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Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. H. Darwin   5 June [1879]1

17. North Str | Derby

Th. June 5—

My dear Cousin

I send back the view of Elston, and my own attempt to show it in a better point of view. (The reason they are separate is that mine must go flat, as it is on cardboard, and the old one is more than the regulation width).2

Two little explanations.

One is, that though the old view does not show the stone coigns, they are really there—as I see in the modern drawing I have—and Mr. Wm. Darwin could not have put them in, when he did so much to the house—3

The other is that I have just moved a dormer window from one side of the Hall-door to the other, as the roof wanted the break—

All roughnesses will I hope be improved away by the wood Engraver—

Believe me | yours very affectly. | V. H. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from V. H. Darwin, 30 [May 1879].
Charlotte Maria Cooper Darwin had sent CD two more recent photographs of Elston Hall with her letter of 27 March 1879. CD later found a rough drawing of Elston before it was altered around 1750 (see letter to C. M. C. Darwin, 6 April 1879). Violetta’s drawing of Elston was based on both the old drawing and two recent views (see letter from V. H. Darwin, 30 [May 1879]).
The coigns (coins or corner stones) are clearly visible in the drawing that appears in print (Erasmus Darwin, p. 3). William Brown Darwin inherited Elston Hall in 1816 and made an addition to the building in 1837 (Burke’s landed gentry, Darwin pedigree, Pevsner 1979, p. 122).


Burke’s landed gentry: A genealogical and heraldic history of the commoners of Great Britain and Ireland enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank but unvisited with heritable honours. Burke’s genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry. By John Burke et al. 1st–18th edition. London: Henry Colburn [and others]. 1833–1969.

Darwin pedigree: Pedigree of the family of Darwin. Compiled by H. Farnham Burke. N.p.: privately printed. 1888. [Reprinted in facsimile in Darwin pedigrees, by Richard Broke Freeman. London: printed for the author. 1984.]

Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.

Pevsner, Nikolaus. 1979. The buildings of England: Nottinghamshire. 2d edition revised by Elizabeth Williamson. Harmondsworth: Penguin.


Sends her drawing of Elston Hall as it was in 1754.

Letter details

Letter no.
Violetta Harriot Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 99: 171
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12085,” accessed on 19 May 2022,