Banner Cross Hall and the Bagshawe artworks

Somewhere, displayed on a sideboard, or lost in a miserable attic, I would like to believe that an old model of Banner Cross Hall survives.

This was the creation of Jeffry Wyatt (1766-1840), architect of Banner Cross Hall, and used to highlight his magnificent new mansion in 1817-1821.

Shortly afterwards, in 1824, King George IV allowed him to change his surname to Wyatville and knighted him in 1828.

The existence of the model emerged in the 1930s when it was owned by Major Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe, of Ford Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith, a descendant of the family which once owned Banner Cross Hall.

In 1937, Bagshawe loaned the model to the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield, which it displayed for three weeks, alongside valuable works of art that once adorned the walls of Banner Cross Hall. By this time, the old mansion was the company headquarters of builders Henry Boot and Son.

A portrait by George Romney was Mary Murray, grand-daughter and heiress of John Bright. Another portrait, of James II, had been painted by Peter Lely. Other paintings included Prince Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie), Prince Rupert, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia and George III.

Amongst historic furniture loaned was a Sedan chair used to carry Mrs Murray to Ecclesall Church as late as the 19th century and a needlework picture showing the beauty of an Elizabethan Banner Cross Hall. Several Georgian silver exhibits had the Bagshawe and Murray Arms along with a pair of silver-mounted pistols containing the Murray Coat of Arms.

Major Bagshawe sold Ford Hall in 1957 and lived at Snitterton Hall (Matlock). He died in 1985 and the hall was sold the following year. Where did those cherished artworks go? The art detectives amongst you might have a better idea what happened to them!

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