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Thread: Oakhurst House, Ambergate, Derbyshire March 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Oakhurst House, Ambergate, Derbyshire March 2019


    1. The History
    Oakhurst House is a located in the Shining Cliff Woods above the village of Ambergate, Derbyshire. The house was built at a cost of £1,000 (equivalent to just £118,000 in today's monies) in 1848 by industrialist Francis Hurt (1801-1854) behind his forge and was constructed by Robinson of Belper. He built it for his three unmarried daughters Emma, Elizabeth and Selina. The idea was to free-up main residence, Alderwasley Hall, for his male heir. However, his plans back-fired and all three refused to move to their intended home. Hence it was initially leased to one of Hurt's blacksmiths, John Mold, who occupied the house until the forge closed in 1859. Both the house and forge remained vacant until Thewlis Johnson, one half of the Manchester-based Johnson and Nephew wire-works business, purchased the forge in 1876. The house itself remained in the possession of Hurt until 1888 when it was bought by the Midland Railway. The company's architect Charles Trubshaw then extended the house for the company's chief engineer. Already owning the nearby forge, Thewlis Johnson then completed the purchase of Oakhurst in 1893 and the following year got his architect, John Douglas, to extend the house in the neo-Jacobean Arts and Crafts style (as indicated by the 1894 date stone). The house remained in possession of Johnson during the later 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Oakhurst in its prime circa 1900:

    oakhurst by HughieDW, on Flickr

    In the 1924 Oakhurst became a Retreat House for the Diocese of Southwell. Retreats varied from two to five days and Oakhurst fitted its new use perfectly given "one large and handsome upper room has been converted into a comely chapel." It was retained in the use until the outbreak of the second world war in 1939. Immediately after World War 2 had ended the house was divided into 12 flats in response to the post-war housing crisis.

    Oakhurst still resembling something of its former glory in 1950:

    2019-03-28_01-22-59 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    In the 1970s the deteriorating condition of the building and an increase in local council housing elsewhere meant the residents were found alternative accommodation. Since then, the house has remained unoccupied. With the bankruptcy of the wireworks in 1985, the condition of Oakhurst also took a turn for the worst. In 1994, permission was granted to demolish the house as the house was deemed beyond repair. That permission expired and in 2000 the wireworks and estate were purchased by the Lichfield Group who used the wireworks as industrial storage. Since then the house has fallen further into disrepair and been subject to fires and vandalism.

    2. The Explore
    Visited in the excellent company of Birkin Glynn. The third in a trio of reports from the Ambergate area and the main reason for making the trip back down here. This place and the wire-works used to get reported on here on a frequent basis then the reports appeared to dry-up around 2011. Recently there have been a few more appearing as the place is very much open. Things have deteriorated since I last visited nearly four years ago but the place remains majestic in its dereliction. Last time I only had a look at the front bit of the house as were a bit pushed for time. However, with more time this time and the spring sun in its prime we gave the place a good going over.



    3. The Pictures

    Gates of the house:

    img0145 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Initial view on approach:

    img0085 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0144 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    How long before this topples?

    img0088 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This bit looks in reasonable nick but it’s a façade:

    img0089bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Round the back ain’t so good:

    img0094 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0136 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Nor the side:

    img0099 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Into the chaos:

    img0121 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Oakhurst 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Oakhurst 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Range high’n’dry:

    img0102 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Chimney stacks still intact:

    img0103 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0107 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Stuff falls down:

    img0110 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Like baths:

    img0112 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Electrics hanging too:

    img0111 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Precarious:

    Oakhurst 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0115 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Reasonably OK range:

    img0119 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Another room at the front:

    img0122 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0124 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Another old bath:

    img0125 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Inner courtyard:

    img0126 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Oakhurst 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And back round the front:

    img0139 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0140 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0141 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    Last edited by HughieD; 31st Mar 19 at 23:08.

  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, dewdrop, Hugh Jorgan, krela, Mearing, Mikeymutt, Old Wilco, paul.richards.up, psykie, rockfordstone, Romford Reject, Sausage, urban-dorset, yvettelancaster
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  4. #2
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    What could have been..
    Such a shame but I guess it's life and not everything is saved.
    The daughters? Spoiled brats!!
    I think that place won't make it two more years.
    Full of meaty goodness.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD, MrGruffy
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    What a shame for this house compared with the "before" photos. The house is falling down and it wont be long before it turns to rubble.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  7. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    What could have been..
    Such a shame but I guess it's life and not everything is saved.
    The daughters? Spoiled brats!!
    I think that place won't make it two more years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    What a shame for this house compared with the "before" photos. The house is falling down and it wont be long before it turns to rubble.
    Cheers both. And yes, you are right. It hasn't got too long. Real shame when you see what it used to look like.

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    Even though it's trashed it's still has so much character.renember seeing it for the first time about three year ago and thought wow..fantastic place
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  10. Thanks given by: HughieD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Even though it's trashed it's still has so much character.renember seeing it for the first time about three year ago and thought wow..fantastic place
    Cheers Mikey. Love places like this. That front elevation is really a facade as behind it the place is crumbling.

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    Wonderful post such a shame to see it in ruins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yvettelancaster View Post
    Wonderful post such a shame to see it in ruins.
    Cheers Yvette. Real shame and no way back for the old girl now sadly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sausage View Post
    The daughters? Spoiled brats!!
    Far from it! When this place was built, it was really out in the 'sticks' when compared to the Hall. Typical of how the female side of large, land owning families with male heirs were treated in those days. Nice to see that they stood their ground and weren't prepared to be pushed around.

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