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.

The History Of 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 Frigate's Demise


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 Lincoln Re-Imagined


The impressive re-imagined Lincoln can be experienced from June at Clumber Park, and will be in a number of locations starting at the Pleasure Grounds.

Come aboard and see one of our Lost Treasures, and read the history of the eccentric dukes, the mansion house and the frigate itself.

Relax on board with a picnic on the waters edge, and take in the stunning scenery!

The re-imagined Lincoln Frigate at Clumber Park
The re-imagined Lincoln Frigate at Clumber Park

Lost Treasures Activities this Summer:

The fun doesn't stop there, as we have plenty of fantastic Lost Treasures related activities here at Clumber Park this summer. Here's just a sneak peak of what we have to offer:

Various activities for children running throughout the summer holidays in line with the Lincoln programming:

  • Origami boat making and newspaper sailor hats – You and your children can make their very own origami boats in the Discovery Centre before heading out to our miniature boating Lake to see if they float! 
  • Colouring activities and activity sheet in the Discovery Centre - Perfect for the kids, with all activities relating to the Lincoln Frigate. Perfect for a rainy day.
  • Leaf Printing in the Turning Yard – Join the rangers to try out an exciting wild craft and take home an amazing piece of natural art. Using leaves from trees found in Clumber Park we will be going to make leaf prints which will show you the details of how a leaf works. The printing will take the shape of the 7th Duke’s fantastic Lincoln Frigate. These sessions will be ran from 13.30-15.30 on the 27th July and 17th August
  • Flag competition – Children can design their very own flag inspired by their time at Clumber Park over the summer holidays. The competition opens from Saturday 22nd July and closes on Sunday 20th August. Three winners will be chosen; one from each of three age categories, their flags will be professionally printed and flown from the masts of the Lincoln over September until the Lincoln is dismantled in the first week of October.