The history of Kelham Hall & Country Park
A rich history as the ancestral home of the Manners-Sutton family, along with its use as a theological college for an Anglican Order of Monks, and the distinct design features of renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, make Kelham Hall a fascinating place to discover.
The present Kelham Hall is the third building to have stood on the site with two former halls having been damaged significantly by fire (one in the early eighteenth century and a second in 1857). All three halls were built for the Manners Sutton family, whose links with Kelham and Averham date back to the 12th century.
Between 1903 and 1974 Kelham Hall was used as a training college by the Society of the Sacred Mission in preparation for missionary work. The hall and grounds however were requisitioned by the army during the two world wars although these were the only interruptions. The most significant legacy left by the monks is the incredible domed chapel, which today is a year-round venue for weddings and events and an exquisite addition to the property. There are other traces of the monks’ presence visible today, including their graveyard at St. Wilfred’s church on the estate.
For those interested in architecture, Kelham Hall provides a wealth of material, including a striking similarity in parts of the building to the St. Pancras hotel, London – both master works of Sir George Gilbert Scott.