Look Inside… Florence Nightingale’s Childhood Home

By Martha Davies

2 weeks ago

A country home like no other


Looking for a home with a bit of history? This idyllic country pile is where Florence Nightingale spent her childhood. Take a look inside Lea Hurst.

Lea Hurst, Derbyshire: Florence Nightingale’s Childhood Home Is Up For Sale

Living room with white and gold sofas and chandeliers.

Blue Book Agency

While this Grade II listed, thirteen-bedroom property certainly looks spectacular, it also boasts a fascinating story: it served as the childhood home of Florence Nightingale. Her father, William Shore, inherited the estate from his uncle in 1815, eventually adapting and extending the existing farmhouse to create the grand Elizabethan-style house we see today. 

Stone country home with circular driveway

Blue Book Agency

Lea Hurst’s wonderful history doesn’t stop there, however: it was occupied by renowned novelist and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell in 1854 while she wrote her novel North and South, and the estate itself remained in the possession of the Nightingale family right up until 1951, when it became a home for retired nurses. It was subsequently purchased by the Royal Surgical Society before being turned back into a private house by the current owners in 2011l. They spent three years painstakingly restoring it, with the help of local craftsmen.

Bedroom with yellow cushions, chairs and drapes.

Blue Book Agency

Perched on a hillside overlooking the Derwent Valley, the property sits within more than 19 acres of lush grounds which feature a walled garden, separate formal garden, and a picture-perfect pergola walkway draped with roses and clematis. You’ll also find outbuildings including a stone workshop, four-car garage and a charming summerhouse, which is tucked away behind a terraced dining area bordered by ornamental trees. 

Grounds with view of the Derwent Valley

Blue Book Agency

Inside the house itself there’s plenty to explore: alongside the thirteen bedrooms, you can expect eight bathrooms and an array of reception rooms including a dining room, sitting room, games room and playroom, plus a drawing room and a library (where Florence Nightingale was homeschooled by her father). 

Study with mahogany furniture and ivy framing the windows outside

Blue Book Agency

The kitchen is complete with limestone floors, granite countertops and a dual-aspect breakfast area, with a separate sitting area leading onto a pretty outdoor terrace. Upstairs, meanwhile, you’ll spot the principal suite (which encompasses a dressing room and bathroom), a charming double bedroom and study (used by Nightingale herself after she returned from Crimea) and the remaining bedrooms, alongside two family bathrooms.

Dining room with red walls, gilt-framed paintings and a wooden dining table.

Blue Book Agency

Spectacular, spacious and brimming with history, Lea Hurst really is one of a kind. Want to make it yours? It’s on the market for £3.75 million…

Stone country home with ivy-covered exterior

Blue Book Agency

Available through Blue Book Agency. bluebookagency.com