Friday, 3 July 2020

The Lost Houses of Lincoln 1 - Boultham Hall

The landed families and entrepreneurs of Lincoln seemed to have a need to show their wealth and success by building grand houses.  Most of the houses lasted for less than 100 years.  There are several reasons for this:

  • The improved standard of living of the working class caused by improved wages in the factories and foundries, until the mid 19th century most of the jobs for men were on the land, and for women in service, most of these houses had many live-in servants.  
  • "The flower of British manhood" was decimated during World War One, many of the men who were destined to take over the grand city and country houses were lost.  
  • Many of the houses were of an age where maintenance costs were spiraling.  The introduction of Death Duties in 1894 and increases in income tax in the early 20th century, by 1918 the rate stood at 30%, meant these houses were becoming millstones.
Here we look at the first of eight houses that were built for Lincoln entrepreneurs

Boultham Hall

Boultham Park was bought by Richard Ellison for his illegitimate son Colonel Richard Ellison sometime before his death in 1827. Col Ellison married Charlotte Chetwynd of Staffordshire in 1830.

The hall was built in the mid 1830s and the grounds were laid out. Part of the village of Boultham was within the grounds, this was removed.

A large ornamental lake was dug in 1857 and some Roman remains were found. The hall was re-modeled and enlarged in 1874. The architect was William Watkins of Lincoln.

Col Ellison erected a large monument, in the design of an urn, to Simon, his favourite horse, the monument now stands nearby in Simon’s Green.

Following Col Ellison’s death in 1881, Boultham Hall passed to Lt Colonel Richard George Ellison. Lt Col Ellison had a distinguished military career, during the Crimean War he fought at Alma, Inkerman, Sebastol and the capture of Balaclava. On his return to Lincoln he was met at the railway station by the Mayor and Corporation, who took him in an open carriage with 4 horses to Boultham, where they lunched, and “half the town had cheese and ale”.

Advert for the contents auction

Boultham Hall had extensive grounds: far greater than what we see today, what is now Boultham Park Road was a private road which lead to another private road north of, and parallel to Dixon Street and joined the road to a  gatehouse on the High Street.

High Street Lodge, architect William Mortimer
The original High Street entrance to the grounds of Boultham Hall was where Boultham Avenue now stands, the road and land was sold in the 1880s for the building of houses.

A parallel route to Boultham Hall was opened in 1883, between Peel Street and Dixon Street with a lodge house at its head.

Lt Colonel Ellison was the last resident of the hall. On his death in 1908 it passed to Richard Todd Ellison who sold the Hall and grounds in 1913 to a Nottingham company. The contents of the Hall were auctioned over 5 days in 1913.

During the First World War, the house served as a convalescence home for soldiers.

After the war much of the land was sold for new housing. On 15 May 1929 Lincoln Corporation purchased the Hall and remaining grounds from J A MacDonald and D E Smith, for £6,000 for the creation of a public park.

During World War Two, areas of the park were planted with sugar beet as part of the Dig for Victory campaign. 

The grounds were laid out as a public park, the hall was demolished in 1959. The only remaining evidence of the hall is a plinth and steps.

Lodges at the entrance to Boultham Park, built in  the 1870s:

Top, north lodge

Bottom, east lodge.  The gates are from Joseph Ruston's lost Monks Manor on Greetwell Road.

Ruston's initials can be seen above the pedestrian entrance.

Boultham Park Lake in 1933

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