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Gumley Hall

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Gumley Hall
This image is a copy photograph of a postcard showing the Fernie Hounds meeting at Gumley Hall in 1903.

Gumley Hall was built in 1764 for Joseph Cradock, but he spent too much money on the project, so he eventually had to sell up and live more modestly. Ownership of the property changed frequently after that.

The Hall, built in brick, consisted of seven bays with a three-bay pediment. In 1869-70 the Tuscan colonnade, a stone portico running the whole length of the ground floor, was added. The Hall was surrounded by extensive pleasure grounds, including a lake. The estate was sold to the Murray-Smith family in 1892 and remains in their ownership.

During the Second World War the hall was requisitioned by the Army and used as a training centre for foreign agents who were to be sent on highly dangerous missions into German-occupied territory. After the war, it was used partly as flats for ex-servicemen and their families and partly as a warehouse. As such, it was for some years a kind of experiment in communal living. However the Hall deteriorated badly during these years and in 1964 it was demolished, after the Murray-Smiths had invited all their friends and neighbours to a last glorious dance evening in the Ballroom.

Gumley Hall was often the site for the Fernie meet. Much of the park remains with woods, lakes and earthworks of the former gardens.
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