The Loxley Estate is composed of several residences and lands. These include Loxley Manor and Hunting House located in Nottingham’s wealthy Inner Circle, and Huntingdon Hall, seat of the Loxley family since 1378. Huntingdon Hall is located on three thousand acres of land, which includes the Sherwood Forest burial grounds at the edge of Loxton, capital of the Duchy of Huntingdon.
There had been a Loxley resident on the estate from 1378 to 2017. This changed with the death of Eleanor Loxley and the disappearance of her daughter Robyn, the 11th Duchess of Huntingdon in 2017, during the Promised Land Campaign. The farmlands have been managed by the Little family since 1823. The current estate manager is Nick Little. During the Great Torrent, sixty per cent of the farmlands were flooded and although the seawater receded quickly, it left fifteen per cent of the lands lost forever.
Robyn’s half-sister Philippa Murdoch, Sheriff of Nottingham is currently in the process of breaking up the estate. Though she has kept the residences and Sherwood, she has signed the farmlands over to King John.
See also: Huntingdon Hall
Built in 1305 as a hunting lodge for Empress Ivette II, it was gifted by Queen Mary-Anne to the Loxley family in 1378, along with the Duchy of Huntingdon, as a reward for the Loxleys’ long-term loyalty to the Fitzwalter family, and for Margaret Adelaide Loxley’s assistance to Queen Mary-Anne during the Sacking of the Vatican. Initially, known as Loxley Lodge, it gained its current title after extensive renovations in 1397.
The original lodge still stands and forms the centrepiece of the existing building, which has been extended and renovated several times over the centuries.
The Manor is the Loxley family’s primary residence within the city of Nottingham.
Construction began in 1696, on the orders of Queen Eleanor, following the ascension to the throne of her son, King Richard I, as she wanted a residence close to him. The manor was located only a mile from Nottingham Castle.
Eleanor took up residence at the Manor following completion of the first section three years later, in 1699, even though building work was still continuing on the two wings. The elaborate west and more modest east wing were finally completed in 1707.
In 1843 Catherine Loxley, 7th Duchess of Huntingdon, established the Loxley Foundation after her husband died of cancer, bestowing the central building and the west wing to the charity. These have been used as a research centre and hospice ever since.
During the Great Torrent in 1921, a large part of the east wing was destroyed by tidal waves. The decision was taken to rebuild in a modern style, rather than try to match the 17th-century original. As a result, the east wing of the Manor was rebuilt using glass and steel, and a third floor was added. Although the east wing is still attached to the rest of the Manor, the difference in styles gives it the appearance of two buildings.
The east wing of Loxley Manor is currently the residence of Philippa Murdoch.
Hunting House is one of the Loxley family’s city residences. Built in 1146 by Margaret Loxley, 6th Countess of Huntingdon, as a country house for herself and her partner Gabriella Fitzwalter, first Duchess of Nottingham, it was originally located ten miles outside of Nottingham. However, as Nottingham grew over the centuries, it eventually became a part of the city and today forms part of the wealthy Inner Circle.
Although originally conceived as a modest holiday home, generations of Loxleys developed and extended the structure until, by the time the final additions were completed in 1832, it had become an elaborate three-story mansion and the second biggest residence in the Loxley Estate portfolio. The only part of the original 12th-century structure which remains is the foundation walls, which now form part of the wine cellars.
The current resident of Hunting House is Robyn’s second cousin and heir Thomas Henry Loxley.
Sherwood is the burial forest of the Loxley family, situated on the grounds belonging to Huntingdon Hall. As per the custom in East Mercia, the dead are returned to the earth beneath trees. As the Loxleys have resided on the estate since the late fourteenth century, Sherwood has grown to be an extensive forest, covering over seven hundred acres of land.
The first person to be buried in Sherwood was Margaret Loxley, Sixth Countess of Huntingdon, in 1163. Her tree was the first to be planted. It still stands today and now it forms the centrepoint of the forest. In the early days, the trees weren’t planted according to any specific structure. This means that nowadays, the centre of the forest is very dense and difficult to maneuver through. As it is forbidden to clear or damage these trees beyond the essential necessary pruning and maintenance, the forest centre is rarely entered anymore.
After the death of Eleanor Loxley, the first and only Loxley queen, in 1739, a more structured approach for planting the trees came into practice.