Foremarke Hall

Foremarke Hall

otheruses4|The history of Foremark and its Manor-House Foremarke Hall|The Preparatory School|Repton Preparatory School

Foremarke Hall is a Georgian-Palladian country house (stately home, manor house) completed in 1762 and located at the manor (hamlet) of Foremark, near; starting from the smallest; the hamlets of Ingleby, Ticknall, Milton, and the village of Repton in Southern Derbyshire of England within Great Britain in United Kingdom.

It was the ancestral home of the Burdett family of Bramcote, but it is now the preparatory school for nearby Repton School. It is a Grade 1 listed building [ [ English Heritage:Images of England, Detailed architectural description] ]

A Great Western Railway "Modified Hall" class steam locomotive, no. 7903 is named after this hall.


Foremarke Hall is currently the main building of Repton Preparatory School (sometimes abbreviated to Foremarke hall). The Hall houses the school's administration/secretary offices and the Headmaster's office (2nd Floor). It also consists of the School's Boys' boarding houses and the School Library (2nd Floor). There are two Boys' Boarding Houses- Burdett House which is located at the Top floor and the quite-recent Francis House which is located at the bottom floor. The annex is now used as a 'Flexible' Boarding House (where non-boarding day-students may temporarily board), recreational games-room, kitchen, catering area and dining hall.

The Hall is four-storey high and consists a large hall on the 2nd floor with an infamous portrait of Burdett which foremarke teachers and students claim his eyes 'seem to be staring directly at them in whatever angle'. After the Manor house was rendered part of Repton Prep School a store room was built halfway in between the 2nd and 3rd floor above the Head Master's offices to house instruments. The 3rd floor houses the "Sick Bay" (one, or two dormitories, varied at different times, Matron/Nurse/Medical room, a TV/common room, a Spare-apparel room and Matron's flat. Half of the "Top Floor" boarding house is a private flat previously inhabited by Mr. Digby and family during 2000-2001, who was "Burdett Boarding House"'s head. From 2001-2002 it was inhabited by three one-year Gappers who graduated from Secondary school. From 2002 onwards, as of 2003, it was inhabited by a New teacher and New head of "Burdett House".

On the 2nd floor, next to the Television/multifunctional room, in between the Library and the Main Hall is the high "Lord's Household area". At this part, the 3rd floor is hollowed to give a large two-storey space in which large portrait-paintings of Sir Francis 5th Bart.and his Lady Burdett-Coutts, as well as his father Francis Burdett are hung. A glamourous L-shape velvet-carpeted staircase next to the library door leads up to the 3rd floor household which is lined with Georgian carved wood-fencings. A prestigious chandelier hangs from the roof of the two-storey-area. Steps on the 2nd floor lead down to the 1st floor- Francis boarding house. During 2000-2007, the household was inhabited by the Headmaster- Mr. Paul Brewster and his family, and now inhabited by the new head Mr IS Elliot until early 2008 when a new head Mr PG Watson will start. From September 2001 onwards, as of 2003, the Headmasters moved to a two-storey cottage adjacent to the Girls' boarding house- "Nightingale" and the Design Tecnology block and Maths teacher Mr. Digby and his family- the housemaster of Francis boarding house, moved into the "Lord's household."

Facing the Front entrance of the hall is a circular parking space (used to park carriages at that time) centred by a grass-shrub roundabout and is known by the present school as the 'front square' which can be confusing as it implies the wrong shape. The rounded parking area attaches to a wide tubular drive which leads to two narrow drives going in opposite directions. Beyond the Front Square is a small lake. The campus consists of 2 woods, 2 fields now used as sport pitches by the school- Top Field, located next to the back-entrance of the Foremarke Hall and another field, Lakeside, located next to the Lake. A small parish church was also built at the time of Sir Francis Burdett and is still in use. The Burdett family were buried at a secluded part of the church graveyard.


Foremarke Hall was commisioned to be built; as a Stately home; by Sir Robert Burdett for his son Francis Burdett(not to be confused with his son Sir Francis Burdett); who did not inherit the Baronetcy as he died before his father Sir Robert did, in 1794. Fact|date=June 2008 in 1760 by David Hiorns - a famous architect then whose architectural firm in London still thrives today. List of historic buildings and architects of the United Kingdom] The building is therefore of Georgian and Palladian architectural style with imposing portico, cursive & round domes, chamber/pillars and a magnificent south front.

In addition, an Annex was built as a Guesthouse and to house the Lord's retinue with a corridor at ground floor linking the two buildings. A double spiral staircase leads up to the pillared front entrance of the Hall and leads to the approximately 1000 square feet main hall/living area of the building which consisted of two large imposing fireplaces and a glass chandelier.

According to a directory published in 1846,History, Gazetteer and Directory of Derbyshire, Samuel Bagshaw, 1846] the hall was "erected about the year 1762" by Sir Robert BurdettA View of the Present State of Derbyshire, James Pilkington, 1789 ] (4th Bart. of Foremark), replacing an ealier house on the site, and making it one of the oldest local buildings. However, the nearby Parish church- Saint Saviour's Church was erected and consecrated in 1662 by Sir Francis Burdett 2nd Bart. of Foremark

The hamlets of InglebyDirectory of the County of Derby, Stephen Glover, 1827-29] and Foremarke (sometimes referred to as a manor) were under the Lordship of and owned by the Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet in 1829. The Baronetage of his family line began with Sir Thomas Burdett on 25th February, 1619, who was registered on the Baronetage census as "Burdett of Bramcote, Warwicks (Shorthand of Warwickshire). Francis married his lady- Sophia Coutts, daughter of the wealthy banker Thomas Coutts in 1793 which brought him a fortune. His daughter retained the maiden-name of her mother, hence the double-barrel surname Burdett-Coutts.

In 1835, the hall was described as

Foremark, three miles west from Melbourn, is distinguished as having within its precincts the beautiful seat of Sir Francis Burdett, most judiciously and romantically placed, amidst scenery of a rich, bold and varied character, upon the southern banks of the Trent – the hanging hills being crowned by thriving plantations. The house is spacious, and its appearance imposing to a considerable degree ; the pleasure-grounds are very tasteful, and lead down a valley, through finely wooded avenues to the banks of the river. The church, here, which is dedicated to our Saviour, is a small, plain edifice: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Sir Francis Burdett. The parish of Foremark (including Ingleby township, 163) contained, in 1831, 221 inhabitants." [ Pigot & Co.'s Commercial Directory for Derbyshire,1835]

The Burdett family owned the hall until 1850 when Henry Allsop esquire resided there.Slater's Directory of Derbyshire, 1850] It could be that Henry Allsop was not the owner as the Burdett family were still reported as the owners in 1881.Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, and Derbyshire, 1881]

In 1932, Kelly's directoryKelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1932] reported:

Major Sir Francis Burdett bart. D.L., J.P. lord of the manor and sole landowner, [has] a fine stone mansion, surrounded by beautiful trees and shrubs ; in the grounds is a lake of considerable dimensions.

During the course of World War I the hall was taken over by the British army as a military hospital. During World War II it was used as an Officer Cadet Training Unit, today, the military identification plate nailed to one of the pillars of the front entrance is still present.

Repton Preparatory school was a boys-only school founded in 1940 to meet the schooling and boarding needs caused by the inconvenience and uncertainties of the Second World War, utilizing The Latham House, a premise of Repton School. Its existence was threatened when the need was relieved by the end of the War, however the school founded a new permanent campus:

The army moved out of Foremarke Hall in 1946 and Repton school moved in 1947, renting the building from the Church Commissioners. The school was able to purchased the freehold of the current campus in 1967 with 40 acres of land and three cottages of the Hamlet. [ A Short History, Headmaster Paul Brewster, Repton Prep School Directory, 2002/3]

Note the interesting fact that, when speaking in terms of the Manor of Foremark(e), it may be spelled 'Foremark' or 'Foremarke' (though usually Foremark), but when inferring the Stately home- i.e. Foremarke Hall, it is always spelled 'Foremarke'.


External links

* [ Repton Preparatory School]
* [ GENUKI- United Kingdom and Ireland Genealogy]

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