Collection

Stags head

Collection: Branded

Category: Furniture

Date: Circa 1930s

Material: Stag, wood

Dimensions: Variable

Provenance:

Grizedale Hall

Adaptions/renovations:

None, good condition

Why it's in the Collection:

Shot in 1933 at 'Claife' on the east side of Grizedale forest part of the Grizedale Hall collection of hunting trophies. The Hall - demolished in 1955 - was built by the Brokelbank family as a country house and the forest planted as a deer forest specifically for stalking. The family drew their income Cunnard shipping and various memento's of this connection can still be found in the woods, including the funnel of a steamer and various place names. The buildings, gardens and woodland was incorporated into the Forestry Commission estate who blew up the hall and replanted the gardens and woodland with commercial plantations.

Little of the old estate remains with the site now dedicated to toilets and car parking.

During the second world war the hall served as P.O.W No. 1 camp, becoming famous for the book and film based on the real life exploits of  'The One That Got Away' Oberleutnant Franz von Werra.  

Elite Luftwaffe pilot Von Werra was shot down over Kent on 5th September 1940. He became the only POW to escape from Britain getting back to Germany via Mexico and Panama only to die on 25th October 1941 when his Me109 came down, cause unknown, in the sea off Holland - epic.

A note that Von Werra had written whilst at Grizedale Hall, in response to a local schoolboy's request for his autograph reads;

"I am not at all happy to be here and I hope to see you again but not as (a) prisoner of war but as a friend". F vWerra, German Luftwaffe, 5 of September of the second year of war.

The Steading for the old hall also used to be the home of Grizedale Arts, before they moved to Lawson Park.

About the Designer/Maker:

This 12 point stag represents the quintessential Victorian 'Monarch of the Glen' an idealized image of nature, noble. powerful and wild, most clearly identified by Edwin Landseer. The maintenance of a 'healthy' red deer herd at Grizedale has been a long running obsession, with 6 stalkers currently employed by the Forestry Commission to cull undesirable animals, those with irregular antlers or other deformities - the creation of the 'perfect' animal.

Bibliography & Further information

Oberleutnant Franz von Werra story

They Call it U Boat Hotel - The story of the POW camp - Grizedale books