Posts Tagged ‘1858’

‘It is a cause of unmitigated and disappointment and vexation’ Lord Overstone.

Overstone Hall in Northamptonshire is a 114 room mansion that has been up for sale for one million pounds and is going to be some sort of epic project for anyone taking it on. It has 114 rooms, it’s 20,000 square foot and covers 50 acres of land. It went up for sale in 2011 for that price and did not sell, and the New Testament Church of God are still asking for the same price now.

1832 Overstone Park was acquired by Lewis Loyd for £117,500. Upon his death in 1858 the 10,000 acres of land became Lord Overstone’s. 1860 Lady Overstone commissioned the hall through architect William Milford Teulon; it was to replace the existing house with something more akin to her taste and more lavish to reflect their status. Lord Overstone was reported to have hated the thing since the very start, his wife commissioned a strange mix of Victorian and Renaissance architecture but didn’t live to see it finished She died in November 1864 and in return he left a letter to a friend about the place – ‘The New House, I regret to say, is a cause of unmitigated disappointment and vexation. It is an utter failure although very large and full of pretension, it has neither taste, comfort, nor convenience.’ He refused to live there.

1883 Lord Overstone hated the place that his wife designed and gave it to his daughter Lady Wantage upon his death. She was a philanthropist well known for her interest in hospital and nursing work, she married Robert

James Lindsay, the resided primarily at Lockinge House in Wantage. Lady Wantage was rarely there either, she used it on occasion for winter hunting parties and it was sold to Sir Philip Stott after she died in 1920.

1920’s the building was used by owner Sir Philip Stott who used it as a base for Conservative party members.

He disliked the imposing building and his project there was deemed as a failure in 1928. In 1929 he sold it to the Charlotte Mason Schools Company. They used part of the large building as a girl’s only boarding school.

1979 the school was closed and the building sold privately for £701,000. It was then used by the New Testament Church of God as it’s UK headquarters. 2001 a fire ripped through the building. It came from the top floor and ripped through the principle rooms and carved staircase.

A photographer called Mathew Growcoot went to see the place and described the whole experience as both surreal and haunting, most of the place is slowly being reclaimed by nature. He said: ‘I’ve never been to anywhere like it, it is such an enormous, imposing house that has been reclaimed by nature. He said that the main tower looked unfriendly and that it was very hard to judge it in the current derelict state but that the remains had rooms that looked like they would be far too big and would be draft riddled. He felt on edge the whole time he was there to to noises that surrounded him.

It is worth noting that despite the comments about this building it was advanced for its time. It had cavity wall insulation and even had a heating system, called Mr Price’s Apparatus. The building also had gas lighting and a butler’s lift.

Daventry District Council have said that they are concerned about it’s state, it is in a perilous condition. It seems a shame to let something like this building go to waste, and invariably it’s become a hotspot for ghost hunting though I cannot ascertain why.

http://www.overstoneschool.co.uk/

Mattituck Trail has a cave formerly inhabited by Leatherman, who may have been Jules Bourglay, he got his name from always being dressed in 60 pounds of leather. The strange vagabond took the 365 mile loop between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers; he would walk the route endlessly. From (approximately) 1858 – 1889 he walked it 360 times using caves along the way as rest stops.  Locals would provide the man with extra food when he came past and he was found in Saw Mill Woods cave in Sing Sing, New York sometime in 1889. He was very precise and would arrive at the same location every 34 days. 

He was known mostly by the fact that he would communicate with grunts or strange gestures, and his clothes were crudely stitched leather from his hat down to his shoes. It was something that could protect him from the harsh New England elements, and he would only sleep outside whatever the time of year.

This strange character was first spotted in Connecticut in 1862, and many who encountered him found they wanted to know more about the stranger.  He was born into the Bourglay family, in Lyons, France and their income was made from the business of woodcutting. They were a family that was lower middle-class in a time when station in life seemed to be an important factor. He fell in love with Miss Margaret Laron, daughter of a wealthy merchant, and asked her father for her hand in marriage. It was met with objection, most likely due to his poor station however after a long time of persuasion he was granted a chance to work in the Laron’s leather business, if he could acquire the trade and become successful then he would be allowed to marry her.

In 1855 he was doing well, he brought leather and dealt with the business successfully but overnight having made a purchase they awoke the following day to find the price had gone down by 40%. A new tanning process had brought the cost down significantly but he had not paid attention to the technology and was then stuck with the large pile of leather that could only be sold at a loss. The business was ruined thanks to his decision and he was too ashamed to return home. He was never seen in Lyon’s again, and in fact never seen in France again. It is thought he wandered the country as a beggar and then got himself in the USA.

The harsh winter of 1888 caught up with the man now in his 60’s, He made it through the winter but eventually he died in the cave at George Dell Farm in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  Today the caves he was in are part of a hiking trail and rangers will provide a map of his travels if requested, or you can probably get one online.

It is said that he haunts the caves he used to visit regularly and that the Mattituck one is one of the most popular. The cave is on the trail around two miles south-east of Black Rock State Park on Rt 6 in Watertown.

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