Hengrave, Suffolk

Hengrave, Suffolk

Hengrave is a small village West Suffolk close to the town of Bury St Edmunds.

Hengrave Hall is a Tudor manor house and was the seat of the Kitson and Gage families from 1525-1887.

Work on the house was begun in 1525 by Thomas Kitson, a London merchant and member of the Mercers Company, who completed it in 1538.

The house is one of the last examples of a house built around an enclosed courtyard with a great hall. It is constructed from stone taken from Ixworth Priory (dissolved in 1536) and white bricks baked at Woolpit.

The house is notable for an ornate oriel window incorporating the royal arms of Henry VIII, the Kitson arms and the arms of the wife and daughters of Sir Thomas Kitson the Younger (Kitson quartered with Paget; Kitson quartered with Cornwallis; Kitson quartered with Darcy; Kitson quartered with Cavendish).
The house is embattled and in the great hall there is an oriel window with fan vaulting by John Wastell, the architect of the chapels at Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge.

The house was altered by the Gage family in 1775.

The outer court and the east wing were demolished and the moat was filled in. Alterations on the front of the house were begun but never completed and Sir John Wood attempted to restore the interior of the house to its original Tudor appearance in 1899.

He rebuilt the east wing and re-panelled most of the house in oak. One room, the Oriel Chamber, retains its original seventeenth-century paneling, in which is embedded a portrait of James II painted by William Wissing in 1675. It is thought that some of the original panelling found its way to the Gage’s townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds, now the Farmers’ Club in Northgate Street. The ornate windows and mouldings at the front of the building feature on the coverpiece on the Suffolk edition of Pevsner's Buildings of England.

Some have speculated that Mary I stopped briefly at Hengrave on her way to Framlingham Castle in 1553, but there is no evidence for this other than that John Bourchier, Earl of Bath, who had married Sir Thomas Kitson’s widow Margaret, was a loyal supporter of the Queen. (However the Queen's father Henry VIII was godfather to Margaret's son Henry Long from her second marriage, so it is not entirely improbable).

Elizabeth I stayed at Hengrave from 27–30 August 1578 and a chamber is named in her honour. The madrigalist John Wilbye was employed by the Kitsons at Hengrave and in London, as was the composer Edward Johnson.
During the Stour Valley anti-popery riots of 1642, Sir William Spring, Penelope Darcy's cousin, was ordered by Parliament to search the house, where it was thought arms for a Catholic insurrection were being stored. The Jesuit William Wright was arrested at Hengrave Hall.

King James II visited Hengrave throughout the 1670s and attended the wedding of William Gage and Charlotte Bond in 1670. The lawyer and antiquarian John Gage was the brother of William Gage, 7th Baronet, and wrote 'The History and Antiquities of Hengrave in Suffolk' in 1822.

It is said that the greengage was named after a tree first grown in England at Hengrave, but the tree was actually named after the Viscounts Gage of Firle, Sussex who were cousins of the Hengrave Gages.

In 1895 it was bought by Sir John Wood and on his death sold to the Religious of the Assumption, who ran a convent school until 1974.

On 14 September 1974 the Assumptionists founded the ecumenical Hengrave Community of Reconciliation, originally a group of families of different Christian denominations.

Later, the Community came to consist of long-term members, who remained in the Community for up to seven years, and short-term members, many of whom came from countries in Central and Eastern Europe for periods ranging from one year to three months.

Although strongly inspired by other ecumenical communities like Taizé and the Iona Community, the Hengrave Community had a distinctive character owing to the Sisters’ continued presence.

The Hengrave Community was dissolved in September 2005, closing its Christian and conference centre at the site, after failing to fund £250,000 for improvements.

The current owner of the hall is David Harris who has submitted plans to convert the existing building into private housing. It is currently used for wedding receptions and other functions.

The Church of The Reconciliation is a gorgeous little church, and quite unlike any other in Suffolk.

Here, beside the beautiful 16th century Hengrave Hall is the only medieval church in Suffolk still to host worship of the Catholic Church.

The building is very old. The shape and proportions of the round tower betray its Saxon origins, despite 15th century embellishments. This was, of course, a heavily populated part of East Anglia in Saxon times.

The medieval dedication of the church is uncertain. Many sources cite St John the Baptist, but Cautley (and others) argue for St John Lateran. This is a feast day celebrated on November 9 in the Catholic Church and refers to the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.

By the 1560s, this church was, officially at least, hosting the plainer, simpler Anglican services of Thomas Cranmer.

During the intervening 30 year period, the church had undergone radical alterations. It was stripped of its rood loft and screen (although a fine rood stairway survives, its outer wall cloaked in red brick). The high altar and chantry altars were broken down. The statues were destroyed. But all was not as it seemed.
In 1589, the parish was suppressed and merged with that at nearby Flempton. It was not unusual at this time for parishes to be combined and share a minister.
Throught the long years of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Hengrave church slumbered as the place where the Kytsons and the Gages buried their dead.Hengrave is a small village West Suffolk close to the town of Bury St Edmunds.

Hengrave Hall is a Tudor manor house and was the seat of the Kitson and Gage families from 1525-1887.

Work on the house was begun in 1525 by Thomas Kitson, a London merchant and member of the Mercers Company, who completed it in 1538.
The house is one of the last examples of a house built around an enclosed courtyard with a great hall. It is constructed from stone taken from Ixworth Priory (dissolved in 1536) and white bricks baked at Woolpit.

The house is notable for an ornate oriel window incorporating the royal arms of Henry VIII, the Kitson arms and the arms of the wife and daughters of Sir Thomas Kitson the Younger (Kitson quartered with Paget; Kitson quartered with Cornwallis; Kitson quartered with Darcy; Kitson quartered with Cavendish).
The house is embattled and in the great hall there is an oriel window with fan vaulting by John Wastell, the architect of the chapels at Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge.

The house was altered by the Gage family in 1775.

The outer court and the east wing were demolished and the moat was filled in. Alterations on the front of the house were begun but never completed and Sir John Wood attempted to restore the interior of the house to its original Tudor appearance in 1899.

He rebuilt the east wing and re-panelled most of the house in oak. One room, the Oriel Chamber, retains its original seventeenth-century paneling, in which is embedded a portrait of James II painted by William Wissing in 1675. It is thought that some of the original panelling found its way to the Gage’s townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds, now the Farmers’ Club in Northgate Street. The ornate windows and mouldings at the front of the building feature on the coverpiece on the Suffolk edition of Pevsner's Buildings of England.

Some have speculated that Mary I stopped briefly at Hengrave on her way to Framlingham Castle in 1553, but there is no evidence for this other than that John Bourchier, Earl of Bath, who had married Sir Thomas Kitson’s widow Margaret, was a loyal supporter of the Queen. (However the Queen's father Henry VIII was godfather to Margaret's son Henry Long from her second marriage, so it is not entirely improbable).

Elizabeth I stayed at Hengrave from 27–30 August 1578 and a chamber is named in her honour. The madrigalist John Wilbye was employed by the Kitsons at Hengrave and in London, as was the composer Edward Johnson.

During the Stour Valley anti-popery riots of 1642, Sir William Spring, Penelope Darcy's cousin, was ordered by Parliament to search the house, where it was thought arms for a Catholic insurrection were being stored. The Jesuit William Wright was arrested at Hengrave Hall.

King James II visited Hengrave throughout the 1670s and attended the wedding of William Gage and Charlotte Bond in 1670. The lawyer and antiquarian John Gage was the brother of William Gage, 7th Baronet, and wrote 'The History and Antiquities of Hengrave in Suffolk' in 1822.

It is said that the greengage was named after a tree first grown in England at Hengrave, but the tree was actually named after the Viscounts Gage of Firle, Sussex who were cousins of the Hengrave Gages.

In 1895 it was bought by Sir John Wood and on his death sold to the Religious of the Assumption, who ran a convent school until 1974.

On 14 September 1974 the Assumptionists founded the ecumenical Hengrave Community of Reconciliation, originally a group of families of different Christian denominations.

Later, the Community came to consist of long-term members, who remained in the Community for up to seven years, and short-term members, many of whom came from countries in Central and Eastern Europe for periods ranging from one year to three months.

Although strongly inspired by other ecumenical communities like Taizé and the Iona Community, the Hengrave Community had a distinctive character owing to the Sisters’ continued presence.

The Hengrave Community was dissolved in September 2005, closing its Christian and conference centre at the site, after failing to fund £250,000 for improvements.

The current owner of the hall is David Harris who has submitted plans to convert the existing building into private housing. It is currently used for wedding receptions and other functions.

Mercedes

Mercedes

The Church of The Reconciliation is a gorgeous little church, and quite unlike any other in Suffolk.

Here, beside the beautiful 16th century Hengrave Hall is the only medieval church in Suffolk still to host worship of the Catholic Church.

The building is very old. The shape and proportions of the round tower betray its Saxon origins, despite 15th century embellishments. This was, of course, a heavily populated part of East Anglia in Saxon times.

The medieval dedication of the church is uncertain. Many sources cite St John the Baptist, but Cautley (and others) argue for St John Lateran. This is a feast day celebrated on November 9 in the Catholic Church and refers to the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.

By the 1560s, this church was, officially at least, hosting the plainer, simpler Anglican services of Thomas Cranmer.

During the intervening 30 year period, the church had undergone radical alterations. It was stripped of its rood loft and screen (although a fine rood stairway survives, its outer wall cloaked in red brick). The high altar and chantry altars were broken down. The statues were destroyed. But all was not as it seemed.

In 1589, the parish was suppressed and merged with that at nearby Flempton. It was not unusual at this time for parishes to be combined and share a minister.
Throught the long years of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Hengrave church slumbered as the place where the Kytsons and the Gages buried their dead.

Mercedes

Mercedes

Mercedes