Manuscripts and Special Collections

Drury-Lowe of Locko Park, Spondon

Coat of arms of William Drury Lowe, 19th century

The Drury-Lowe collection (Dr-Dr4) contains the papers of the Drury-Lowe family, including their ancestors the Lowes of Denby and Park Hall, Derbyshire, the Drurys of Nottingham, and the Holdens of Darley Abbey, Derbyshire and Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire.

The initial collection (Dr) was acquired in 1961. Several accruals were subsequently acquired. The collection is divided into separate groups, with their own catalogues, although many contents overlap:

  • (Dr) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, late 12th century-1959. This is the most extensive part of the collection and includes title deeds, estate papers, maps and plans, correspondence, household inventories, legal papers, manorial records, wills, genealogical papers, diaries, military and official papers.
  • (Dr 2) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1770-1937. This part of the collection includes personal papers of William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), estate papers relating particularly to the Denby and Spondon estates, and papers relating to local administrative and charitable interests in Derbyshire, including papers relating to Derbyshire County Council.
  • (Dr 3) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, c.1769-c.1969. The majority of papers in this small accrual relate to the personal finances of William Drury Lowe (1753-1827) but there are also some accounts and other papers of subsequent family members, also a small number of estate papers.
  • (Dr 4) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1765-c.1985. This accrual includes accounts, rentals, financial and estate papers relating to coal mining, official papers, plans and surveys, and further personal papers relating to William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), and to other members of the family.
  • (Dr 5) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 17th – 20th cents. This large accrual was collected by the Drury-Lowe family's solicitors and relates principally to the administration of the estate in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It is largely made up of papers relating to collieries and minerals, including conveyances, leases, legal papers and correspondence, early 19th century-1947; and 17th -20th century deeds relating to estates in Derbyshire. Smaller series include estate papers, 1860s-1970s; family papers relating to wills, marriage settlements and trusts, 1785-1959; legal papers and correspondence; Denby manorial court papers, 1760-1842, and 19th century Chaddesden manor verdicts.
  • (Dr 6) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1761-2003. This accrual consists principally of Trust and Estate Management papers following the death of Captain J.A.E. Drury-Lowe (d.1949), Lt. Col. J.D.B. Packe-Drury-Lowe (d.1960) and Captain P.J.B. Drury-Lowe (d.1993); the marriage settlement papers of J.A.E. and P.J.B. and the records concerning the disposal of the Bramcote Estate, Nottinghamshire, 19th -20th cents. There are also deeds relating to lands in Derbyshire, 18th -20th cents and minutes and papers concerning Denby Colliery, Derbyshire, 1930 – 1956
  • (Dr 7) Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, 1906-1949. This small accrual consists of financial estate records including papers relating to the Gregory Trust, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire

An item level catalogue of Dr, Dr 2, Dr 3 and Dr 4 is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Box lists giving brief information about the contents of Dr 5 and Dr 7 are also available via the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. For information about the contents of Dr 6 please contact Manuscripts and Special Collections.

The catalogues to Dr-Dr 4 were also made available during the Access to Archives (A2A) project and can now be seen on The National Archives' Discovery catalogue.



Principal subject areas within the collection

The bulk of the Drury-Lowe collection consists of papers relating to the running of the family's estates. It includes a large number of title deeds and estate papers, relating particularly to the core of the estate at Denby, Locko, Mapperley and Spondon in Derbyshire, and to surrounding places in Derbyshire. Other significant places include Upper Dean and Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire, Highgate in Middlesex, the Yorkshire estates of the Holden family, and the Myria (Plas Muriau) estate in Llanrwst, Denbighshire, purchased by William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe in 1871. A small bundle of documents refers to plantations in Maryland owned by Colonels Vincent and Stead Lowe, sons of Vincent Lowe (1593-1640). The plantations passed in 1747 to Stead Lowe, brother of John Lowe of Denby (1704-1771).

Some of the title deeds date back to the twelfth century, but the bulk of the estate papers, including accounts, rentals, surveys and correspondence, date from the mid-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries. There are references throughout the collection to the family's coal mining and ironstone interests from the late-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries, including papers relating to the Denby Colliery Company, the Salterwood Colliery, and the Denby Iron Company. As owners of most of the land in Denby and Kilburn, the Drury-Lowes were able to grant leases to coal and iron companies, and this formed a major part of their wealth. They also granted the right to dig for clay to the emergent Denby Pottery Company. A few manorial records survive from the Manor of Denby, 1629-1776, although they do not form a full series.

Series of maps, plans and surveys focus especially on the Denby and Locko estates. There are architectural plans and correspondence concerning alterations to the house and grounds of Locko, a bundle of illustrations of Locko, and a packet of photographs of Locko Hall and grounds in the early-twentieth century. Household inventories and game books help to build up a picture of life in Locko in the nineteenth century.

Several members of the family acquired licences to acquire additional surnames and arms and these are to be found amongst a group of genealogical papers and pedigrees. The public activities of various family members are reflected in official and military papers. Military papers include muster rolls of the 5th (Locko) Troop of Derbyshire Volunteer Cavalry, of which William Drury Lowe was Captain, 1794-1804; papers relating to Major-General Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe's campaigns in the Crimea in the 1850s, and Egypt in 1882; illuminated scrolls presented to Major-General Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe on his return from Egypt, 1882; photographs taken at the Front in the First World War, 1915; and correspondence relating to the Home Guard at Spondon, 1941. A smaller number of official papers include accounts of the Overseer of the Poor of Spondon, 1802-1827; papers, including attendance registers, relating to Spondon School, c.1755-1828; copies of Derbyshire County Council papers collected by Councillors William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1838-1906), and William Drury Drury-Lowe (1877-1916); and various other documents relating to local administrative and charitable interests.

The remainder of the collection comprises personal papers of family members from John Lowe (1704-1771) onwards. Notable correspondence series include letters from George Wakefield, a British settler in America, 1795-1821; letters from Thomas Dixon of the medical department of the British army, describing his service in the Peninsular War and including an eye-witness account of the Battle of Waterloo, 1815; letters from Robert Drury-Lowe on active service in India in the 1850s; letters from Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe on active service in the Crimea and Turkey, 1850s; numerous family letters sent to William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe, 1855-1877; and letters from Captain John A.E. Drury-Lowe on active service in Flanders in the First World War, 1915.

Personal account books, diaries and travel journals survive for several of the leading family members including Richard Lowe (1716-1785), William Drury Lowe (1753-1827), Anne Drury Lowe (d 1848), Robert Holden (1769-1844), William Drury Holden, later Lowe (1802-1877), William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906), and William Drury Drury-Lowe (1877-1916). There is also a travel journal of Dorothy Casberd-Boteler, later wife of John A.E. Drury-Lowe, dating from 1900.


Collections held elsewhere

Other repositories holding archives of the Drury-Lowe family:

  • Derbyshire Record Office holds an estate letter book, 1934-35


Useful published works on the Drury-Lowe family

  • A.E.L. Lowe, 'Some account of the family of Lowe of Alderwasley and Denby, in the county of Derby and elsewhere', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 3, 1881
  • P.H. Currey and R.J. Burton, 'Denby Old Hall and its owners. I. The Hall, by P.H. Currey. II. The owners of Denby, by R.J. Burton', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 26, 1904
  • Mark Fryar, Some chapters in the history of Denby (Ripley, 1994). Facsimile reprint, originally published 1934. Includes plan of Denby and pedigrees of the Lowe and Drury-Lowe families. [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Der 198.D14 FRY]
  • Jean Paul Richter, Catalogue of pictures at Locko Park (London, 1901). [King’s Meadow Campus Ref Der 636.D64 LOC]
  • Pictures from Locko Park, Derbyshire [illustrated catalogue] (Nottingham University Art Gallery, 1968) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlets Der 636.D64.UNI]
  • 'Locko Park, Derbyshire', Country Life (5, 12 and 19 Jun 1969), 1438-1441, 1506-1510, 1602-1605 [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Oversize Pamphlets Der 636.D64 LOC]
  • Locko Park and the Drury-Lowes: a Derbyshire Family and its Art Treasures (Nottingham University Art Gallery, 1982) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Pamphlets Der 636.D64.LOC]


Next page:  The Drury-Lowe Family of Locko: A Brief History


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651