Ringwood`s History

Documentary evidence exists to prove Ringwood Hall has stood from 1809 at least.....

Ringwood Hall can boast to being connected for over 100 years with the remarkable story of the Staveley Works and the lives of the industrialists who made Ringwood their home. Burkes Peerage of 1809 records George Hodgkinson Barrow at the Hall, and Bagshaws Gazetteer of 1846 mentions the Hall as "not long built".

A gardening journal of 1876 names him as "the builder of the Hall about 50 years ago". In 1840 George Hodgkinson Barrow asked his wealthy young brother Richard to take over the loss making coal and iron works which they not only expanded, but also built the village of Barrow Hill, complete with school, church and workman`s institute for employees.

Richard Barrow lived at Ringwood Hall until his death in 1865. The Derbyshire Times of 18th January 1865 records some 5000 people lining his funeral procession route from Ringwood Hall to Staveley Churchyard, where he was buried in the same tomb as his brother George.

Only one year earlier he had formed the "Staveley Coal and Iron Company" and invited his friend Charles Markham to leave his job in the Midland Railway in Derby, and be the Managing Director. He accepted and the Markhams came to Staveley.

The Barrow family continued to live at Ringwood after Richard`s death, but in Kelly`s Trade Directory 1895 the "Marquis Piedilermini de Saliceto" is listed as living there.

Local people said he was an Italian Nobleman. Charles Markham died in 1888 and was succeeded by his son, Charles Paxton Markham who went on to make the Staveley Company one of the biggest concerns in the country. In 1907 Charles Paxton Markham bought Ringwood Hall and made it his home.

He was a very generous man and believed in a good days pay for a good days work. On Sunday afternoons he would open the grounds at Ringwood so that his workmen and families could have a day out and enjoy themselves.

A Mayor of Chesterfield three times, he gave Tapton House and grounds, his former family home, to the Borough of Chesterfield to be used as a school, and after his death in 1926 Ringwood was given to the Staveley Company to be used for the benefits of employees.

Local stories about the Hall say that Captain Webb stayed there and swam in Ringwood Lake. Local people working at the Hall and in the gardens have seen the ghost of a Victorian dressed Lady and think it could be the former Mrs Lowe, the wife of George Hodgkinson.

NB Information received from the North East Derbyshire Industrial Archeological Society indicated that Ringwood Hall was owned by the Duke of Devonshire until 1863.

Ringwood Hall Hotel
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