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Hengrave, Suffolk Villages & Towns - History, Genealogy & Trade Directories

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HENGRAVE in 1844, is a neat and pleasant village, on the north-western side of the vale of the river Lark, 4 miles W. of Bury St. Edmund's, has in its parish 228 souls, and about 1,000 acres of land, all the property and manor of Sir Thomas Gage, Bart, of Hengraye Hall, a fine old mansion, standing in a beautiful Park of 275 acres. This mansion affords an unique specimen of ancient domestic architecture, and was built in 1534, by Sir Thomas Kitson. It is of brick and stone, and was once more extensive than at present; some parts at the north and north-east angle being taken away in 1775. The building, which is still large, encloses a quadrangular court, and the apartments open into a gallery, the windows of which overlook the court. They formerly contained a profusion of stained glass, and the bay-window, in the hall, still retains some fine specimens, and is very splendid in its mullions, fan-tracery, pendant, and spandrils; all of which resemble the highly florid example in Henry VIl.th's chapel. The form of the turrets, on each side of the entrance, and at the corners of the building, as also of the two small turreted columns at the door, bear a striking resemblance to Moorish minarets, or the cupolas of Indian edifices. For sometime this mansion was the abode of a sisterhood of expatriated nuns, of Bruges, to whom the late Sir Thomas Gage liberally afforded an asylum, but when the decree in favour of emigrants was issued in France, in the early part of the present century, they availed themselves of the permission to return to their own country. It is now occupied by Henry Browning, Esq, and is but seldom visited by its present owner. In the reign of Edward I., Hengrave belonged to Edmund de Hengrave, a celebrated lawyer; and in 1375, to Thomas Hethe. In the 1st of Richard Ill., the manor was granted to Henry Lord Grey, but afterwards devolved to the Crown, of which it was purchased in the reign of Henry VIII. by Sir Thomas Kitson, who built the hall, and made it his family seat. He was succeeded by his son Thomas, who dying in 1602, the estate devolved by marriage, to Thomas Lord Darcy, whose second daughter conveyed Hengrave in marriage to Sir John Gage, of Firle, Sussex. In 1662, Edward Gage, Esq., of Hengrave, was created a baronet. The Church stands near the hall, and is a small ancient structure, with a round tower. It has neither pews nor pulpit, and has not been used for divine service during the last century ; the rectory, valued in K. B. at 9 7s.ld. being consolidated with Flempton, where there is a church which serves both parishes. Here are however several neat monuments. One is a fine marble tomb, in memory of Sir Thomas Kitson, the founder of the hall, and has effigies of himself and one of his wives. He came from the obscure village of Yelland, in Lancashire, and having obtained immense wealth by commercial speculations, in the cloth trade, purchased this and many other estates, and received the honour of knighthood. The Almshouses here consist of four tenements, for as many poor parishioners, and were erectted and endowed with an annuity of 10, by Sir Thomas Kitson, whose relict, Lady Eliz. Kitson, in 1662, in lieu of the said annuity, charged the manor of Lackford with the yearly payment of 30, for equal division among the almspeople, and with 4 a year to provide 12 gowns for 12 of the most aged poor of Hengrave, Flempton, Lackford, Chevington, Risby, Westley, and the three Fornhams. She also charged the manor of Lackford with the following yearly payments, for the relief of the poor, of the respective parishes, viz :- 10 to Bury St. Edmund's; 3 to Fornham-All-Saints; 2 each to Fornham St Martin, Flempton, Chevington, and Risby; 1 each to Hargrave, Westley, and Fornham-St.-Genevieve; 5 to Lackford; and 3 to St. James', Clerkenwell, Middlesex. The almspeople, at Hengrave, are appointed by Sir Thomas Gage, as owner of Hengrave Hall, and one of the trustees of this charity.'
Browning Henry, Esq. Hengrave Hall
Foreman Edward, gamekeeper
Gill Mrs. Mary, Hengrave Collage
Horrex Robert, shopkeeper
Luggar Edw. farmer, Stanchells
Orman John, land agent
Pask William, shoemaker
Raynbird Robert, farmer, Grange
Steel John, miller and farmer
Wright James, swine dealer



And Last updated on: Tuesday, 28-Jun-2016 21:31:38 BST