Thursday, 23 September 2010

Ingatestone Hall

Ingatestone Hall is one of those places that is so near to home that we have never bothered visiting before and we were pleasantly surprised when we decided to rectify that a few weeks ago

Ingatestone Hall is a sixteenth-century manor house built by Sir William Petre, Secretary of State to four Tudor monarchs; Elizabeth I spent several nights at the Hall on her Royal Progress of 1561. Sir William's descendants still live in the house which largely retains its Tudor form and appearance (including two priests hiding-places).On display in the house are furniture, family portraits and other pictures accumulated over the centuries, together with memorabilia of fifteen generations of the Petre family, such as the Fourth Lord, who died in the Tower, falsely accused of complicity in the Popish Plot and whose wife is described by Samuel Pepys as "an impudent jade" and the Seventh Lord who spent six hours every day dressing his hair and who was the inspiration for The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope.

We will begin our visit through the archway and as Alan is fluent in German he tells me that the wording underneath the clock says "Not Without God". It is also worth noting that the clock has only the hour hand. This is because the estate workers of old only needed to know the time on the hour for finishing work. My mistake here, sorry. Alan speaks a number of languages to differing degrees and I had thought he said German when he had actually said it was French. Thanks to my annonymous commenter I was made aware of this and hubby confirmed. The full translation is: "without God there is nothing" Shows how good I am at languages!!!!!!!!

We enter the innder courtyard  and make our way to the tearoom where we decide to have lunch before taking a tour of the house (no photos I am afraid). The latest Lord Petre still lives here with his family and it was interesting to hear the squeals of the children and their laughter as we passed the private living quarters of the house.

House tour over we now begin our walk around the gardens and grounds

I love looking through gates wondering what I am going to find on the other side

Once out of the formal gardens we take some 'wildside' walks

This particular one is called the 'nut walk'. I loved it as the ground was covered in Hazel nuts which crunched underfoot.

More into the wild areas now with lots of wild life and here we see a Partridge scuttling away.

A seat for the weary before returning to the tearoom just in time for afternoon tea

Cottages in the grounds on the way out

Here we see The Stone Hall scanned from the guide book and if you are still interested in more history of this interesting place then read on

This house has been lived in by the Petre family since 1500 A.D.

In about 950 A.D., King Edgar granted to the Abbey of our Lady and St. Ethelburga at Barking lands at Yenge-atte-Stone (where we get the modern name of Ingatestone). As one of the principle manors held by the nuns of Barking, it subsequently also became known as Gynge Abbes.

In 1535, Henry VIII ordered his chief secretary, Thomas Cromwell, to put in train the process that was to lead to the Dissolution of the Monastries. Cromwell’s Proctor, or assistant, a young lawyer from Devon called William Petre, had the job of visiting the monastic houses of Southern England to draw up a record of their possessions and to persuade them to surrender to the King. Among the Abbeys he visited was that of Barking and he was immediately attracted to it’s manor of Yenge-atte-Stone and took a lease of the property. One of the attractions was, no doubt, its Latinised name – Ginge ad Petram – which made it sound as though it had belonged to the family for centuries.

In 1539, the lands of the Barking Abbey having been surrendered to the Crown, William Petre purchased the manor for its full market price of £849 12s 6d. This transaction, together with the purchases and grants of other former Monastic lands, could well have been constructed as the plundering of Church property, but a Bull of Confirmation issued by Pope Paul IV exonerated William Petre from any such charge and absolved him from the Interdict of Excommunication imposed on Henry VIII provided he endowed an almshouse foundation for the poor. The almshouses he accordingly founded may still be seen in Ingatestone High Street


Edith Hope said...

Dear Barbara, I had not heard of Ingatestone Hall before now and have thoroughly enjoyed this tour with you. Both the house and the garden look to have a great deal of interest and everything seemed so beautifully well kept.

I have noticed since visiting your weblog that you always manage on your trips to find a perfect place for tea or, in this case, lunch and tea. Will there be a visit with breakfast in a future posting?

Willow said...

I love the tour and the history of the place. Thank you so much for showing and telling us.


Jenny said...

We was going to go there during our hols in August but as it tipped down with rain we didn't. You have given such a good description we probably don't need to go now. Thank you.
Jenny <><

Deanna said...

A very delightful post.
Tea at this lovely place would be refreshing. Wish I could pop in and have some tea!

God bless,

Needled Mom said...

I think it is so wonderful to know that the family still resides there fter all of this passed time. It would be a delight to hear the children's voices.

What a lovely place to visit and to hear all of the history behind it. Imagine the cost of it these days!!!!!!

I think I would like that great bench at my house.

Vee said...

It is so true of us all, I think, that we don't always visit the local things that make our areas interesting to others, but which we ignore. Glad that you didn't ignore this one any longer. What a long, rich history of the Petre family. I enjoyed your description of the children laughing... and I'm glad that Alan can read German. The clock was intriguing, too. Well, your entire post is as always.

cyclopseven said...

Very interesting rambling:). Your blog gives some insights into the old English history. I really love the picture of Manor House. I vaguely remember reading about religious persecution of Catholics, but have never heard of a priest hole. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience. Keep up the brilliant and mind soothing job.

Melanie said...

What a lovely place to visit. It's good that the same family is still managing to live there and keep the place feeling alive.

M.Kate said...

I am always amazed by English architechture and gardens...I think I can wander there for a long time :)

talesfromagarden said...

Amazing what treasures we find on our own doorstep!Lovely photos,loved the tea rooms very elegant!Its nice that the family are in residence there it gives the place a different feel altogether compared to so many empty manors that we visit that are inhabited only by ghosts!

Judith said...

enjoyed your post today for three reasons:-
1. loved the photo looking through the gate
2. the photo of the Partridge (maiden name is Partridge)
3. history relating to Barking as this is where I live..

If you want to visit two other intersting places - Eastbury House & Valence House both situated in Barking & Dagenham

Judith said...

Thanks for popping by Barbara. Eastbury house I understand has just been refurbished, although I have not been in it for sometime (even though I pass it nearly every day!!) and Valence House was only reopened to the public about 3 months ago and has undergone major refurbishments (even has a coffee shop). Valence House tells the history of Barking & Dagenham from the Whaling industry - Fords etc etc and is really interesting.

I am working from home today and in the process of printing up my service sheets for Sunday so will also read 'Your story' take care, Judith

Maree said...

Absolutely lovely! Love the tea room and the fact the house has two priests hiding-places, how interesting.

We had the time of our lives in England...12 days flew by! We are already planning a return trip...

Sara said...

What a fascinating history - I loved every word and laughed about the Lord who spent so long on his hair that he inspired "The Rape of the Lock" - I must tell the musician about this; he used to teach that story to his students and loved all the irony in it.

Elizabeth said...

I got the chance to read your post carefully when I got home this evening.Do you realise that I have never been to Ingatetone Hall? I must gothere on my next trip to Essex.
Such a fascinating and much better building than Thorndon Hall.
So well documented. Thank you thank you.
love to you both.

bennie and patsy said...

I enjoyed the tour, Thanks

La Petite Gallery said...

I can only drean about being invited to such an elegant place, Just to sit on that lovely stone bench would be a thrill.

thanks for taking me there. yvonne

Anonymous said...

The inscription on the clock is actually French, and I believe should be translated "Without God, there is nothing."

Barbara said...

This anonymous comment is right. My mistake. Alan speaks a number of languages to differing degrees and he confirms this. I had misheard him.

RoyalTLady said...

Thanks for taking us on this ever so wonderful historical tour. And great to see you to come and visit me at RTL.


TNHamiltons said...

Just found your post while researching my genealogy. Thanks for the beautiful pix and lengthy description. I hope to cross the pond very soon but my trip will be limited to Norfolk. I am so pleased you shared this... I feel like I got to go there with you:)
Tennessee, US