|Athorpe of Dinnington Hall|
Robert Athorpe Athorpe, as he became, was a prominent JP and Colonel of the Sheffield Volunteers in the 1790s. He was presumably responsible for the John Carr style additions to Dinnington Hall soon after he inherited the estate. When he died in 1806 the estate passed to his son, Thomas (1774-1820), who like his grandfather was an unmarried lawyer. When he died he left the estate in trust for his sister, Mary Ann Middleton (1775-1820) - who actually died a month or so before him - and her son, John Carver Middleton (1803-80), on condition that the latter assumed the name of Athorpe. On his father's death in 1849, John also inherited Morthen Hall at Whiston in the West Riding and Leam Hall at Eyam in Derbyshire, which were respectively the inheritances of his Carver and Middleton forebears. John produced a very large family but only three of his sons survived him. The eldest, the Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910), inherited Dinnington and Morthen Halls and seems to have re-acquired the ancestral Thorpe Hall estate at Howden; Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912) inherited Leam Hall; and the youngest, Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) was bred to the law. When George died without issue, however, his estates passed to Marmaduke's son and heir, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921). The younger Marmaduke, like his father, died young, and he left Morthen to his widow, who settled here after she remarried in 1934, and retained it until her death in the 1950s, when it was sold. Dinnington and Thorpe Hall passed to his son, 'Toby' Middleton (1904-73), who sold Dinnington in 1935 and Thorpe after 1952. Col. Robert Athorpe was succeeded at Leam Hall by his only surviving daughter, Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), and she apparently sold it after the death of her husband in 1937.
Dinnington Hall, Yorkshire (WR)
|Dinnington Hall: the east front, from a postcard in the Charles Hind Postcard Collection. Some rights reserved.|
The core of the house is a five-bay two storey building of uncertain date, perhaps early 18th century, which has been progressively extended and remodelled. In c.1750-57 two small wings were added flanking the east front. On stylistic grounds, these are convincingly attributed to James Paine, who was widely employed in the Doncaster area. The wings were structurally complete by 1752 (the date on the rainwater heads) and the building accounts, which survive only from 1754-57, concern the decoration of the interior by a group of craftsmen who were regular associates of Paine, including the carver Christopher Richardson, the painter Francis Fenton, and the plasterers Gervase and Thomas Ledger. A marble chimneypiece was supplied by a Mr. Bishop.
|Dinnington Hall: south front. Image: English Heritage|
In the late 18th century the house was further extended when a top-lit staircase hall was built behind the original house with a large dining room to its south, projecting as a canted bay in the centre of the otherwise largely blind south front. There is no documentary evidence for the architect, but the outward form of the canted bay and the discreet stucco decoration inside suggests that this may be an unrecorded work by John Carr or one of his followers. The dining room has round-headed plaster wall panels which enclose the doorcases, a pair of semi-domed niches, the fireplace and window openings; and also a decorated plaster dado rail. The staircase hall has a screen of columns and a timber staircase rising under an oval glazed dome. The walls of the staircase were at one time decorated with a 20th century trompe-l'oeil decorative scheme, but this seems to have been removed. The drawing room was also redecorated in the late 18th century and has a marble fireplace and an oval ceiling panel with vases,ribbons and garlands.
In the early to mid 19th century, the centre of the east front was altered: the pairs of windows either side of the central bay were replaced by shallow canted bay windows. The house became an hotel in the late 20th century and is now a care home.
Descent: sold 1677 to Rev. John Athorpe (d. 1706); to brother, Thomas Athorpe (d. 1708); probably direct to grandson, Henry Athorpe (d. 1772), who altered the house; to kinsman, Robert Athorpe Blanchard (later Athorpe) (1748-1806), who extended the house; to son, Thomas Athorpe (1774-1820); to nephew, Robert Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80); to son, Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910); to nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921); to son, Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) Athorpe (1904-73), who sold 1935 to his sister, Dorothy Phyllis Harrison (1898-1947); to nephew, John Crispian Athorpe (1935-2010), who sold after 1956...sold 1959 to Pickin family; sold c.1970 and converted to hotel and after 1997 to care home.
Morthen Hall, Whiston, Yorkshire (WR)
|Morthen Hall, Whiston: the south front|
A fine and well-preserved two storey mid 18th century house with later wings, said to have been built for the vicar of Whiston and thus probably built soon after 1764 for Rev. John Carver (his predecessor having been non-resident, although he did build a house on the glebe for his curate). The entrance front faces south, and is the focus of decoration, with seven bays of closely spaced sash windows and a large triangular pediment containing a big oculus over the five middle bays. There is a balustraded parapet over the end bays and a hipped roof rises behind. The central doorcase has a shouldered and eared architrave with a rectangular panel above and a segmental pediment. The rear elevation is markedly plainer and less regular, with a very large arched staircase window with Gothick lights placed off-centre; indeed, on this side there is no attempt at symmetry, windows and doorways being placed only where they are needed. The lower (one-and-a-half storey) three-bay wings are probably early 19th century.
|Morthern Hall, Whiston: upstairs landing, with an original frieze and a probably 19th century staircase balustrade.|
Inside, the stone-paved staircase hall has an ornate Doric frieze and archways to the ground-floor rooms which look as though they were part of the original decorative scheme, and an upstairs bedroom also has mid 18th century panelling. Most of the other rooms have been redecorated later. The dining room has a broad arched recess in one long wall, which accommodates not a sideboard but a large brown marble chimneypiece of c.1830. This may provide a clue to when the wings were added and the interior updated. The staircase balustrade is perhaps of the same time.
Descent: probably built c.1765 for Rev. John Carver (1740-1807); to son, Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848), who let to Thomas Swann; to son, Robert Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80), who let to tenants including J.S. Jubb; to son, Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910); to nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921), who let it to Alfred Eadon; to widow, Mrs Anne Davidson Athorpe (later Lawson-Williams) (d. 1954), who occupied it from c.1934; to widower, David Lawson-Williams, who sold 1955... Susan Kilner (fl. 2010).
Leam Hall, Eyam, Derbyshire
|Leam Hall: the house from an old postcard of c.1911.|
Descent: Henry Savage sold to Thomas Middleton...Nathaniel Middleton (fl. 1633)...William Middleton (d. 1677), to son, Robert Middleton (d. 1690); to son, William Middleton (1664-1720); to son, Robert Middleton (1692-1736); to nephew, Jonathan Oxley (c.1719-83); to kinsman, Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848); to son, John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80); to younger son, Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912); to daughter, Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), wife of Geoffrey Gregory (later Rose-Innes) (1876-1937); sold or leased after his death to Alderman J.G. Graves, who let it to Youth Hostel Association until the 1960s/70s; restored as a private house by Bill Senior.
Athorpe family of Dinnington Hall
Athorpe, Rev. John (d. 1706?). Younger? son of John Athorpe of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER) and his first wife, born about 1634. Educated at Merton College, Oxford (matriculated 1651; BA 1654/5; MA 1657). Ordained priest, 1663; vicar of Frodingham (Lincs), 1665-69; rector of Weston-sub-Edge, 1667-84. He was unmarried and without issue.
He purchased the Dinnington Hall estate in 1677.
He is said to have died intestate in 1706, but no record of his burial has been found.
Athorpe, Thomas (d. 1708). Elder? son of John Athorpe of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER) and his first wife, born about 1630? He married 1st, Elizabeth [surname unknown] and 2nd, 11 November 1702 at Howden, Mistress Stephenson of Swinefleet, and had issue:
(1.1) Henry Athorpe (d. 1704) (q.v.).
He inherited his father's property at Thorpe Hall, Howden in 1658, and apparently also the Dinnington Hall estate of his brother in 1706.
He died in the spring of 1707/8; his will was proved 19 March 1707/8. His first wife and widow's dates of death are unknown.
Athorpe, Henry (d. 1704). Only recorded son of Thomas Athorpe (d. 1708) of Thorpe Hall, Howden (Yorks ER). He married, 1688 at Howden, Katherine Athorpe, and had issue:
(1) John Athorpe (d. by 1726) of Thorpe Hall; married and had issue including three sons; killed between 1721 and 1726;
(2) Henry Athorpe (c.1691-1772) (q.v.);
(3) Thomas Athorpe (b. 1697), baptised at Howden, 22 July 1697; his brother Henry appointed his guardian, 1712; living in 1769;
(4) Robert Athorpe (d. 1722); will proved 1721/2;
(5) Catherine Athorpe (d. 1754); married, 30 May 1721 at Howden, John Hindesley and had issue including a daughter, Catherine, who was the mother of Robert Athorpe Blanchard (q.v.); her will was proved 23 July 1754;
(6) Rachel Athorpe; minor in 1708
(7) Elizabeth Athorpe (b. 1701), baptised at Howden, 1 September 1701.
He died in the lifetime of his father and was buried at Howden, 7 February 1703/4. His widow was living in 1708.
Athorpe, Henry (c.1691-1772) of Dinnington. Second son of Henry Athorpe (d. 1704) and his wife Katherine, born about 1691. He was presumably an adult by 1712 when he was made guardian of his younger brother Thomas, and was apprenticed in 1718 to John Matthews of the Inner Temple, Secondary of the Crown Office. By 1724/5 he was one of the clerks in the Crown Office, rising by 1734 to be Clerk of the Rules there and in 1755 to be Secondary, in which capacity he played a significant role in the trial of John Wilkes for seditious libel. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited Dinnington Hall, perhaps in 1708, and made additions to the house in c.1750-57. At his death it passed to his kinsman, Robert Athorpe Blanchard (1748-1806), 'late of Thorpe but now of Edensor (Derbys)'. He also left extensive property at Howden, Belby, Duncoats, Kilpin, Laxton, Brantingham and Barmby in the East Riding at his brother Thomas Athorpe of Thorpe Hall.
He died in 1772; his will was proved in the PCC, 6 May 1772.
|Robert Athorpe Athorpe|
(1) Thomas Athorpe (1774-1820), baptised at Dinnington, 9 April 1774; educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1791; BA 1796; MA 1799) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1795; called to bar, 1799); barrister-at-law; inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his father in 1806; died unmarried and without issue at Montpellier (France), 22 November 1820, and was apparently buried abroad; will proved at York, August 1821;
(2) Mary Ann Athorpe (1775-1820) (q.v.);
(3) Henry Athorpe (1781-1815), born 8 March and baptised at Dinnington, 3 April 1781; an officer in the army (Ensign, 1798; Lt., 1799; Capt., 1801); died unmarried and without issue and was buried at Dinnington, 11 May 1815;
(4) John Athorpe (d. 1815); died at Mansfield (Notts), 5 May 1815;
(5) Elizabeth Athorpe (1786-1819), baptised 1 January 1787; died unmarried, 4 November 1819; her will was proved at York, April 1820.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his kinsman, Henry Athorpe (d.1772). At his death it passed first to his elder son and then to his grandson, John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe).
He died at Worksop (Notts) and was buried at Dinnington, 30 January 1806; his will was proved 7 February 1806. His widow was buried at Dinnington 7 March 1821.
Athorpe, Mary Ann (1775-1820). Daughter of Robert Athorpe Blanchard (later Athorpe) (d. 1806) and his wife Mary Stacey, born 1775. She married, 12 August 1801 at Throapham (Yorks), Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) JP DL (1771-1848) of Leam (Derbys) and Morthen (Yorks WR), son of Rev. John Carver (1740-1807) of Morthen, and had issue:
(1) John Carver Middleton (later Athorpe) (1803-80) (q.v.);
(2) Marmaduke Middleton (b. 1810), baptised at Eyam (Derbys), 15 May 1810; educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1831); probably died in 1833;
(3) Mary Ann Carver Middleton (d. 1817); died young, 15 February 1817.
She was buried at Whiston, 5 October 1820. Her husband married 2nd, 11 June 1822 at Brampton (Derbys), Martha, daughter of Anthony Dawson of Azerley (Yorks WR) and died in 1848; his will was proved 14 June 1849.
Middleton (later Athorpe), John Carver (1803-80). Elder son of Marmaduke Middleton Carver (later Middleton) (1771-1848) of Leam (Derbys) and his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Robert Athorpe Athorpe of Dinnington (Yorks WR), born 9 August and baptised at Eyam (Derbys), 14 August 1803. Educated at Trinity and Emmanuel Colleges, Cambridge (admitted 1822; BA 1826; MA 1830). He assumed the name and arms of Athorpe by royal licence, 1821. An officer in the West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry (Maj.). He married, 5/8 February 1831 at Sheffield (Yorks WR), Mary (d. 1863), daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., and had issue:
(1) Mary Ann Eliza Athorpe (1832-1912), baptised at Dinnington, 11 March 1832; married, 5 April 1853, Sir Edward Walter KCB (1823-1904), founder of the Corps of Commissionaires and youngest son of John Walter of Bearwood (Berks) and had issue six children; died 4 May 1912; will proved 20 June 1912 (estate £1,975);
(2) Capt. John Athorpe (1833-61), born 31 March and baptised at Dinnington, 21 April 1833; an officer in the 85th Foot (Ensign, 1851; Lt., 1852; Capt., 1855); married, 8 April 1856 at Bishopwearmouth (Durham), Avice, daughter of Capt. Hayden, but had no issue; died in Natal (South Africa), 3 March 1861;
(3) Harriet Athorpe (1834-1905), baptised at Dinnington, 21 July 1834; married, 17 August 1854, Edward Claudius Walker of Chester, and had issue; died 8 July 1905; will proved 25 August 1905 (estate £17,892);
(4) Rev. George Middleton Athorpe (1835-1910) (q.v.);
(5) Henry Athorpe (1837-54), born 6 March 1837; a midshipman in the Royal Navy; died unmarried when he was killed in action at Gamla Carlaby (Finland), 8 June 1854;
(6) Emily Jane Athorpe (1840-67), baptised at Dinnington, 5 April 1840; married, 28 February 1867 at Pau (France), James Armstrong Murray of Colesberg, Cape of Good Hope (South Africa); died at Cartagena (Spain), 1 November 1867;
(7) Col. Robert Athorpe (1841-1912) (q.v.);
(8) Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) (q.v.);
(9) Catherine Agnes Athorpe (1845-60), baptised at Dinnington, 31 March 1845; died young at Pau (France), 12 March 1860;
(10) Clara Isabella Athorpe (1846-72), baptised at Dinnington, 6 January 1847; married, 26 May 1870 at Sydney, New South Wales (Australia), Charles J. Manning of Sydney, barrister-at-law. and had issue one daughter; died 3 April 1872;
(11) Nanette Fanny Athorpe (1849-74), baptised at Dinnington, 19 April 1849; married, 15 August 1872, Nicholas John Charlton of Chilwell (Notts) and had issue; died 11 November 1874;
(12) Ellen Etheldred Athorpe (1850-63), baptised at Dinnington, 17 February 1850; died young, 30 July 1863;
(13) Blanche Athorpe (1851-77), baptised at Dinnington, 9 January 1852; died unmarried, 22 June 1877;
(14) Alice Nina Athorpe (1853-1933) of Ayloy House, North Anston (Yorks WR), baptised at Dinnington, 7 August 1853; died unmarried, 8 October 1933; will proved 15 November 1933 (estate £9,322).
He inherited the Dinnington Hall estate from his uncle in 1820 and came of age in 1824. He inherited Morthen Hall and Leam Hall (Derbys) from his father in 1849. At his death Leam Hall went to his son Robert and the remaining estates to his eldest surviving son George.
He died 12 January 1880; his will was proved 13 February 1880 (estate under £20,000). His wife died 23 December 1863.
Athorpe, Rev. George Middleton (1835-1910). Second, but eldest surviving, son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 1 November 1835. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (admitted 1855; BA 1860; MA 1866). Ordained deacon, 1861 and priest, 1862. Curate of Tunstall (Staffs), 1861-62, West Retford (Notts), 1862-63 and Laughton-en-le-Morthern (Yorks WR), 1864-70; Rector of Dinnington (Yorks WR), 1870-82; unbeneficed thereafter. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall, Morthen Hall estates from his father in 1880 and seems to have re-acquired the ancestral Thorpe Hall estate at Howden (Yorks ER) at some point. At his death these properties all passed to his nephew, Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921).
He died 16 January 1910; his will was proved 22 April 1910 (estate £170,937).
Athorpe, Col. Robert (1841-1912). Fourth son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 16 October 1841. An officer in the Royal Engineers (Lt., 1858; Second Capt., 1872; Maj., 1879; Col.). He married, 7 December 1880 at St Stephen, Kensington (Middx), Grace Mary Edith (d. 1909), daughter of Thomas Gilzean Rose-Innes of Netherdale (Banffs.) and had issue:
(1) Grace Edith May Athorpe (1881-1908), born 17 September and baptised at Woolwich (Kent), 17 October 1881; married, 17 July 1907 at Eyam, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1878-1956) (who m2, 3 January 1912, Dorothy Ann Leslie and had issue two sons), but had no issue; died 25 March 1908; administration of goods granted, 30 September 1909 (estate £112);
(2) Lesley Clara Athorpe (later Rose-Innes) (1883-1965), born Oct-Dec 1883; changed name to Rose-Innes in 1910; married, 5 December 1911, Geoffrey Gregory (later Rose-Innes) (1876-1937); died 27 September 1965; will proved 4 May 1966 (estate £32,291).
He inherited Leam Hall (Derbys) from his father in 1880. At his death he left the estate to his younger and only surviving daughter, who sold it in 1939 after the death of her husband.
He died 1 April 1912; his will was proved 17 August 1912 (estate £18,155). His wife died at Hyères (France), 14 March 1909; administration of her goods was granted 28 June 1909 (estate £271).
Athorpe, Marmaduke (1843-72). Fifth son of John Carver Athorpe (1803-80) and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Gibbon Fitzgibbon of Ballyseeda (Limerick) and granddaughter of Sir Henry Osborne, 11th bt., born 27 May 1843. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matriculated 1861; BA 1865) and Lincolns Inn. He married, 6 April 1869 at Milton Ernest (Beds), Edith Louisa (d. 1872), daughter of Rev. C.C. Beaty Pownall, and had issue:
(1) Amy Winifred Athorpe (1870-1952), born at Alicante (Spain), 1870; missionary in South Africa; died unmarried at Grahamstown (South Africa), 27 February 1952; will proved 30 August 1952 (estate in England, £6,969);
(2) Marmaduke Athorpe (1871-72); died in infancy;
(3) Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921) (q.v.).
He died at Alicante (Spain), 9 March 1872. His widow died in November 1872.
Athorpe, Marmaduke (1872-1921). Second, but only surviving son of Marmaduke Athorpe (1843-72) and his wife Edith Louisa, daughter of Rev. C.C. Beaty Pownall, born posthumously, 19 July 1872. Educated at Eton. Coffee planter in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He married, 1 June 1897, Anne Davidson JP (1878-1954), daughter of Gordon Pyper of Hantane (Sri Lanka), and had issue:
(1) Dorothy Phyllis Athorpe (1898-1947), born in Sri Lanka, 11 March 1898; purchased Dinnington Hall from her brother in 1935 and lived there until her death; married, 22 August 1931, Maxwell Anthony Buchanan Harrison (d. 1940) of Sudan Legal Dept., son of Henry Anthony Harrison, judge and commissioner in Indian Civil Service; died 4 October 1947; will proved 27 July 1948 (estate £79,648);
(2) Ermengard Athorpe (1901-76), born 19 February and baptised at St John, Walham Green (Middx), 10 April 1901; married, 3 August 1927, Algernon Marshall Daryl Grenfell of Mostyn House School, Parkgate (Cheshire), son of Algernon George Grenfell of Mostyn House, and had issue; died 1 March 1976; will proved 2 June 1976 (estate £20,156);
(3) Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) Athorpe (1904-73) (q.v.).
He inherited the Dinnington Hall, Morthen Hall and Thorpe Hall estates from his uncle in 1910.
He died 27 March 1921; his will was proved 4 April 1922 (estate £39,912). His widow married 2nd, 27 December 1934, Douglas Lawson-Williams, and lived latterly at Morthen Hall; she died 12 August 1954; her will was proved 17 May 1955 (estate £9,987).
Athorpe, Marmaduke Carver Middleton (k/a Toby) (1904-73). Only son of Marmaduke Athorpe (1872-1921) and his wife Anne Davidson, daughter of Gordon Pyper of Hantane (Sri Lanka), born 29 August 1904. Educated at Eton and New College, Oxford (MA). He married, 12 July 1932, Hilda Bridget (1908-2000), eldest daughter of William Waterfall of Streetley Corner, Worksop (Notts) and had issue:
(1) John Crispian Athorpe (1935-2010), born 25 October 1935; died 30 November 2010;
(2) Penelope Brighid (k/a Poppy) Athorpe (b. 1938), born 2 October 1938; married, 1963, Rt. Rev. Frank V. Weston (d. 2003), bishop of Knaresborough.
He inherited the Dinnington Hall and Thorpe Hall estates from his father in 1921, but sold Dinnington in 1935 to his elder sister, and Thorpe Hall after 1952. He lived latterly at Laployd Barton, Bridford (Devon).
He died 15 November 1973; his will was proved 9 August 1974 (estate £23,197). His widow died 22 January 2000; her will was proved 10 April 2000.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, p. 47; J. Clay (ed.), [Joseph Hunter's] Familiae Minorum Gentium, vol. 4, p. 1261; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Radcliffe, The buildings of England: Yorkshire - the West Riding, 2nd edn., 1974, p. 180; P. Leach, James Paine, 1988, p. 182.
Location of archives
Athorpe of Dinnington Hall: deeds, estate, manorial and family papers, c.1350-1823 [Rotherham Archives & Local Studies, 916-M]. [This collection was formerly held at Sheffield City Archives, ref. AM].
Coat of arms
Per pale nebuly argent and azure, two mullets in fesse counterchanged.
Can you help?
Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
- Can anyone provide information about the recent ownership history of Dinnington Hall (since 1935), Morthen Hall (since 1955), or Leam Hall (since 1939)?
- Can anyone provide interior photographs of Dinnington Hall?
Revision and acknowledgements
This post was first published 31 August and updated 2 September 2016, 11 August 2017, 11 May 2020 and 12 September 2021. I am most grateful to Hilary Pickin, Jonathan Powell, and Mrs. Penelope Weston for additional information and corrections.