Sulgrave Manor Visit

Wednesday, 3 June 2015 - 9:00am

Private Tour of Sulgrave Manor Wednesday June 3rd

Sulgrave Manor was built by Lawrence Washington, George Washington’s five times great grandfather, in the mid-1500s. The entrance porch was completed soon after Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne and Lawrence Washington displayed his loyalty to the new Queen by depicting her coat of arms and initials in plaster-work upon its gable. Just above the door you can find the Washington family’s own coat of arms carved in stone – the ‘mullets and bars’ depicted resemble ‘stars and stripes’ and are widely believed to have influenced the design of the American flag.

By 1700, when John Hodges built the north wing, parts of the Tudor house had already been destroyed. This north wing runs at right angles to the Tudor section and contains the Oak Parlour and Great Kitchen at ground level and the Chintz and White Bedrooms above. The garden sits within four acres of land and remains true to the original plans of Sir Reginald Blomfield who was entrusted with its design in the 1920s. From the Courtyard a path leads to an open grass area. The flower beds are predominantly herbaceous and mixed with varieties of subtle lavender. The formal structure is produced by the yew hedges and topiaries, gifted to the Manor over the years. A Rose Garden of eight beds, with a central feature of a sundial, dated 1579, is to the east of the House and there is seating in the shady areas for visitors to take their ease. Forty two fruit trees, predominantly old varieties of apple, comprise the Orchard. Presiding over all is 'King Lod', a Loddington apple tree thought to be 180 years old. In spring the orchard is underplanted with daffodils, narcissi and delicate fritillary. In May grasses and buttercups are allowed to flourish before being mown for the summer. In autumn visitors walk under an arch of glossy red apples! A replica forge has been built in a south west corner and beside this is a typical Tudor peasant's garden full of the types of vegetables and plants that would have been grown in the sixteenth century. The Manor is also home to the growing beds of the National Herb Society. Here there are domestic, culinary and medicinal herbs some that were taken to America, others that were introduced from America.


On arrival we will be served coffee/tea and biscuits followed by a guided tour of the manor, a lunch of vegetable quiche and salad, then free time to tour the gardens.

The cost will be a total of £30 LALG member, £32 non-members.

The coach will leave Baldock outside Templars Restaurant (formerly Zeus) at 9.00 am and Letchworth opposite Barclays bank at 9.15 am.


To book, please ring Maureen Strutt on 01767 318117 or 07971 172430. All cheques to be made out to History 3.

Contact Details: 

See Group Contact.