West Stow


West Stow Hall is the main attraction here.  Now a private house but opened occasionally as part of the Invitation to View scheme.  Pevsner describes a “splendid gatehouse, brick of the 1520s”.  He says that the builder, Sir John Crofts, was Master of the Horse to Mary Tudor but there seems to be no evidence for this.  The main cause of interest is the coat of arms of Mary Tudor (Duchess of Suffolk) below the top window on the front of the Gatehouse.  The “Master of the Horse” story is perpetuated from several early books on Suffolk but another suggests that the building has a direct connection with the Duke of Suffolk (Charles Brandon) and I like to think this is more likely.  Brandon’s main residence when Mary Tudor was his wife was not far away at Westhorpe.  This requires more research.

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