Eden Hall


Location   Penrith
Year demolished   1934  
Reason   Insufficient wealth  
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Eden Hall was built in 1821 by Sir Robert Smirke and rebuilt in the late 1860s in the Italianate style. John Marius Wilson in his 'Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales' (1870-72) described it as "an edifice of white stone, recently rebuilt, in a style of much elegance; stands amid sloping grounds, tastefully adorned". The grounds were noted for the landscaped park and pleasure gardens.

The Hall had been the family home of the Musgraves who were described as 'ancient and warlike' due to fact that their line could be traced back to 1066 and their subsequent involvement with various military campaigns. One of the most important families in the old county of Westmorland, they had been elevated to the nobility when Richard Musgrave was created a Baronet in 1611 for services to the Crown - undoubtably the raising and leading of armies for the King. The Musgraves original family seat, Hartley Castle, was demolished in the 1700s to provide materials to rebuild and extend the original Eden Hall. The Hall was also known due to the fame of the 'Luck of Eden Hall' - reputedly one of the oldest glass vessels in existence. It is also subject of an interesting legend as to how it came into their possession - apparently it was stolen from fairies.

The Musgraves were the pre-eminent family in Penrith and their influence can still be seen today with the clock tower in the Market Square which was built to commemorate the death of the 8th Baronet, Philip Musgrave, in 1861. However, at the turn of the 20th century, several deaths in short succession meant that the heavy death duties financially crippled the family. The Hall was sold in the early 1900s and the family moved to London. Unfortunately nothing more is known for certain about the house until its demolition in 1934 - though one rumour is that it was bought by an American, carefully taken down, shipped to America and re-built. So perhaps it's not been truly lost at all - just misplaced.