I have just joined the Friends of Firbeck Hall which is a voluntary group dedicated to encouraging the sympathetic restoration of this beautiful 16th Century building in Firbeck, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. It is such a shame that this beautiful building has just been allowed to fall into disrepair.
There has also been a blog setup by an American Lady called Saving Firbeck Hall.
I have also found a website which shows the state of the interior of the building: 28 days later.
Firbeck Hall was formerly the home of 19th century architect and writer Henry Gally Knight who is assumed to have been a principal information source for Walter Scott during the writing of Ivanhoe. Firbeck Hall was built in 1594 by William West, who made a fortune practising law and serving as an associate to Gilbert Talbot, 7th Earl of Shrewsbury from 1580 to 1594. West was the author of a legal textbook called “Symbolaeographia.”
In 1935, a Sheffield stockbroker, Cyril Nicholson, opened the hall as a country club, investing £80,000 in its renovation. The interior was dramatically modernised and featured a mirror-walled ballroom and an elaborate and versatile state-of-the art lighting system. There was also a heated outdoor swimming pool. Membership fees ranged from three to seven guineas, and the club was patronised by the likes of Amy Johnson and the then Prince of Wales. Such was the reputation of the club, that the BBC transmitted its weekly Saturday show “Late Night Dance Music” with Henry Hall, Carroll Gibbons and Charlie Kunz from Firbeck.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the hall was used by Sheffield Royal Infirmary and the Royal Air Force, with the adjacent aerodrome becoming RAF Firbeck. After the War, the building was bought by the Miners Welfare Commission for use as a rehabilitation centre for injured miners. This centre closed in 1984, and the building is currently privately owned.
The hall is reputedly haunted by a Green Lady; believed to be the daughter of a former owner who drowned herself in the hall’s lake when her Roundhead lover was killed.