Friday, 20 April 2012

Ightham Mote, Ivy Hatch

This was shot on a family day out to the wonderful Ightham Mote. This fantastic 14th Century moated manor mouse is situated in Ivy Hatch, just to the East of Sevenoaks in Kent and according to Pevsner, it is 'the most complete small medieval manor house in the country. Dating back to either around about 1320 or 1340 (the date is unclear), this fantastic building has been owned by "medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians". and would have been built during the reign of either Edward II who was notable for a defeat in Scotland by Robert The Bruce and the Battle of Bannockburn (considered the worst defeat for the English since the Battle of Hastings in 1066) or Edward III who was notable for introducing significant legislation, including the Statute of Labourers of of 1351 which helped address the problem of a dire lack of workers as a result of the Black Death. In 1521, Sir Richard Clement bought the house for £400 (approx. £141,832 as of 2005).

£400 in the 1520s could have bought you:

13,333 x
Days (craftsman wages in building trade)
3,636 x
Wool (per stone)
1,000 x
Wheat (quarter)
1,052 x
Livestock (cow)
283 x
Horse (single)

Sir William Selby (d. 1611) of Twizell bought Ightham Mote in 1591 and on his death in 1611 bequeathed it to his nephew, also Sir William Selby (d. 1637) of Twizell Castle.
In 1644 the estate came into the ownership of a nephew, George Selby of London, who was appointed High Sheriff of Kent in 1648.
In the 18th century the estate passed via the female line when Dorothy Selby married John Browne. On the death of the 9th Viscount Montague in 1797 the Browne successors and descendant Thomas Selby of Ightham made an unsuccessful claim to the Viscountcy.
The marriage of Lewis Marianne Selby of Beal into the Bigge family in 1833 led to the creation of Selby-Bigge and the estate remained in the family until sold in 1889 to Sir T C Fergusson.
In 1865 Elizabeth Selby of Ightham (1839–1906) married William Court Gully who upon accession to the Peerage took the title Viscount Selby.


In 1889, the house was sold to Sir Thomas Colyer-Fergusson who was an archaeologist and High Sheriff of Kent in 1905-1906. It remained with him until 1951, when it was sold upon his death to a consortium of three locals - a builder (William Durling) a farmer (John Goodwin) and a pharmacist (John Baldwin).

In 1953, American businessman Charles Henry Robinson bought the house who had seen the it when he was younger. When it was purchased, it was in a state of disrepair with some of the chimneys in the moat and the roof only just being watertight. Charles Henry Robinson's father had run a paper distribution company in the late 1870s, and Charles and his brother joined the family business.  the house was bequeathed  to the National Trust upon his death in 1985.

Photograph Details: Nikon D7000 Focal length 18mm with 0.7x converter ISO-500 exp: 1/200 f22


  1. Great post - the photo is lovely. You didn't happen to take any inside the courtyard or the Great Hall, did you?! I'll try to get some old documents up on as requested!


  2. Thanks! The photos I got from inside were quite poor and were deleted at the time, but I've put up a couple of extra ones here:

    If you want any of the photos without watermarking and at full resolution just ask :)

    Can't wait to see the docs! I hope its possible to get them up on the net


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