Clumber Park's Lost Treasures - The Lincoln

The Lincoln Frigate

Following on from the fantastic success of Clumber Park’s Lost Treasures – The Imagined Mansion, this summer we will be revealing the history of one of 7th Duke of Newcastle’s most extravagant playthings, The Lincoln Frigate.

In its heyday Clumber Park was a thriving ducal estate where you could find the Dukes of Newcastle dining in sumptuous Clumber House, promenading in the Pleasure Grounds, racing through the vast estate and sailing on the man-made lake in any number of vessels. 

The largest of these vessels was the Lincoln frigate, a third size replica of a naval frigate. The ship, built 200 years ago and purchased by the sixth Duke of Newcastle, measured 32 feet in length. 

During the sevenths Duke’s time, he would invite a privileged few aboard the Lincoln to fish off the decks and help him stage mock battles.

The gun battery in the Pleasure Grounds saw action at this time, armed with 26 bronze cannons; these were used to fire at the Lincoln however the frigate was not defenceless but could return fire from its own guns, engaging those on shore in combat!

The Duke seemed to have had quite a passion for his naval frigate, employing a full time sailor to man the vessel and going ahead with repair work, despite his wife’s opinions about the future of the ship.

By 1911 the Lincoln was in a poor state of repair, with the Duchess thinking it past saving. The Duke however spent £200 on new rigging, repainting and repair work and the Lincoln was sea (or lake) worthy again. The work was carried out by Tomlinsons of West Stockwith.

After the seventh Duke’s death in 1928 and the demolition of Clumber House in 1938, the Lincoln fell into disuse. The army occupied Clumber Park throughout the Second World War and inevitably the Lincoln became grounded on the banks of the lake. The Dukes of Newcastle would never make Clumber Park their home again and the Lincoln became a relic of a bygone era.

The rumours of its demise vary, a mooring accident might have left the might Lincoln stranded or maybe rot set in and the frigate was abandoned? Perhaps the Duke himself attempted to sink the Lincoln with a well-aimed cannon ball?

Either way by the 1940’s the Lincoln frigate found new use as a children’s playground and ultimately destroyed thank to a group of children’s ill attempt to keep warm by lighting a fire on its deck.

In the 1970’s intrepid explorers from the Newark Sub-Aqua club retrieved the Lincoln’s masts and now when the lake is at low levels the Lincoln can still be seen, its skeletal remains preserved by the water.

The re-imagined Lincoln can be experienced from June at Clumber Park. Come aboard and see one of our Lost Treasures!