Letter written by Henry Hage of Newark to the Editor of the Portfolio in 1823
The village of Winthorpe is considered the handsomest in the shire; It consists of a number of neat cottages, several genteel houses and three or four large mansions besides the Hall, which I shall presently have occasion to notice.
Close to the high road from Newark, stands the Church; some parts of the structure are of considerable age, but the greater part is modern, the north side and the chancel being rebuilt of brick in 1778. The tower is of brick with cornices of stone, and is surmounted with a handsome stone ballustrade, bearing at each corner an elegant urn; on a stone tablet, about half way up the tower, is this inscription: 'This steeple was rebuilt in the year 1779; the first stone was laid on the 15th of April by Roger Pocklington junior of this parish, aged 3 years, 8 months and four days.'
The interior of this Church is of very singular construction, its roof being uncommonly low; in the chancel is a mural monument to the memory of Dr. Robert Taylor, the founder of Winthorpe Hall; he was the son of a publican of Newark, who kept the Turk's Head in Kirkgate.
The Hall was finished about the year 1765, and the Doctor fondly hoped to pass the remnant of his days here in splendid retirement; but the charges of the building, which was constructed of choice and expensive stone, completed that derangement of his finances which other extravagances had commenced and some wit of the day, according to the general opinion, hastened his end, humorously observed that he died of the stone; his being often repeated, became at length the serious opinion, although in reality he was never afflicted with that disease.
The Doctor's body, at his own request, was to have been interred it Winthorpe, but the threatenings of some unplacable creditor occasioned a private interment in South Audley Chapel, London. However, in 1778 his remains were removed to this Church, where his widow had prepared a small private vault for their reception.
The Rev. E. Bacon Frank M.A. of Campsall Park, Yorkshire, is the present proprietor of Winthorpe Hall.
Newark August 19th 1823.
Henry Hage was the son of Matthew Hage the Newark printer, whose firm later became Ridge and Hage, The firm was responsible for the sale of books and effects at the Hall in October and November 1809.
Some of Henry Hage's facts can be queried. Dr. Taylor had not finished the building when he died. Mr. G. Slingsby Duncombe was the owner of Winthorpe Hall after Roger Pockllngton and until the 1830's, so Mr. Frank must have been the tenant at the time.