Lady Ann Scarisbrick

March 9, 2010

Lady Ann Scarisbrick was the elder of the two sisters of Charles Scarisbrick. She was born in 1788 in Scarisbrick, Lancashire. She inherited the Scarisbrick estate from her brother at the age of 72 in 1860 and is credited for the extensive enhancement and restoration of the Scarisbrick Hall in the lavish Gothic style, employing E. W. Pugin as the architect.

Lady Ann Scarisbrick’s early life and marriage

Lady Ann Scarisbrick was a woman of great beauty in her youth. She married Sir Thomas Windsor Hunloke of the Wingerworth Hall, Derbyshire in 1807. Unfortunately, her husband died after nine years of their marriage in 1816. He was 55 years older than her. She had two children with Sir Thomas Hunloke, a son and a daughter. After the death of her husband, she went to live with her daughter Eliza in Paris, who was married to the Marquis de Casteja. It was only in June 1861 that she returned to Scarisbrick and made Scarisbrick Hall her home till her death.

Character Sketch of Lady Ann Scarisbrick

Lady Ann was known to be a woman of great character and resolve. She had earlier fought a long legal battle with her brother Charles, after the death of their elder brother Thomas Scarisbrick in 1933, over the inheritance claim to the Scarisbrick estate. She lost the case to Charles after five long years of litigation.

When she returned to Scarisbrick Hall in 1861, she did it with much pomp and style. She threw a lavish meal of roasted sheep and oxen, beer and bread to more than 1000 Scarisbrick tenants. Upon her arrival, most of Ormskirk turned out ringing bells and waving flags. Her carriage was accompanied with a band on her way to Scarisbrick Hall.

Lady Ann, unlike her brother, lived with much splendour at Scarisbrick Hall. During her occupation, the hall was gas-lit for the first time. The central heating system seems to have been built and used during her occupation only. Lady Ann was popular as a society hostess and hosted many gala events at her residence and estate.

Lady Ann and the Scarisbrick Hall redesign

Even though Lady Ann had only inherited the Scarisbrick Hall as per her brother’s will, and not the furnishings, she set out to redecorate and redesign the house on a much more lavish scale than her predecessor.

Scarisbrick Hall South View

Scarisbrick Hall view from the south - Exterior as altered and completed by E W Pugin

She commissioned the renovation of the hall to E.W. Pugin, the son of the architect A.W.N. Pugin, who had originally done the designs of the hall during the time of Charles Scarisbrick. Lady Ann allowed the younger Pugin much greater scope of redesigning and decorating the house. It was during this time that the older clock tower built during the time of Charles Scarisbrick was brought down to be replaced with a grander and taller tower built in French Gothic style.

Besides the tall clock tower, a new East Wing was added to the hall and Lady Ann dedicated it to the memory of her father. This wing was joined to the older building by an octagonal shaped tower, which was decorated with eight doves signifying the Scarisbrick family connection.

Lady Ann had a good relationship with her hall’s architect, E. W. Pugin, to whom she gave much artistic freedom to design the building. E. W. Pugin on his part had designed a great living environment for her, down to the smallest details like her inkstand and notepaper.

Lady Ann Scarisbrick lived to the age of 84 years and died in 1872 in Scarisbrick. The Scarisbrick estate was inherited by her daughter Eliza, the sole surviving child, after her death.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary March 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Lady Anne had three children who lived- Eliza, Charlotte and Henry – she also had another child who died in infancy. Some other details in this article may be incorrect…

David Hamilton August 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

The boarders at Scarisbrick always believed that lady Anne had thrown herslef off the Tower and haunted the corridors at night.

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