IN THIS SECTION
More from Somerleyton...
|Fritton Arms Hotel
Our lovely boutique hotel by the lake..
The perfect Norfolk holiday retreat..
Fun on the water for all the family..
|Duke's Head Pub
Enjoy a gastro lunch and a traditional ale!
Crossley family history
Sir Francis Crossley, the son of John Crossley of Halifax, West Yorkshire, founder of world renown ‘Crossley Carpets’ purchased the Somerleyton estate from his fellow industrialist and friend Sir Morton Peto in 1862 as his country residence. Sir Francis with his brothers John and Joseph took the family company forward, expanding overseas to Europe, Australasia and America and became one of the first joint stock companies in 1864. At its height, Crossley Carpets employed over 5000 people and their mill, Dean Clough, covered 81,000 sq metres of factory floor and was the largest manufacturing company of its kind in the world. Sir Francis was elected MP for Halifax in 1852 for the liberal party and remained so until his death 20 years later. He was also Mayor of Halifax and created a baronet in 1863
After his death, his wife Martha (nee Brinton) chose to live at Somerleyton Hall on a more permanent basis with Savile Crossley, their only child. Sir Savile was educated at Eton and Oxford before serving in the 9th Lancers. He was elected MP for Lowestoft 1885-1892 and later for Halifax 1900-1906. He was Paymaster General from 1902-1906, a member of the Privy Council 1902 and awarded a Grand Cross of the (Royal) Victorian Order (GCVO) in that same year. Sir Savile, Baronet of Halifax was elevated to Baron Somerleyton in 1916. Savile married Phyllis de Bathe, daughter of General Sir Henry Percival de Bathe, a grand and distinguished Anglo Irish family.
The 2nd Baron Somerleyton, Francis Crossley was educated at Eton and served in the 9th Lancers in the Great War receiving an MC in an action storming a German machine gun nest at Ypres in 1916 but was badly wounded and was a prisoner for the rest of the war. After the war, Francis hardly left Somerleyton dedicating the rest of his life to country causes and the day-to-day administration of the estate, being a most popular and respected squire. He died in 1959, aged 70 leaving his wife Bridget Lady Somerleyton (nee Hoare) to manage the estate.
The Third Lord Somerleyton followed closely in his father's footsteps being educated at Eton but in a break from family tradition served with the Coldstream Guards between 1946 and 1956. Like his grandfather Savile, the third Lord Somerleyton entered public service in 1972 when he was appointed a Lord-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth II and later became Master of the Horse, one of the three great offices of state, from 1991-1998 and was created a Grand Cross of the Victorian Order (GCVO) in that same year thus emulating his grandfather.
He married Belinda Loyd in 1964 and they had five children, Isabel, Camilla, Alicia, Hugh and Louisa.
The present Lord and Lady Somerleyton live at the Hall with their son John Crossley and continue to play an active role in the conservation of the Estate.
Louisa works as an illustrator her style has been likened to that of Quentin Blake. She is currently working on a series of childrens books which hope to be on the shelves before Christmas. In December she will be exhibiting her work in London's Cork Street. Examples of her work can be seen at louisalondon.com and dubsdrawing.com
- Browse and buy Historic photos of Somerleyton Hall
- See illustration work by Louisa at www.louisalondon.com and dubsdrawing.com