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Saffron Walden and Kentwell Hall: annual outing

This year’s outing takes us to Long Melford in Suffolk. On the way, we will visit the picturesque town of Saffron Walden, and the chance of going to the Tuesday Market, or finding mid-morning refreshment.  Beyond the Market Place, there is plenty to explore: St Mary’s Church, the largest parish church in Essex; and buildings, some timber-framed or with fine examples of elaborate moulded plasterwork known as pargetting. Saffron Walden Museum, one of the oldest purpose built museum buildings in the country, should be open.

The Clopton family came to the Manor of Kentwell in 1385, rebuilt Long Melford Church in the 15th century, and developed the present Kentwell Hall with its moat between 1500 and 1578. Sir Simonds D’Ewes, possibly England’s first antiquary, married into family in the 17th century.  Later owners include Sir Thomas Robinson (Knight Prothonotary of the Common Pleas, d.1683); the heirs of Sir John Moore (a rich merchant and Lord Mayor of London 1681-82); and Robert Hart Logan (who remodelled the house under architect Thomas Hopper).  From the late 19th century and for the next 50 years, the Hall was let to tenants including Sir Connop Guthrie, whose wife re-formed the gardens. In WWII, the Hall was requisitioned as an army transition camp. In 1971, Patrick Phillips bought the Hall, which he and his family have been restoring ever since.    

The gardens have much of interest: Pied Piper topiary designed and shaped by Judith Phillips; walled and sunken gardens; and more than 70 varieties of fruit trees. A rare breed farm includes a flock of Norfolk Horn sheep.

The price per person for coming on the outing is £35, to include admission charge at Kentwell, travel and tip. Refreshments are not included in the price. The Stableyard Tea Room at Kentwell offers light lunches and afternoon teas. There is also a picnic area for those bringing your own food.

There will be three pick-up points, departing promptly as follows:

    Camden High Street, outside Marks & Spencer 8.30am  

   Hampstead High Street, outside Waterstones  8.45am

   Swiss Cottage, outside Swiss Cottage Library  9.00am 

The outing is being organised by Jean Archer, 91 Fitzjohn's Avenue, London NW3 6NX. Her phone number, in case of enquiries (including from CHS non-members), is 020 7435 5490. Bookings should be sent to Jean. Please complete the booking form which was enclosed with the May 2019 Newsletter (or write a letter giving name(s), address, telephone number, and where you wish to join the coach), and enclose a cheque payable to Camden History Society and a STAMPED ADDRESSED ENVELOPE.