Thanks to a National Lottery grant, the Brackenbury family of Holme Pierrepont Hall are having essential conservation work done on the 17th century walls that surround the courtyard and gardens, to preserve it for the future. As part of that project the fascinating history of the house and gardens is being researched too, and it is hoped that vital WW2 stories can be captured and recorded.
The formerly palatial Tudor mansion, Holme Pierrepont Hall, had like so many grand houses of its time, become disused and almost derelict by the time that WW2 came along.
Despite this, it was requisitioned by the army at the start of the war and used as a mustering point for men being called up for duty. There are no records surviving of this period and the family have no photographs except an undated black and white shot from after the war, which shows the concrete bases for Nisan huts on the lawns of the East Garden.
The Brackenbury family came to Holme Pierrepont Hall back in the 1970s and at that time, many of the local people were able to tell stories of the hardship endured by the young men who were stationed there during the war, with no running water, heating or home comforts. It must have been a miserable start for these new conscripts.
The men apparently relied on the good-will and generosity of local families who not only fed them, but also let them take baths and warm up in their homes. They must have been very relieved when they were assigned to their Battalions and moved on to other locations. Unfortunately, these stories were not recorded at the time and are at risk of being lost for ever.
If you have recollections, photographs or any handed-down stories about the Hall during the period from WW1 to WW2 and immediately after, then please contact the Project Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or telephone 07943 036540.
If you would like to learn more about the hall or the conservation project, then please visit the website at www.holmepierreponthall.com