The owners of Sir Joseph Banks' Overton Hall's East Wing proudly present...
“Discover & Own a Little
Known Piece of
Sir Joseph Banks’
Have you ever wanted to own or give something that was totally different, unusual, or even unique and you could be quite sure that you probably wouldn’t see anywhere else, if at all?
Well this is it…
"I think this Certificate is a wonderful opportunity to own a piece of Banksian Heritage. It is so exciting for me, knowing that these floorboards could have been walked on by Sir Joseph Banks and the many distinguished guests that he entertained when he stayed at Overton Hall.
The Certificate and its wording have been carefully researched and is of a very high quality, as are the illustrations commissioned from the famous local artist, David Charlesworth.
I am so glad that the wood has not been destroyed and am delighted that this Certificate has been produced to help raise funds that will be used towards the further restoration of Overton Hall and its Gardens, which I have seen first hand."
Dr. Cheryle Berry, Chairman
Sir Joseph Banks Society.
(pictured above left)
The thought behind the design of this Certificate was to offer something that wasn’t just visual, but also factual relating to Sir Joseph Banks and a part of his history.
Let me explain the series of events that led us to what you are looking at now and why …
Overton Hall, set in the most beautiful countryside setting and hidden away in the depths of Derbyshire, England has seen a very colourful life since it was first built some 400 years ago.
Through a series of inheritance over the years, it became the regular refuge for the young Sir Joseph Banks (when he visited his Uncle during his summer vacations from Oxford), until he owned it himself and it became his yearly, late summer residence when he travelled from London to Lincoln.
Of all the properties occupied by Sir Joseph
Banks, Overton Hall still remains as he would have remembered it when
he lived here – maybe even including the ghosts!
If you look at the picture (this is the East Wing), you can see the main door in the middle of the Hall.
The two windows to the left and the right and the two windows around the right hand side are all part of one room that was the main entrance and Drawing Room, where Sir Joseph Banks would have greeted and entertained the many important guests that visited him here whilst he was in residence.
These included Henry Cavendish, White Watson, John Hawkins, Matthew Boulton, James Watt to name but a few – It is rumoured that Captain Cook, who Banks became good friends with, even holidayed at the Hall!
Since 1918 the Hall came out of family ownership and has seen many different uses from being a school during the 2nd World War to a private home for the elderly. Until 1997, when again it became a private residence.
It was decided by the then owners, that due to the huge size of all the rooms and the fact that Overton Hall has 4 floors at the front and 3 at the rear. It was decided to divide the main Hall into two good family sized homes.
The main Hall now has two parts – the East and West Wings. We own the East Wing which, from history, was the main entrance that would have been used right up to Victorian times.
During the extensive refurbishment (which is still ongoing!) of our wing of Overton Hall, it was the turn of the Sitting Room to be looked at.
What an interesting room this turned out to be...
We had to reinstate the mullioned windows (one had been covered up and filled in with stone, the other one had been totally removed and bricked in), refurbish the sash windows, and decide what to do with the floor. When it was walked on it bounced – quite badly in fact! It was agreed (with Listed Building consent) that the only way to make the floor safe was to take up the floorboards and see what condition the main structural beam and joists were in. Yes, you’ve guessed it – bad, bad, bad - due to wet rot and the notorious death watch beetle!
After all was made safe, it was quite obvious
that the way the floor had been put down originally, made it impossible
for them to be reinstated. We were left with a pile of very
old splintered floorboards and nowhere to put them!
These floorboards were in the original Drawing Room of Overton Hall – how many famous people had walked on them over the years? We had a choice – that of selling ‘damaged’ floorboards to a reclamation yard, or burning them as fire wood – but that would have been sacrilege.
That’s when we came up with the idea of doing something completely different and unique with them …
What if we had these floorboards cut into a manageable size (approx. 75mm [3”] x 25mm [1”] x 3mm [1/8”]), and design a Certificate around them? You would then have something that came from Overton Hall, which once belonged to Sir Joseph Banks.
What would interest you?
Would it be the flowers and insects that Banks had a hand in discovering? Where the money came from to fund his voyage on The Endeavour with Captain Cook – (could it have been from the profitable lead mining that was just outside his door at Overton?).
Do you know that there is still the Mulberry Tree here that he planted for his silk worms? Some facts about Overton Hall that maybe you wouldn’t know about? How about owning a work of art and a piece of the floorboards from the original Drawing Room!
The list started to become endless. So from the water colour that David Charlesworth (the famous Derbyshire artist) sketched and painted, an idea was born and then just grew. It finished at 87 painstakingly referenced, hand sketched and painted illustrations that David produced of the plants and insects that are known to have been discovered by Sir Joseph Banks.
A drawing of the structure (that still stands
outside the gates of Overton Hall today) which was the entrance to one
of the lead mines. Banks entered the mines regularly on his
yearly visits to inspect them as they offered him a small fortune over
A picture of The Endeavour that he sailed on with Captain Cook (complete with a sketch of the two dogs that he took with him for flushing out and retrieving specimens).
And the great man himself...
Sir Joseph Banks
It was a fascinating journey for both David and me in compiling this beautiful Certificate.
Along with deciding the sort of ‘specialist’ paper it was to be printed on, allowing enough space around the design for you to be able to have it framed without losing any of the impact of the Certificate. The crowning glory being the gold colour foil-block printing of ‘Overton Hall’ in the centre of the Certificate.
We hope we have done a good job and that you thoroughly enjoy discovering a little bit more in the Certificate every time you look at it.
Here are just a few ideas for the Certificate:
- Retirement….. an ideal gift for anyone with interests in history, (hidden/lost past), gardening, sailing, botany etc.
- Birthday….. an unusual gift for anyone interested in the life and activities of Sir Joseph Banks and his connection to Captain Cook..
- Leaving… a unique leaving present that would look wonderful presented in a beautiful frame.
- Anniversary…. Any sort of Anniversary from Wedding, Business, Clubs, Associations etc.
- Australia Day (26th January)…. Can you think of a better or appropriate present to celebrate this amazing man and his achievements by owning something that was once his?
- Thank you…. If you like giving something different as a special thank you gift, you would be hard pushed to find something more unusual than this!
- Special Occasion…. Fantastic prize giving for any achievement, such as personal goals achieved, sporting, education etc.
- Award… a very unusual award, especially if presented in a frame with a personalised plaque.
- Collectors… if someone likes to own something that has a limited edition to it – this would be ideal as once the wood has gone, the Certificate will no longer be produced.
- History… what an amazing piece of history to own that not only looks beautiful, but also holds a piece of history itself within it.
- Horticulture…. Just to be able to have something of beauty hanging on the wall that was connected (by the original piece of wood) to one of the most famous horticulturalists ever!
We don’t know how many Certificates will be available, because once the floorboards have gone; the Certificate will no longer be produced.
So, wouldn’t it be lovely for you to be able to own something very special.
Reserve your Certificate now or forever miss this unique opportunity to own a piece of Sir Joseph Banks’ history...
The Certificate is £77, and includes a free download of a special 14 page report, titled "Discover The Little Known Facts Of Sir Joseph Banks And Overton Hall." (The report is not available anywhere else and is not sold separately.)
Edition Sir Joseph Banks Certificate
(Please contact us for quantity discounts on bulk orders.)
Your Certificate will be sent in a postal tube (559mm x 76mm).
DELIVERY by standard Royal Mail for orders to Great
and free worldwide delivery by air. (Note: If you want special or next day delivery please email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to ordering.)
Act now and get limited signed first edition: The first 100 Certificates will be personally signed by the famous Derbyshire artist and Certificate designer, David Charlesworth, and me, Shelley Chapman. (I own Overton Hall's East wing and the Certificate is based on my own research of Sir Joseph Banks' history.)
Thank you for reading this, and I look forward to hearing from you.
PS: Once all the wood has been used, this work of art, in the form of a Certificate, will no longer be available and all plates will be destroyed. Reserve yours now or forever miss this unique opportunity to own a piece of Sir Joseph Banks' history.
PPS: My 100%, 'no quibble’ guarantee means that if, for any reason, you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return it to me, and provided that it is in its original condition you will receive a prompt and courteous refund.