Posts Tagged ‘ History of Marygreen Manor ’

A Traveller’s Rest: A Slice Of Marygreen Manor History

Marygreen Manor Hotel

In 1967 the Moat house, as it was known back then, began its journey to become the Marygreen Manor as we know and love it today. It was during this year that a man named John Bairstow founded the Moat House Hotel Company along with a subsidiary company known as the Moat House Restaurants. Work on creating the “small, luxuriously appointed hotel” began towards the end of 1967. The building work carried out by Brentwood building company A.D Seager Ltd saw the largest amount of construction works and the largest building timber consignment in the area for some years.

The extensions built were essential for the transformation into the Moat House Hotel as the new building comprised the restaurant and the kitchen. This new addition was added to the west end of the old house with the help of a newly constructed reception, lounge and bar area in between. The new building was essentially a conversion of the original coach house and stables and although the standards of construction work and materials were of the day, they didn’t miss a beat when it came to utilising the Abridge barn timbers in a decorative fashion that was in keeping with the style of the old house. Its history most certainly wasn’t forgotten.

Soon after construction work came to a head, it was decided that an emblem would be needed. A man named Ken Kimberly stepped up to the challenge and designed one based on the Tudor rose. It was set amid a scroll that bore the date 1512. Legend would have it that 1512 was the year that the house was appointed a hunting lodge by Henry VIII while under the ownership of Henry Roper.

The Moat House emblem was later erected in plaster on an inside wall of the hotel close to the restaurant’s entrance. This was embellished further with ribboned vine patterns giving it real emphasis.

This was just one of the beginning stages in the transformation to the Marygreen Manor Hotel and Restaurant. If you’d like to find out more you could always delve into the book, “The Place At Brook Street” or better yet, pay the Marygreen Manor a visit and see the history unfold before your eyes in all its original glory.


Celebrate National Photo Week With The Marygreen Manor

This past week has been the celebration of photography everywhere. From the 28th July all the way through to the 3rd August, National Photo Week has been enjoyed the world over. Running for well over ten years with some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry all helping to promote what has become one of the biggest events in photography, it’s now a hugely prestigious event.

Since the invention of the camera itself, it’s been estimated that well over 3.5 trillion photographs have been taken. Someone even took the time to workout that if they were all stacked up in one tall pile, they’d stretch to approximately 553,000 miles. That works out at a little over one journey to the moon and all the way back again. With the average number of photos being taken every year totaling around 380 billion, it’s no wonder that this marvelous invention now requires its own week to look back and enjoy, especially as that number is expected to double in the next decade alone.

Taking into consideration the fact that we’ve just missed out on the actual week itself but not wanting to overlook it entirely, we thought we’d take a look back at a photo taken on what was part of the original land belonging to the Marygreen Manor estate in the 1920’s but first, let’s get an idea of the Marygreen’s history a little, shall we?

A little history of our Tudor manor house

The first owner of Marygreen Manor, way back in the 13th Century, was a Sir William de Bruyn when the manor was created within some 150 acres. Lying alongside the brook and Roman Road, the sights to be seen were spectacular. The estate was managed from the manor, which was surrounded by a substantial moat. In the late 15th century another family took over, named the Ropers, and proceeded to farm the Manor of Brook Street. They greatly enhanced the moated house and named it The Place. Henry Roper of the Roper family became quite an important officer within the royal household and as a result befriended Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII. Both of whom were later guests of Henry’s at The Place. The Place, as a result of King Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries” was later taken away from the Roper family and found itself in the hands of the Wright family, with absent landlords and a few yeoman farmers taking control there after someway down the line. Various different owners made improvements over the years but it wasn’t until 1968 that it became the hotel we know and love today. It was at this point that it was named The Moat House and after changing ownership in later years, it was renamed the Marygreen Manor. Now, let’s take a look at that photo shall we?

A shooting party on the Thorndon Estate

1920's on the Thorndon estate

Take a step back in time for National Photo Week

This photo may seem a little familiar if you’ve ever taken the time to read “THE PLACE at Brook Street”. The photo depicts a shooting party sometime in the 1920’s that shows Charles Turner, Mr McKiver, Arthur Montagu Turner and Sir Montague Cornish Turner. The party stands in front of the house that once stood where Thorndon Hall stands today. This was once a part of the 150-acre site that the Marygreen was once a part of. The Turner family were very keen sportsman and enjoyed shooting. On the days when sports wasn’t taking priority, their time was spent gardening and keeping the land which they frequented looking as wonderful as it does now. When this photo was taken, much of the famous moat surrounding the Marygreen Manor was almost gone and very little evidence of its existence remained. The manor house itself during the time of this picture being taken had just undergone some modifications to the west wing, which included red brick and a cat-slide roof which projected out to create a covered walkway (you can still see this today).

This photo is a mere snippet into a time and place during the existence of the “THE PLACE at Brook Street”. If you’d like to find out more information and enjoy more stunning photography in the wake of National Photo Week then take a look at the book yourself. Better yet, pay a visit to one of the most historical sites in Essex here at the Marygreen Manor.

History Of Marygreen Manor

Marygreen Manor Hotel

When it comes to hotels in Brentwood few can boast the same historical heritage as Marygreen Manor.  We have chosen our top ten favorite facts about this fascinating building to share with you:

1. There has been a succession of buildings on the site dating back as far as the 12th Century.

2. In the 13th Century Robert Roper became a tenant of the manor.  His ancestors, who are believed to have eventually become freeholders of the site, are thought to have included Henry Roper.

3. In 1501 Henry Roper was appointed to the suite of the young Princess Catherine of Aragon on her arrival in England. He was later given an “above stairs” appointment of some standing in Catherine’s Household.  Henry Roper named his moated house “The Place” meaning “a country house with surroundings” in Tudor Times

4. Legend has it that Henry VIII and his Queen Catherine were frequent visitors to “The Place” on the estate of Henry Roper.

5. Robert Wright moved to the property in 1535 and, after his marriage in 1541, renamed his Manor “The Manor of Mary Greene” after his bride. They lived on the site for fifty years. His family was associated with the site for 190 years.

6. Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers of modern day flight, were direct descendants of the Robert Wright.

7. The famous diarist Samuel Pepys had connections to the Wright family in the 1600’s and it is believed he enjoyed their hospitality at the House.

8. The oak timbers on the front of the building were exposed again in the 1950’s after being covered from view since the late 17th century.

9. After extensive renovations and some new-build the property opened as a hotel in the autumn of 1968.  A few months later the hotel was awarded a “four star” classification by the Automobile Association becoming the first hotel in Essex to receive this rating.

10. The current day hotel was renamed Marygreen Manor in 1994 after formally being known as “The Brentwood Moat House” for 25 years.

So next time you are looking for hotels in Brentwood choose Marygreen Manor and become a part of the hotels exciting story!

Source: The Place at Brook Street, George Lloyd, 1997, Marygreen Books.

%d bloggers like this: