House & Family History: In the 14th century the Stragglethorpe Estate had been given by John O'Gaunt, third son of Edward III, to the Gilbertine Order of Sempringham (in Norfolk, the only English Gilbertine order), as a grange house. In 1535-40, upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Estate was given by Henry VIII to his chancellor of the Exchequer. In the early 17th century it was sold to the Earle family of Lincoln, which died out in 1695, when the Estate reverted, via Richard Earle's mother, to the Dentons of Welby. In the 1880s the Library wing was built. The Night and Day Nurseries were built on the west end of the House using stone of a Suffolk mill. In 1912-14 Stragglethorpe was restored and greatly extended by Biddulph Pinchard for Mrs. Gilliatt, the widow of a Nottinghamshire banker who lived at the House before and after World War I. In the late 1960s Stragglethorpe was purchased by Major Allen Rook, a Nottingham wine merchant and World War II poet. Major Rook was the uncle of the current owners.
Garden & Outbuildings: The formal gardens were laid out by Mrs. Gilliatt in the early 20th century, with yew hedges, a sunken tennis court, a croquet lawn, orchards, and a walled kitchen garden. Allen Rook planted a vineyard and in 1969 authored a 123-page book titled "The Diary of an English Vineyard," published by Wine and Spirit Publications Ltd. (London), detailing the difficulties and triumphs of running the world's most northerly vineyard, showing that the Romans could have made English wine there during their occupation. The commercially produced wine was called "Lincoln Imperial," and ceased production in the late 1970s.
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: John O'Gaunt, 14th century. Earle family, 17th century. Denton family. Mrs. Gilliatt, early 20th century. Major Alan Rook, late 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Bed & Breakfast
House Open to Public: By Appointment
Historic Houses Member: No