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Ingatestone Hall

I noticed the other day that I had not posted for a couple of weeks... this is due to saving money and enjoying a free house. It is not very often that myself and the boy have this luxury so we took full advantage (using the large tv for GTA V and using the home computer to type up novel ;))

As it's been a Tudor-packed weekend (George Boleyn among others who were executed on 17th May 1536, Anne Boleyn's execution on the 19th May of the same year),we decided to pay Ingatestone Hall a visit. It is in a village about 5 miles down the road from us, has a picnic area and you can have a tour of the manor for £6; a winner all round.
It was built by Sir William Petre c. 1541. Sir William was secretary of state to 4 Tudor monarchs; Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary & Elizabeth I and rose under Henry.
in the 1530s, when William was a lawyer, he was sent to visit all the monasteries in Southern England and fell in love with the estate in Ingatestone. He then purchased this and after being granted a Bull of Confirmation exempting him from excommunication by the Pope, he erected almshouses for the poor. This was to prevent him from being accused of stealing church property. 
It was a time full of suspicion and under Mary, of course, all known protestants were burnt and with the Petre family being Roman Catholic, they were happy under the imposing Queen's rule.
It is interesting to note that there are 2 catholic hiding places in the manor, this was to hide the instruments of mass in case any protestant came snooping ;)

The Lord Petre and his family still live in the grounds to this day and various parts of the manor are open to the public on certain days of the week (click here)

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The grounds are beautiful. The boy and I certainly chose a good day to travel down!

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The blouse I am wearing is topshop, purchased from ebay at around £12... my wardrobe is turning very Victorian ;)

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