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Somersal Herbert

Somersal Herbert is a secluded, quiet, village situated 7 miles south of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. It contains a sprinkle of houses, a church and the real gem of Somersal Hall, an outstanding Grade I listed Elizabethan building, at it's centre.

Somersal Herbert hall was built in 1564 for John Fitzherbert although it incorporates an older Great Hall from around the year 1500. Later additions were made in 1712 and 1850 but these have not detracted from its basic Elizabethan character. The entrance side has its original close narrow upright stud timbering with motif decoration and an extraordinary array of gables and overhangs. The other side was brick faced during the 1712 updating but what is behind is in the main original. The porch was added in 1899. There is still a priestsí hole in the house.

The entrance hall is rich with beams and panelling and most of the rooms in the house have beamed ceilings.

The Fitzherberts have been here since the 13th century or before, as it is known that the Fitzherberts of Norbury held the manor in 1206. They remained in residence until 1803 when the Somersal side of the family died out. It was bought by Lord Vernon who sold it back to the Fitzherberts in the form of William FitzHerbert a younger son of the Tissington line. Eventually Sir Henry Fitzherbert inherited both Somersal Hall and Tissington Hall and it was he who enlarged the former in 1850.

Somersal Hall was eventually sold out of the Fitzherbert family and is still a private residence.

The present St Peter's church, which sits next to the hall, dates from 1874 with a west tower added in 1912. Survivors from the earlier building include the 18th century brick porch with its attractive rusticated stone quoins, together with a Norman font decorated with characteristic intersecting arches. The church had been dedicated to St Blaise in the 16th century.

photo of somersal hall
Somersal hall
photo of somersal hall
Somersal church

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