Drury-Lowe Family Seats
Denby Park was acquired by Lawrence Lowe in the fifteenth century, through his marriage with the heiress of the Rossel family. The medieval house, surrounded by a moat, was located to the north-east of the later building. A new house was built in the late sixteenth century by Patrick Lowe. The estate was sold in 1628 by Vincent Lowe (1593-1640) to Robert Wilmot of Chaddesden. Vincent Lowe retained a lease of the property, but in 1666 it passed to other tenants. The Old Hall passed down the Robey and Strelley families, and in 1904 was owned by Miss Elizabeth Frances Gregory. The house was demolished in 1967.
Park Hall in Denby was anciently part of the Rossel family's manor of Denby, but was separated from it in the fourteenth century when it was sold to Richard, Lord Grey of Codnor. In around 1544 it was sold by Henry, Lord Grey, to Vincent Lowe (d c.1588). While the Denby Old Hall estate passed down to John Lowe (1616-1659), Park Hall was given to John's younger brother Henry. Part of the current building dates from the seventeenth century, but another section was built by Henry's son John Lowe of Park Hall in 1702. In 1697 John Lowe married Dorothy, daughter of his cousin John Lowe of Denby (1642-1722). As they had no children, the Park Hall estate came back into the main family's ownership. After the purchase of Locko Park in 1747, Park Hall was used as a farmhouse. It was sold in the twentieth century. Its stables have recently been converted into a bar and restaurant.
Locko, in the parish of Spondon, was the site of a leper hospital built in the thirteenth century by the Order of the Knights of St Lazarus. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the mid-sixteenth century the estate passed to William Byrde, and then to William Gilbert of Barrow.
The new house was built on a nearby site, beginning with a chapel which was begun in 1669 and consecrated in 1673. The main body of the house was designed by Francis Smith of Warwick and built between 1725 and 1730. In 1747 John Lowe of Denby bought Locko Park from the Gilbert family for £13,000. The parkland was developed by William Emes (1730-1803) in the late eighteenth century.
A significant amount of building and redecoration was undertaken from 1853 to the 1860s by William Drury Lowe (1802-1877). He added a tower in Italianate style and built a Picture Gallery to house his collection of Italian art. William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe (1828-1906) commissioned Italian painted ceilings and made further improvements in the 1890s.
The house was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War. When Captain Patrick Drury-Lowe came into possession of Locko on the death of his grandmother in 1965, he restored and refurbished it after forty years of neglect. Locko Park is still a privately owned family home.
Colour illustration of Locko Park, c.1880, from F.O. Morris, 'A Series of Picturesque Views of Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland'
Plas Muriau in the parish of Llanrwst, Denbighshire, near Betws-y-Coed, was rented in 1860 by William Drury Nathaniel Lowe, later Drury-Lowe (1828-1906). He lived there with his first wife Sarah. He bought the house, a small Victorian country villa, in 1871. It is referred to in the Drury-Lowe archives under various names including 'Myria', 'Plas Myrian', and the 'Marian estate', It was sold by the Drury-Lowe family in the 1920s and is now a garden centre and conservation workshop.
The manor of Over or Upper Dean near Kimbolton, Bedfordshire, was purchased by Richard Lowe (1716-1785). In the 1830s it was lived in by William Drury Holden, later Lowe (1802-1877) and his wife Caroline, while William was waiting to come into his inheritance of Locko Park. Now known as The Grange, Upper Dean house is currently run as a bed-and-breakfast.
This house in central London was owned by William D.N. Drury-Lowe in the late nineteenth century. His son William Drury Drury-Lowe was born there in 1877. The contents were auctioned in 1882.
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