Layer Marney Gatehouse

Greater Essex

Property Description

   Layer Marney Tower is a Grade I gigantic Tudor palace not too far from Colchester in North Essex. The main structure visible is actually an elaborate gatehouse and main range, and there is also a contemporary barn and church on the grounds. It is in fact the tallest Tudor gatehouse in Britain. Like other palaces at this time; such as East Barsham Manor and Sutton Place, Layer Marney used a combination of brick and terracotta in their construction, giving it its distinctive speckled facade. It was built for Henry 1st Lord Marney in 1520, and his then his son when he died in 1523. Unfortunatley, John Marney had no male heir to continue his family line and hence only the gatehouse of what would have been an enormously extensive manor was completed. The church suffered almost-irreparable damage in the 1884 earthquake but fortunately it was restored at great cost. Walter de Zoete owned the property during the Edwardian era and enlarged the gardens, as well as built a folly known as the Tea House. He converted the stables into a Long Gallery housing his collection furniture and paintings. The interior of the property today takes on his Edwardian aesthetic. The tower and gardens only just opened to the public in 2012, but are well worth checking out. You are free to wander almost all of the property.

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