- Published on Thursday, 13 January 2011 20:15
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Like all villages, Pytchley had its own great hall. Now no longer, it was situated South of the church and built (1580 – 1590) during the reign of Elizabeth I for Sir Euseby Isham.
Earl Spencer (Forbear of Diana Princess of Wales) took over the Hall in 1752 and started a hunting club that was to be the beginning of the Pytchley Hunt. The pack of hounds that he transferred from Althorp became the Pytchley Hounds. Three quarters of a century later, a great gambler George Payne, who was Master of the Pytchley Hounds, acquired the Hall. He had inherited Sulby Hall, an income of some £117,000 and capital of £300,000. Princely sums in those days!
The Hall was a magnificent four-storied building with an imposing gateway to the left of which was a small, square lodge house with a distinctive pyramid shaped roof.
Paynes gambling debts exceeded his income. So that he might meet his gambling debts, Payne had the Hall demolished and sold the estate to a Mr. Lewis Loyd, whose son Samuel became Baron Overstone in 1854 and acquired Overstone Park. He had the gateway removed to Overstone Park, where it can still be seen. The picture above depicts the gateway at its current location.
The lodge house, much changed, remains to this day with its distinctive roof. The Lady in the doorway is thought to be Mrs. Shrives