

Tank Corps of Middlesex Regiment

South Lancashire Regiment

 

until 1948

Southgate POW camp for German and Italian Prisoners of War

 

1948-1961

Nissen huts of “Southgate Camp” let to local squatters and miners

 

1955

The Van Dyk brothers purchase Southgate House from the Sitwell family

 

1957

The Van Dyks move to Southgate House, building greenhouses and open nursery business

 

1963

Cornelis Josef Van Dyk attested as Market Gardener, Southgate House

 

1966

Southgate House opens as hotel

 

1969

The Van Dyk brothers sell both businesses to Dirk and Jacob Plug-Kroon

 

1970

Reginald and Shelagh Ferguson proprietors of “Southgate House Hotel”

 

1975

Jose and Marie Romay proprietors of “Van Dyk Hotel”

 

late 1970s /late 1990s

Mansfield Brewery owner of Southgate House/”Van Dyk Hotel”

Frank M and Dorothy A Smith proprietors

 

2002

CPS Leisure/Eyre family buys Southgate House and runs it as “Van Dyk Hotel Ltd.”

 

2011

Van Dyk’s Garden Centre and Nurseries cease to exist

 

2014

Plans at Van Dyk Hotel for extensions

Search

Login Form