Nettlestead

 
 

“Of the Hall of the Wentworth family only an archway remains” says Pevsner.  The Wentworths were once powerful in these parts.  In the book Mary Tudor (the daughter not the sister of Henry 8), by Anna Whitelock, reference is made to the period between the death of Edward 6 and Mary’s accession, when Lady Jane Grey was declared Queen for nine days, as follows:


“For a number of days Mary’s fate hung in the balance.  In many towns it was a confused picture of shifting and changing allegiances.  In Ipswich, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, together with Thomas, Lord Wentworth and other prominent Suffolk men, initially declared for Jane.” (p171 paperback)


And: “To secure her position in Eastern Suffolk, Mary needed to winn the support of Thomas, Lord Wentworth, a prominenet and respected nobleman.  she sent two of her servants, John Tyrell and Edward Glenham, to Nettlestead to negotiate with him.  She warned that forsaking her cause would lead to the perpetual dishonour of his house.  He paused and reflected.  Finally he declared for Mary.  It was a great coup.  Wentworth arrived at Framlingham on the 15th, clad in a splendid armour and with a large military force of gentlemen and tenants”.


Pevsner suggests that High House, now called High Hall, is “clearly only a fragment”.  However, Eric Sandon, in his book Suffolk Houses, “cannot find evidence to support this assertion”.  Nor can the current owner who is kind enough to open the house under the Invitation to View scheme.  One supposition is that the Hall was a form of hunting lodge associated with the Wentworth estate where the ladies could watch the men hunting from the fine vantage point overlooking the surrounding countryside.


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Pictures of buildings mentioned in the “Suffolk” volume of “The Buildings of England” series by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.  Tudor Georgian