Congerstone village

Gopsall Hall

Gopsall Hall & Estate

(For information about a book detailing the 950 year history of Gopsall. click HERE)

Congerstone has had close connections with the Gopsall Estate since the late 11th century since both were given to Henry de Ferres by William the Conqueror as a reward for his help during the Norman conquest of England.  These gifts were recorded in the Domesday book (1086).

We know nothing about a manor house in Gopsall until the 17th century.  Even then, we know very little about the hall originally purchased by the iron master, Humphrey Jennens, in 1685.  However, its basic floor plan was incorporated into the “new” hall, built on the same site, by his grandson Charles Jennens jnr in 1750.  The hall was described in some detail by the Rev Curtis in 1831 and photos of the exterior and interior are available from the late 19th century.  After being used in World War II as a radar training school, the hall fell into disrepair and demolition of it, along with most of the other associated buildings, began in 1951.

Although the Jennens family owned the estate for nearly 100 years (1685-1773) there is little evidence of their presence in the local villages.  By contrast, the subsequent owners of Gopsall, the Curzon-Howes (later the Earls Howe) left their mark on most of the “Gopsall villages”, especially upon the churches of Shackerstone, Twycross and Congerstone.  It is thanks to the 1st Earl Howe that St Mary’s was redeveloped in 1834 and given the large chancel, box pews, including the family pew complete with fireplace, and an organ, which was installed on a balcony (this organ was replaced in 1914 by the 4th Earl Howe).

Shortly after paying for redeveloping the church, the 1st Earl also paid for the installation of a new ring of 5 bells in 1840.

The 1st Earl also built Congerstone school, for the education of all the children in the surrounding estate villages, and the Almshouses in Main street.

More information about Gopsall Hall and Estate can be found in other pages currently on this site.  In time, more articles will be added, so keep a look out!