|Bell of Rounton Grange, baronets|
Washington New Hall, Co. Durham
|Washington New Hall: the new entrance created by Webb|
Rushpool Hall, Skelton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea (Yorks NR)
|Rushpool Hall: the ruins of the house after the fire of 1904, from an old postcard.|
|Rushpool Hall: the entrance front today.|
Red Barns, Redcar, Yorkshire (NR)
|Red Barns, Redcar: the garden front of the house as first built. Image: Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University|
|Red Barns, Redcar: the garden front after the addition of the schoolroom wing and other alterations. |
Image: Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University
|Red Barns, Redcar: the house as restored in 2018-21. Image: Historic England.|
Rounton Grange, Yorkshire (NR)
|Rounton Grange: an early photograph of the house from the south-east, showing the 'ambulatory' in its original form.|
|Rounton Grange: the dining room in 1915. Image: Country Life.|
|Rounton Grange: George Jack's scheme for the Common Room, published in Academy Architecture, 1910.|
Arncliffe Hall, Ingleby Arncliffe, Yorkshire (NR)An important early house by John Carr of York with wonderful Rococo plasterwork, dated 1753 and built for Thomas Mauleverer whose family had owned it since the 16th century.
|Arncliffe Hall: the 17th century house from a sketch by Samuel Buck, 1718.|
|Arncliffe Hall: the entrance front after the fire in 1912, showing the service wing later pulled down, from a postcard.|
|Arncliffe Hall: the garden front in 1920. Image: Country Life.|
|Arncliffe Hall: staircase ceiling in 1979.|
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
|Arncliffe Hall: detail of saloon ceiling in 1979.|
Image: Nicholas Kingsley. Some rights reserved.
|Arncliffe Hall: the house today|
Mount Grace Manor, Yorkshire (NR)
|Mount Grace Manor: the house built in the 17th century before restoration. Image: Victoria County History|
|Mount Grace Manor: the house today. Image: English Heritage.|
When work on the house was complete, Mount Grace became a weekend retreat, used for entertaining and shooting parties, but from the 1920s onwards it increasingly replaced Rounton Grange as the family’s main residence. Archaeological work on the ruins continued at intervals, and in 1927, the priory became the stage for the three day Pageant of Mount Grace, written and organised by Sir Hugh Bell’s second wife, the author and playwright Florence Bell, which told the story of the monastery in words, action, dance and music, with the participants in medieval costume. It was directed by Edith Craig (the daughter of the actress Ellen Terry), and was captured on film.
The continuing financial decline of the Bells made the future of Mount Grace problematic. Sir Hugh Bell, 4th baronet, moved to Arncliffe Hall after the Second World War, and there was a rumour that Mount Grace might again be a Carthusian monastery. In 1950, he explored placing the site in the guardianship of the Ministry of Works, which expressed interest but wanted to separate the house from the ruins by a high fence and demolish the wing added in 1901 and even that built in 1654. Fortunately this was avoided when Sir Hugh brokered a deal by which Mount Grace was accepted in lieu of death duties and allocated to the National Trust. Today, the site is administered by English Heritage, who although the lineal successors of the Ministry of Works no longer harbour a barbarous desire to demolish the house and did indeed restore it about ten years ago.
Bell family of Rounton Grange, baronets
(1) Sir (Isaac) Lowthian Bell (1816-1904), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2) Thomas Bell (1817-94), baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 3 September 1817; partner in Bell Bros. & Co. from 1850 until he retired and moved to Switzerland; married, 8 September 1842 at St Mary, Gateshead (Co. Durham), Frances Jane (1821-1900), daughter of Joshua Johnson of Redheugh (Co. Durham), and had issue six sons and four daughters; died in Switzerland, 21 November 1894; administration of goods granted to his widow, 15 January 1895 (estate £933);(3) John Bell (1818-88) [for whom see below, under Bell of Rushpool Hall];(4) Mary Grace Bell (1820-98), baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 9 August 1820; married, 11 May 1858, as his second wife, George Routledge (1812-88), publisher, son of Robert Routledge, and had issue one son and one daughter; died 16 August 1898; will proved 14 October 1898 (estate £23,147);(5) Catherine Bell (1822-1905), baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 14 January 1822; married, 18 June 1857 at St Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, William Henry Porter (1816-1905), and had issue six daughters; died 16 November 1905; will proved 28 December 1905 (estate £1,094);(6) Sarah Bell (1823-1911), baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5 August 1823; married, 18 May 1843 at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Robert Twentyman Lightfoot (1815-1908), surgeon, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 31 March and was buried at Jesmond Old Cemetery, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 4 April 1911; will proved 24 May 1911 (estate £44,554);(7) William Bell (1825-26), born about August 1825; baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 12 March 1826; died in infancy, 14 June 1826;(8) Henry Bell (1828-89), baptised at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 3 October 1828; married, 20 December 1853 at St Andrew, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Frances Laura (1828-82), daughter of William Richardson, and had issue one son and one daughter; died at Lucerne (Switzerland), 15 August 1889; will proved 7 September 1889 (estate £12,783);(9) Hugh Bell (b. 1830), baptised at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 2 March 1830; perhaps died in infancy.
|Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell (1816-1904), 1st bt.|
(1) Sir Thomas Hugh Bell (1844-1931), 2nd bt. (q.v.);(2) Margaret Florence Bell (1847-1930), baptised at Longbenton (Northbld), 12 October 1847; married, 10 August 1871 at Washington (Co. Durham), Walter Johnson (1842-1915), a lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys but later an iron merchant and a director of Bell Bros & Co., ironmasters, only son of Rev. Walter Rankin Johnson (1787-1844) of West Wycombe (Bucks), and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 27 March 1930; will proved 15 November 1930 (estate £17,464);(3) Mary Katherine Bell (1848-1929), baptised at Longbenton, 1 January 1849; married, 5 February 1873 at Washington Hall, Rt. Hon. Edward Lyulph Stanley (1839-1925), MP for Oldham, 1880-85 and from 1903, 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley, 4th Baron Sheffield and 3rd Baron Eddisbury, and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 4 January 1929 and was buried at Nether Alderley (Ches.); will proved 13 March 1929 (estate £53,754);(4) Ada Phoebe Bell (1850-1900), born 26 May and baptised 21 September 1850; married, 17 October 1876 at Hutton Rudby (Yorks NR), Lt-Col. Arthur Fitzpatrick Godman (1842-1930) of Smeaton Manor (Yorks NR), son of Joseph Godman of Park Hatch (Surrey), and had issue two sons; died 28 January 1900 and was buried at Great Smeaton (Yorks NR);(5) Charles Lowthian Bell (1855-1906), born 24 March 1855; educated at Wellington College and Ecole des Mines, Paris; a partner in Bell Bros & Co., ironmasters; JP for North Riding of Yorkshire and Middlesborough; Mayor of Middlesborough, 1892; an officer in 1st North Riding Volunteer Artillery (Lt. Col. commanding); lived at Ashgate, Linthorpe (Yorks NR); married, 21 April 1885 at Hayton (Cumbld), his cousin, Helen (1860-1915), daughter of William Henry Porter of Heads Nook (Cumbld), but had no issue; died of pneumonia, 8 February 1906 and was buried at Acklam (Yorks NR); will proved 19 April 1906 (estate £182,864);(6) Ellen Maud Bell (b. & d. 1860), born 7 June 1860; died in infancy.
|Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd bt.|
(1.1) Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell (1868-1926), born at Washington Hall, 14 July 1868; an intellectually and athletically gifted child who was encouraged to study unlike many girls of her age and class; educated at Queen's College, Harley St., London and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (admitted 1886; 1st class honours in history, 1888), followed by extensive travels in eastern Europe, 1888-89; Persia, 1892; western Europe, 1893-95, and world tours with her brother Maurice, 1897-98 and half-brother Hugo, 1902-03; she spent the summers of 1899-1904 mountaineering in the Alps, climbing Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn; and from 1900 began exploring the Middle East, visiting Jerusalem, Syria, Turkey, and what later became Iraq as an explorer, archaelogist, author and Arabic scholar; during First World War she worked first for the Red Cross and in 1915 joined the Arab Bureau, being seconded to the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force as an Assistant Political Officer and subsequently acting as Oriental Secretary to the British High Commissioner for Iraq, 1920-26; her political views and support for Arab self-determination gradually becoming extremely influential; she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1913 and appointed CBE, 1917; in the intervals between her travels she laid out the gardens of Rounton Grange and became a leading figure in the Women's National Anti-Suffrage League; at the end of her life she raised funds for the establishment of the National Museum in Baghdad (Iraq); she had become an aetheist in religion by 1902; she was unmarried, having twice been disappointed in love, and suffered from depression at the end of her life; she died in Baghdad from an overdose of sleeping tablets, 12 July 1926, and was buried in the British Cemetery there the same day; will proved 15 December 1926 (estate £25,604);(1.2) Sir Maurice Hugh Lowthian Bell (1871-1944), 3rd bt. (q.v.);(2.1) Rev. Hugh Lowthian (k/a Hugo) Bell (1878-1926) (q.v.);(2.2) Florence Elsa Bell (1880-1971), born 9 March 1880; married, 8 July 1907 at East Rounton, Adm. Sir Herbert William Richmond KCB (1871-1946), naval historian and Master of Downing College, Cambridge, 1934-46, second son of Sir William Blake Richmond KCB RA, artist, and had issue one son and four daughters; died aged 91 on 3 May 1971 and was buried at East Rounton; will proved 7 September 1971 (estate £19,881);(2.3) Mary Katharine (k/a Molly) Bell (1881-1966), born 12 October 1881; educated at Queen's College, Harley St., London; political hostess and charity worker; one of the founders of the Council for the Protection of Rural England; a supporter of women's suffrage (unlike her half-sister); appointed OBE, 1963; a Unitarian in religion; married, 6 January 1904 at Holy Trinity, Sloane St., Chelsea, Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan (1870-1958), 3rd bt., of Wallington Hall (Northbld), Liberal and later Labour MP, President of Board of Education, 1929-31, eldest son of Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd bt., and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 8 October 1966; will proved 18 April 1967 (estate £30,423).
(1) Sir Hugh Francis Bell (1923-70), 4th bt. (q.v.);(2) John Lowthian Bell (1925-44), born in Johannesburg, 17 June 1925; served as an Ordinary Seaman in Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in Second World War and was killed in action on HMS Warwick, 20 February 1944; buried at St Merryn (Cornw).
(2.1) Sir John Lowthian Bell (b. 1960), 5th bt. (q.v.);(2.2) David Hugh Bell (b. 1961), born 8 October 1961;(2.3) Andrew Mark Howson Bell (b. 1963), born 6 August 1963; commissioning editor for Arts programmes with BBC; a director of the Showroom Gallery Ltd., London NW8; married, 1993, Baindu A. Bright;(2.4) Thomas Hugh Bell (b. 1965), born 16 January 1965; married, 1999, Penelope Jane Aird, younger daughter of Reginald Whittome of Gerrards Cross (Bucks) and had issue one son.
(1) John Hugh (k/a Jack) Bell (b. 1988), born 29 July 1988; heir apparent to baronetcy; married, 29 June 2019 at Ingleby Arncliffe, Laura, younger daughter of John Charrington of Sydney (Australia);(2) Sophia Amelia Bridget Bell (b. 1990), born 10 April 1990.
Bell of Rushpool Hall, Saltburn-by-the-Sea
(1) Evelyn Frances Bell (1866-1953), born at Skelton, 25 September 1866; married 1st, 12 May 1891 (div. 1908) at the English church, Algiers, John Edward Courtenay Bodley (1853-1925), barrister, author and private secretary to Sir Charles Dilke, son of Edward Fisher Bodley (1815-81) of Dane Bank House, Congleton (Ches.), pottery manufacturer, and had two sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 1910, Herbert Leavitt Hunt (1877-1960) of New York (USA); died at Villa Gaintzuriena, Guéthary, Basse-Pyrénées (France), 31 October 1953, and was buried at Guéthary;
(2) Lillian Margaret Bell (1875-1963), born 16 September 1875; a talented amateur artist; married, 17 August 1898 at Skelton, Maj. Clive Macdonald Dixon (1870-1914), son of Sir Raylton Dixon, kt., shipbuilder, and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 12 June 1963 and was buried at Kirby-in-Cleveland (Yorks NR); will proved 1 August 1963 (estate £33,882);(3) Sybil Maud Bell (1883-1957), born 30 August 1883; married 1st, 28 July 1904 (div. 1914 on the grounds of her adultery), Henry John Pack-Beresford (b. c.1872) of Kellestown House (Co. Carlow), son of Capt. Denis William Pack-Beresford, and had issue two sons; married 2nd, 30 November 1914, Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Stuart-Burnett KCB CB DSO (1882-1945) of Barra Castle, Old Meldrum (Aberdeens.), and had issue four daughters, the eldest of whom was born prior to the marriage; died at Dalmally (Argylls), 8 February 1957, and was buried at Kilmalieu Burial Ground, Inveraray (Argylls); will proved 10 April 1957 (estate £28,142).
(X1) Amelia Serena (k/a Amy) Bell (1845-73), baptised at St Oswald, Durham, 24 January 1845; married, 23 August 1865 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), Col. Hugh Stewart Cochrane VC (1829-84), but had no surviving issue; died at Cork (Co. Cork), 7 January 1873; will proved 16 October 1873 (estate under £4,000);(X2) John Charles Bell (1853-93), baptised at Ripon Cathedral (Yorks WR), 13 December 1853; an officer in 2nd West Yorkshire Militia (Sub-Lt., 1875; Lt. 1876; retired 1879) and reputedly also in the Turkish Army; lived at Langbaurgh Hall, Great Ayton (Yorks); married, 8 November 1884 (but sep. shortly before his death) at St James Piccadilly, Westminster, Ethel (1858-1939) (who m2, 1897 'by declaration' and again in 1900 before a London registrar (div. 1908), as his second wife, Arthur John Clark Kennedy (1857-1926) of Eustace Lodge, Fylingdales (Yorks NR)), daughter of Nicholas Frank Dobrée, of Beverley (Yorks ER) and Beau Séjour (Guernsey), merchant, and had issue two sons and two daughters; committed suicide, 23 February 1893; will proved 10 June 1893 (effects under £42,000);(X3) Margaret Louisa Bell (b. & d. 1856), baptised at Holy Trinity, Ripon, 10 January 1856; died in infancy and was buried at Sharow Chapel, Ripon, 14 January 1856;(X4) Clara Ann Bell (1857-1939), born 22 June and baptised at Sharow Chapel, Ripon, 6 August 1857; married, 6 August 1879 at All Saints, Skelton, Capt. William Loftus Wigram (1852-97), son of Rt. Rev. Joseph Cotton Wigram (1798-1867), Bishop of Rochester, but had no issue; died 17 November 1939; will proved 10 January 1940 (estate £33,519);(X5) William Henry Bell (b. & d. 1858), baptised at Holy Trinity, Ripon, 18 February 1858; died in infancy and was buried at Sharow Chapel, Ripon, 22 February 1858.
Location of archives
Coat of arms
Can you help?
- Can anyone provide additional photographs of the interior of Rounton Grange, or other early images of the houses discussed here?
- Can anyone explain why Thomas Bell (1817-94) was comparatively impoverished at the time of his death?
- Can anyone provide portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
- If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.