History of Staveley Hall

16261c5cd8f38760625dfbfe083d1addStaveley Hall was built over four hundred years ago by Sir Peter Frecheville on the site where his ancestor’s had lived for five hundred years before him.

The plaque over the front door shows the date, 1604 , his status as a Knight of the Realm and the coats of arms of his parents, Peter Frecheville and Margaret Kaye.

The fire back on the first floor landing shows the coats of arms of Frecheville and Fleetwood and marks Sir Peter’s marriage in 1605 to Joyce Osborne (nee Fleetwood), widow of Sir Hewett Osborne of Kiveton and Harthill.


When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 he defeated the Anglo-Saxons ,claimed all the land and crowned himself King. He then rewarded all those who had helped him with huge amounts of land in England.


Hascoit Musard de Bretagne , along with other members of his family, had served William in the Breton section of his army at the Battle of Hastings and was awarded twenty five manors in six counties of England as a Tenant -in -Chief of the King.

Out of all his manors, Hascoit chose Staveley as his main family seat because it was the biggest and the best.
The Domesday Book tells us that Staveley already had a priest, a church and a mill , sixty acres of meadow and woodland pasture about two and a quarter miles long and as wide.

The site on which Staveley Hall stands is on a ridge, high up on three sides, with the River Rother running down below, a good place for defence and where the Anglo-Saxons first marked out their settlement with staves in the lea giving Staveley it’s name and perhaps somewhere under the mound are the remains of Musard’s motte and Bailey castle.


The Musards held Staveley from 1066 until 1300 when Nicholas Musard died. He had to leave the manor to his three sisters. His own children could not inherit because although he was Baron Musard of Staveley he was also in holy orders as Rector of Staveley. His eldest sister, Amicia ,married Anker de Frecheville, Baron of Crich, but both had died before Nicholas so it was their son, Ralph ,who inherited his mother’s one third share and he came to live at Staveley.


The Frecheville’s lived at Staveley Hall until John Frecheville died in 1682, having sold the estate to William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire in 1681. At the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642 John fought on the side of King Charles 1st.as a Colonel in the royalist army. He raised a troop of horse and garrisoned Staveley Hall at his own expense.

John left only three daughters. The eldest, Christian , married Charles Paulet , Lord St John of Basing . She died on 22nd July 1653 in childbirth and her baby son, John , died one week later. They were buried together in Staveley Church in the Frecheville Chapel. If John Paulet had lived he would have succeeded his grandfather as Baron Frecheville of Staveley and his father as the 2nd Duke of Bolton.


The Hall was leased out for a short time after 1682 but in 1710 William Cavendish’s grandson, James , lived at the Hall. When he died in 1751 the Hall was going to be demolished but was saved by the Rev. James Gisborne, Rector of Staveley, who persuaded the Cavendish family to allow the Clergy to live there. The Church rented it as a Rectory for the next 200 years. When Sir George Gilbert Scott was working on Staveley Church in the 1860’s he also did some work on the Hall.

Charles Paulet was created 1st Duke of Bolton , James Cavendish’s father, William , 4th Earl of Devonshire, was created 1st Duke of Devonshire and Joyce Osborne’s grandson, Thomas Osborne was created 1st Duke of Leeds for their support to William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.


In 1967 the Hall was sold to Staveley Urban District Council for use as their offices and in 1974 English Heritage granted the Hall a grade ll listed building status.

Staveley Town Council owns the Hall today and thanks to them and help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund it has been beautifully restored.

We should be proud to have this building in our town. It holds some fascinating stories connecting it with many famous people and important national events in history like Bess of Hardwick, the Brontes, the Gunpowder Plot, the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, the Mutiny on the Bounty - to name just a few.


"Staveley Hall is very precious and is here for us to enjoy and keep it’s amazing heritage alive."


Courteousy of Sandra Struggles
December 2017

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Staveley Hall,
Staveley Hall Drive, Staveley,
S43 3TN

 01246 385200


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