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Gunbye appears on John Speed's county map of 1610 and in 1642 Sir Henry Massingberd, baronet (1609-80) of Bratoft and Gunby, purchased Gunby Hall, a small manor house, although he continued to live at neighbouring Bratoft (Fretwell 1993/5). His son, Sir William Massingberd, second baronet commissioned the building of a new house in 1700 to replace the family's old moated manor at Bratoft, where the family kept the 'old park'. After he died in 1723, Sir William's nephew, William Meux Massingberd inherited Gunby and in 1730 laid out a 'new' park around the new house, which had been enlarged by his grandson Henry Massingberd by 1780, the year his grandfather died. Gunby Hall was let between 1783 and 1800 to Sir Peter Burrell, later Lord Gwydir and his wife Lady Willoughby de Eresby (see the description of Grimsthorpe Castle elsewhere in the Register). The estate passed from Henry to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Peregrine Langton, who together carried out extensive planting in the grounds, before it was inherited by their son, the Rev Algernon Langton Massingberd. By 1897 Gunby had passed into the hands of Major Stephen Massingberd who together with his wife Margaret, made additions to the Hall and laid out new gardens. Stephen died in 1925 and his mother's will had specified that whoever inherited Gunby should take the name of Massingberd within a year. Stephen left the property to his youngest sister, Diana and her husband Field Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery, who took the name Montgomery-Massingberd. In 1943 Gunby and its grounds were given to the National Trust to save it from demolition and use as an airfield. It remains (2000) in the ownership of the Trust and the Hall is tenanted.

Site timeline

1943: Gunby and its grounds were given to the National Trust to save it from demolition and use as an airfield.



kitchen garden