The House from a circa 1906 postcard
House & Family History: Breadsall Priory was originally a religious house of the Friars Eremites, founded in the mid-13th century and later converted into an Augustinian priory. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Priory's estate was granted by Henry VIII to Henry Grey, father of Lady Jane Grey, and later 1st Duke of Suffolk of the third creation. Many subsequent owners followed, with the current late 16th century house being built by Sir John Bentley. There were extensions and alterations circa 1861 and a new wing was added in 1906 that significantly enlarged the House. The physician and poet Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin, moved to Breadsall shortly before his death in 1802. Erasmus's grandson, Edward Levett Darwin, author of "Gameskeeper's Manual" (written under the pseudonym High Elms), learned natural history in grounds of Breadsall.
Collections: A 1789 Wedgwood copy of the Portland Vase was given by Josiah Wedgwood to his friend Dr. Erasmus Darwin, where it was in the collection of Breadsall. After Dr. Darwin's death in 1802 the vase and its traveling case were passed down in the Darwin family, until 1963, when the family lent it to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (the museum purchased the vase in 1984).
Garden & Outbuildings: The Marriott hotel has installed two 18-hole golf courses on the grounds.
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: Henry Grey, later 1st Duke of Suffolk (3rd creation), 16th century. Sir John Bentley, late 16th century. Erasmus Darwin, early 19th century; Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, 19th century; Edward Levett Darwin, 19th century. Sir Alfred Seale Haslam, late 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel
Ownership Details: Today Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel and Country Club
House Open to Public: By Appointment
Historic Houses Member: No