Florence Nightingale’s childhood home listed for millions

The historic Lea Hurst estate in Derbyshire, once the childhood home of renowned nurse and statistician Florence Nightingale, is up for sale for £3.75 million (about $7.2 million).

Listed with England’s Blue Book Agency, the Grade II-listed property boasts a rich history and a host of impressive features.

Originally inherited by Florence’s father, William Nightingale, in 1815, the property has evolved from a 17th-century farmhouse into the grand Elizabethan-style home it is today.

The Nightingale family moved to Embley Park in Hampshire in 1825 but retained Lea Hurst as a summer retreat until 1946, according to the Robb Report.

The estate then served various roles, including as a residence for retired nurses and a nursing home under the Royal Surgical Society until 2004.

Florence Nightingale, who passed away in 1910 at the age of 90, is celebrated for establishing the world’s first professional nursing school in London.

The current owner, Peter Kay, purchased Lea Hurst in 2011 and spent three years meticulously restoring the property, including its Victorian gardens.

The Kay family has also collected historic letters, photographs, drawings, and furniture associated with the Nightingale family.

“It has been a great pleasure and privilege to have owned the Lea Hurst estate in Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District for the past 13 years,” Mr Kay told the Robb Report.

“We were drawn to Lea Hurst by its grand early Victorian gothic architectural styling and its stunning position overlooking the Derwent Valley.

“But it was the fact that this house was once the beloved home of one of our most important historical figures, Florence Nightingale, that made this an irresistible purchase for me.”

Lea Hurst spans over 19 picturesque acres, featuring the Derwent Valley on one side and mature parkland on the other.

The 13-bedroom home welcomes visitors through a gothic arched front door into a grand reception hall with high ceilings and flagstone flooring.

Notable spaces include a formal drawing room with original wooden floorboards and a wood-burning carved chimney, a formal dining room, a butler’s pantry, and a library where Nightingale was homeschooled.

The property also has a revamped chef’s kitchen, a game room, and a primary bedroom with an original stone fireplace and ensuite.

The double bedroom, personally used by Nightingale after the Crimean War, adds to the estate’s historical charm.

“The most satisfying thing for us has been turning the house back into a family home for the first time since Florence and her sister Parthenope were running around here in the 1820s,” Mr Kay added.

“Our youngest two children were born in the house. It has been a wonderful place for our children to grow up.”

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