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Groombridge Place, Groombridge, Kent, England

Bob Culshaw

Westgate on Sea, United Kingdom

Artist's Description

Originally a 3 frame HDR series taken on 10th September 2009, processed in Photomatix 3.2, converted to B&W, tweaked and texture added in CS3.
Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM Lens at 20mm F/L, ISO100, -2,0,+2 EV’s at f22.
816 views at 29th August 2011
The Moated Manor House, Groombridge Place.
There have been manor houses on the site of the present Groombridge for centuries. The earliest mention of one of these is from 1239, when the Lordship of Groomsbridge was granted to William Russell. William and his wife Haweis built a small moated castle at Groombridge, and, later that year, were granted a charter by Henry III of England to build a chantry. When William died in 1261, lordship was granted to Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham, heir of the influential Kentish family, the de Cobhams.
By the mid 14th century, the lands were held by Sir John de Clinton, whose grandson, Lord Clinton and Saye, sold Groomsbridge to Thomas Waller of Lamberhurst c.1400.1 Here, his descendant Sir Richard Waller detained Charles, Duke of Orleans, as his prisoner (following the Battle of Agincourt) for many years, until he was taken to the Tower of London.2 The Wallers held Groombridge Place for over two centuries until it was sold in the seventeenth century.3
In 1604, the estate was purchased by Sir Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset the Lord Treasurer of England. Sir Thomas also built a number of houses in the town of Groombridge. In 1618, Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset had to sell Groombridge to John Packer due to gambling debts. Packer was deeply religious, and contributed mainly to the construction of nearby St. John’s Church.
Just two generations later, the estate belonged to architect Philip Packer, who, in 1662, built the present day house with the help of his friend Christopher Wren. However, after marrying an heiress in a failed attempt to resolve his financial problems, Phillip Packer died at the age of 32, and the estate was vested in the Chancery.
Though Groombridge Place has remained largely untouched since it was built over 350 years ago, the manor has undergone its share of restoration. In the 1920s, electricity and bathrooms were installed. In 1986, the roof timbers and the chimneys were rebuilt to their original design, as heavy growth of ivy had damaged them. The house itself is a private home and is not open to the public, although the superb gardens are.

The House featured as the home of the Bennet family ‘Longbourne’ in Joe Wright’s adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (Jane Austen) in 2005 starring :- Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland and Dame Judi Dench
The gardens featured in Peter Greenaway’s first feature film, ‘The Draughtman’s Contract’ 1982, starring Janet Suzman and Anthony Higgins
The House and Gardens were a popular visiting place for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was at Groombridge Place that his world famous Sherlock Holmes novel “The Valley of Fear” is set, though it should be noted that the House is renamed “Birlstone Manor”.
Thanks to Wikipedia for the above details.

Top Ten Challenge Winner ‘Screen Stars Challenge’ England as Scene in B&W Group October 2009

Featured in England as Scene in B&W Group 27th October 2009

Featured in ‘A Home Somewhere ……’ Group 25th December 2009

Featured in ‘JPG Cast-off’s’ Group 12th September 2010

Artwork Comments

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