Rycote Mansion

Rycote House
Rycote’s Lords were mostly Resident, and the Site of the existing Rycote House has been continuously occupied since the Middle Ages.  The Medieval House was rebuilt in Brick in the 16thC by either Sir John Heron or (more likely) Sir John Williams but was gutted by Fire in 1745.  Though subsequently restored & remodelled it was largely demolished in 1807 to meet the 5th Earl of Abingdon’s Debts, leaving detached Stables & Offices and a fragment of a Corner Turret with some attached Walling.  The present House occupies the remodelled Stable & Offices Block.  The other chief remnant is the free-standing Rycote Chapel South-East of the House, established by the Quatremains c.1449 and dominated externally by its Battlemented 4-Stage Tower.  The Buildings quality suggests that the Quatremains‘ House was equally lavish, and 14thC carved Capitals & Mouldings have been found on the Site.

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The 16thC House was illustrated c.1680 & 1707, showing that it had a double Courtyard Plan with extensive Outbuildings to the West. The main part lay within a (presumably Medieval) Moat, surrounded by Formal Gardens. The 5-Bay Entrance Front followed the emerging pattern of Grand Tudor Mansions, with its central twin-Towered Gatehouse and symmetrical arrangement of stepped Gables, Battlements, & polygonal Corner Turrets with Cupolas. The whole (including the Stable & Offices Block) was executed in Brick with diaper patterning, offset with Stone Dressings, and in the 1660s it was assessed on 41-Hearths, making it one of the largest Houses in the County  Renovations were made in preparation for Royal visits in the later 16thC and refitting of the Chapel and a reset Doorcase of c.1700 suggest internal 17thC remodelling.  Nevertheless, the consistency of the overall design implies that the House remained fundamentally unaltered.  Archaeology has revealed both Tudor & Medieval Foundations, including those of the Bridge over the Moat, the Main Entrance, and one of the Turrets.

Following the Fire of 1745 (in which the 3rd Earls 10-yr-old heir died) the House was substantially remodelled: Work was underway by 1747 and continued into the late 1760s, when the 4th Earl spent over £5,000 ‘amending, improving, & furnishing’ the Mansion.  By c.1770 the Main Façade had been transformed and extended to 7-Bays, with a shaped Pediment over the Central Doorway & sash windows replacing former casements.  Furnishings from 54 Rooms were auctioned in 1779–80 to meet the Earl’s Debts and Marble Chimneypieces were sold in 1807 prior to Demolition.  During the 19thC, the surviving Buildings were occupied by Tenant Farmers.  The Stable & Offices Block was converted to Domestic use for Alfred St George Hamersley in 1911–12, to designs by George Jack, while H S Goodhart-Rendel oversaw further alterations in the late 1930s.  A major remodelling for the Taylors was carried out by Nicholas Thompson, Chairman of the Conservation Practice Donald Insall Associates, who created a new 3-Bay Entrance Front facing into a Courtyard. The Gardens & Grounds were also restored, with Elizabeth Banks as Advisor.

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The surrounding 200 acre Deer Park was created by Sir John Williams in the early 1540s, under a Royal Licence procured in 1539.  It was re-Landscaped in the early 1770s following the House’s rebuilding for the 4th Earl, who spent over £2,400 employing Capability Brown to create a 13 acre Ornamental Lake.

The Hall Yard of Rycotes Manor had by the 1550s been Sold to the local Beamont Family, and there was no Manorial Farmhouse in the late 17th or 18thC.

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Rycote Park, near Thame in Oxfordshire, was the Site of a Mansion originally built in Tudor times It was almost completely demolished in June 1807 and all that remains today is part of the South-west Tower.  The 14thC Rycote Chapel, built for the Medieval Owners of the Estate, has survived with many of its original Medieval fittings.

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The Tudor Mansion at Rycote was arguably the dominant Country House in early modern Oxfordshire and played host to 6-English Kings & Queens, including Henry VIII & Elizabeth I.  The Mansion Archive was destroyed on a Bonfire, but the Bodleian Library holds many Manuscripts, Letters, Accounts, Drawings & Maps relating to Rycote.  

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The now-converted Tudor Stable Blocks, 1868.  Following the demolition of the Tudor Mansion, the Crowstepped Gable & Castellated Wing Stable Block was converted to form what is now part of the current Rycote House.  During WW2 the House was used as an Oxford Childrens’ Hospital.  The House has undergone extensive Renovation & Refurbishment in the last 100-yrs.  Substantial parts of the Bread Ovens, Fireplace & a bent Chimney Flue have survived in the House which now stands here.  Cecil Michaelis employed the Architect H S Goodhart-Rendel to adapt the Building as a Dwelling & Servants’ Quarters in the 1930s.

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This View was Published in the December 1783 Edition of The British Magazine and Review, or, Universal Miscellany.  It depicts the post-1745 Fire Renovated Mansion.  The 1783 View with Text produced by Conrad Martin Metz & James Heath, possibly indicating that it was not drawn at Rycote.  Whereas the earlier Representations show the Tudor Mansion with Casement windows, it is shown here with Sash windows.

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A brief unpublished 19thC History of Rycote claims that the change was instigated by Bertie the 4th Earl of Abingdon following his Inheritance of the Estate in 1760. The alterations may, however, have occurred slightly later during the 4th Earl’s Ownership.  A note in the Estate accounts for 1767-1768, in the margin next to the Window Tax Calculation, reads “to be re-assessed when alterations finished

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This impressive Watercolour is the only known view to provide a Perspective of the Mansion from the North-East.  It was drawn by the Oxford-based Artist J B Malchair, it is also the earliest identified Drawing to depict the Mansion as Renovated after the Fire of 1745.  It reflects the Topography the Lake & Boating Stage with Rycote Chapel in the distance together with the scale of the Mansion and its depth.

In January 1779 one Richard Way was able to secure an Agreement to Purchase all the Household Goods & Furnishings at Rycote Park in Settlement of Debts owed to him by the 4th Earl of Abingdon.  Mr Way then proceeded to hold a 5-Day Auction at Rycote in July 1779 in which everything from Bed Linen to Van Dyke Portraits was offered for Sale.  This Copy of the Sale Catalogue records the purchases of Viscount Wenman of nearby Thame Park.

In an effort to raise further money to pay Family debts the 5th Earl of Abingdon ordered the Demolition of Rycote House in 1807.  Over the course of 3-Days in June the Mansion was Auctioned off in Lots Brick by Brick and nearly 300-yrs of History was swept away at Rycote Park.  The only part of the Mansion to survive, presumably because it failed to attract a Final Buyer, was part of the South-West Tower.  The Sale raised a total of £1981-6s-4d.  For more than 50-yrs his predecessors, the 3rd & 4th Earls, had been borrowing beyond their means.  Novel ways of generating the new income needed to found.  Rather than sell the Estate, and thereby lose its income, the 5th Earl took the radical option of utilising the very Fabric of the Family Seat itself.  Coupled with the Loss of the Building was the Destruction of the House Archive.  Deemed to be of no further value, it was thrown on to a Bonfire.  The surviving Archive of the Estates of the Earls of Abingdon offers brief glimpses into Rycote‟s History but contain nothing prior to 1753.

The major source for the 1807 Demolition is the Auction Catalogue.  Some sense of the Scale of the House can be gleaned from the sheer quantity of Materials offered for Sale:
34-Tons of Lead; 100-sq ft of plain Tiling; 4,000-cu ft of Timber; 120-sq ft of Deal & Batten Floors, several 1,000-sq ft of Stone Paving, sundry Marble Chimney Pieces & 60 – 2″ & 2½” Doors.
This Listing for the Eating-Room reveals the quality of the Mansion‟s Fittings:
Good clean Deal Batten Floor, 7¼-square.
Joists & other Timbers under, about 100-ft cube.
The impost moulding Base, moulding Plinth & Grounds about 100-feet of each.
3 Windows with Oak Glazed Sashes, the Frame, Brass Pulleys, Lead weights, including Shutters, Hinges, Iron Bars, Linings & Boxings.
2 Columns 12-ft high, with enriched Capitals, and 6 Pilasters to answer ditto, including Cradling & Counter Ceiling.
A handsome Marble Chimney Piece with Slab of large dimensions, including covings, slips & wood dressings.
A large Ornamental Medallion over the Chimney Piece.
Two good 6-panel Doors with Hinges, Mortice Lock, Linings, Grounds, and Architraves.
The Demolition Catalogue only offers a Textual description. What was the condition of the Mansion visually? We are reliant on 2 late 18thC engravings. The 1st View by Conrad Martin Metz & James Heath was published in December 1783.

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It depicts a stark alteration in the Styling of the windows compared to earlier Views. We are not afforded a detailed perspective of them in this image, but the Ground Floor Windows show the ‘Gothick‘ features which offended the taste of Viscount Torrington during his visit of 1785.  An unpublished 19thC History of the Mansion claims that the change was instituted in 1760.  Alternatively, it may have occurred 1767-1768.  A note in the Estate accounts for 1767-1768, in the margin next to the Window Tax Calculation, reads “to be re-assessed when alterations finished.” 

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The 2nd Engraving, by J Sewell, was Published in November 1799.  It closely resembles the Metz & Heath view, possibly indicating that it was not drawn at Rycote.  The Mansion depicted in these Engravings was devoid of its fine Furnishings.  Having defaulted upon his Debts, the 4th Earl of Abingdon was forced to sell the Interior Goods at Rycote.  Two Sale Catalogues of 1779 and 1780 afford us an exceptionally detailed description of the Mansion‟s Interior.  The 1779 Catalogue describes the contents of 54 Rooms in the Mansion and its Service Buildings.  For example the “Green Chintz Chamber” details:
A large Bedstead, with Mahogany Carved & Fluted Posts, Carved Cornice, and beautiful Chintz Pattern Furniture, lined with fine Callico.
A fine large Feather-bed, Bolster, and 4 Down Pillows.
A white Mattress.
A check Mattress.
A large White Quilt.
3 fine Blankets.
A mahogany Night-chest.
A mahogany Night-table.
A pair of new Wilton Bedside Carpets.
A fine large old Japan Clothes-Chest & Stand.
A Dressing-glass in a Japan Frame, and a set of India Dressing-boxes.
A Deal Dressing-table, green Petticoat, and sprigged muslin Table.
An oval Pier-glass 32-ins x 22-ins, in a carved & partly coloured frame.
2 walnut-tree Chairs, and 2 Stools, stuffed Seats.
A Bath Stove, Shovel, Tongs & open-work Fender.
Five coloured enamelled & burnt-in ornamental China Jars & 2 Beakers.
A piece of curious Rich Paper-work, in a Carved & partly Coloured Frame.
We should consider the possibility that not all the Rooms in the Mansion are described.  Some Rooms may have contained no items for Sale.  Nor is it possible to pinpoint the exact location of the Rooms. Both Catalogues commence with the 1st Garret in the East and proceed, in most circumstances, to describe a Room as ‘next’ or ‘opposite’.  It is not clear in what, if any, direction the listing of Rooms may be occurring.  Rycote Housed a Gallery and a substantial Art Collection.  The Gallery is referred to in the Demolition Catalogue but there is scant description of it in the 1779 & 1780 Catalogues.  The 1780 Catalogue refers only to the ‘Brown Gallery‘ containing 42 Landscapes & other Family Paintings.  An unpublished History of Rycote compiled by Thomas Delafield in the early 1740s provides clues. He claims the Gallery contained:

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Sir John Norris

A Portrait of the 4-year old Charles I, possibly Commissioned to commemorate Francis Norris, Earl of Berkshire’s creation as a Knight of the Bath in the same Ceremony as Charles in 1605.
A full-length Portrait of Sir John Norris, with other half-length Portraits of the Norris Brothers.
Portraits of Francis Norris, Earl of Berkshire; his daughter Elizabeth, Baroness Norris & her husband Edward Wray.
Portraits of John, Baron Williams of Thame & his Wife.  Unfortunately, Delafield neglects to specify whether the Portrait is of Williams‟s 1st or 2nd Wife.
Portraits of Katherine Bertie, Duchess of Suffolk; her husband Richard Bertie; and their son Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby de Eresby.
Delafield’s description must be approached with caution for it is apparent that he did not personally view the Gallery.  His claim regarding the Portrait of the Duchess of Suffolk is partially corroborated by the 1779 Sale Catalogue which lists such a Portrait by Van Dyck.  Its location, however, is given as the large Drawing Room.  The 1779 & 1780 Catalogues provide a detailed view of other Pictures located around the Mansion.  The large Drawing Room, for example, contained other Van Dyck Portraits of Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey; James Stuart, Duke of Richmond & Lennox & John, Earl of Oxford.  It also contained Pictures by Morland & Angelica Kauffman.  It is not clear whether the Pictures were Original or Copies.  Portraits of the 1st & 2nd Earls of Abingdon, by Michael Dahl & Sir Godfrey Kneller respectively, may also have been housed at RycoteDahl’s portrait of the 1st Earl was presented to Oxford University in 1700 and is now in the Examination Schools.  The 2nd Earl bequeathed his Portrait by Kneller to his wife.  Its current location is not known.

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This engraving of Rycote Park, by GT, is from the 1822 Edition of John Nichol’s Progresses & Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth. It was probably produced from Johannes Kip & Leonard Knyff’s early 18thC View.

Rycote also housed a Substantial Library.  The 1780 Catalogue Lists 350 Printed Books.  Another Catalogue, drawn up in 1801 lists over 1,000 titles.  The Books in both Catalogues range in date from 1506 to 1788.  The earliest Publication is a 1506 Commedia di Dante;  531 of the Books were published prior to 1700.  The Catalogues contain nothing regarding their Provenance, making it impossible to discern the Collection‟s Creator or Creators.  In addition to the Books, we also possess evidence of a small Manuscript Collection. The 1780 Catalogue Lists 2 Manuscripts. The 1st is a Vellum Manuscript of the Middle English Poem ‘Pearce Plowman‟s Visions.’  Its date is not given and it does not appear in the 1801 Catalogue. The 2nd Manuscript is ‘Collections out of the Journals of the House of Lords.’  Its date & purpose is unclear. Three similar Manuscripts and an undated Treatise of Nobility are listed in the 1801 Catalogue.  It also Lists ‘Beda de Imagine Mundi‘.  Again no date is provided.  A Manuscript bearing the same Title is listed in a Catalogue, probably of 1366, of the Carmelite Friary at Hulne.  The exact same Title is also found in a 13thC Manuscript in the Library of Exeter CathedralK W Humphreys argues that this Work has been misattributed to Bede and is actually Honorius Augustodunensis’s Imago Mundi.  A further 3-Manuscripts, not recorded in either Catalogue, are known to have been at Rycote.  A 14thC Cartulary of Abingdon Abbey was in the possession of Henry, 1st Baron Norris of Rycote, in 1594. Lambrick & Slade suggest that Norris acquired it through his Purchase of the Manor of Cumnor, a former Abbey possession.  Alternatively, it may have come to Rycote through John, Baron Williams of Thame, whom in 1538 was involved in the Abbey‟s Dissolution.  H E Salter mistakenly claimed that this Cartulary was destroyed on the 1807 Bonfire.

Thomas Hearne recorded in his Diary on 3rd March 1733 that the 2nd Earl of Abingdon possessed a Cartulary of Notley Abbey at Rycote.  When it came to Rycote is unclear, but in 1610 it was owned by Sir John Dormer.  H E Salter also claimed this Cartulary was destroyed on the Bonfire.  There is no evidence of its survival.  The final Manuscript cited at Rycote is an Address made to Elizabeth I, probably during her 1566 visit to Oxford University.  A copy of the Manuscript, now in the Bodleian, bears an annotation that it was made from the original at Rycote in 1576.  The House that has been, so far, may have been very much a Georgian Creation. The complicating Factor is that on the Night of 11th and the morning of 12th November 1745, Rycote was engulfed by a Fire.  The Fire is said to have started in the Kitchens and consumed much of the Building.  We can only speculate on what the Losses inside the Mansion may have been.  Rebuilding work appears to have commenced shortly before January 1747.

The 2000 Time Team excavation uncovered evidence of rebuilding Works dating from the late 1740s & early 1750s. Exact details of the Renovations, however, are few. Documentary evidence suggests that the rebuilding process was slow and only finally completed after the 4th Earl of Abingdon’s succession to the Estate in 1760. This would Tally with the Family‟s Financial Situation at that time.  A Document in the Estate Papers reveals that the 3rd Earl was borrowing huge sums of money throughout the 1750s.  He died in 1760 with Debts of £129,000, roughly £9.6M at 2005 rates.  A Newspaper report implies that Rycote was at least habitable by 1750.  A brief unpublished 19thC History, however, claims that when the 4th Earl succeeded he ‘found Ricote in very bad repair and was at considerable expense before it was habitable.‘  In 1768 the 4th Earl is also recorded as lavishing £5000 ‘and upwards in the repairing, amending, improving and furnishing‘ of Rycote in preparation for his impending Marriage.

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For the study of the Mansion prior to the 1745 Fire, we are largely reliant on 2 exquisite Views. The 1st View was produced by Leonard Knyff & Johannes Kip in the early 18thC and Published in Britannia Illustrata in 1707.  It is the only View, of any date, which provides a perspective of the Mansion, the Outbuildings and surrounding Parkland in their entirety.

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The 2nd View is an Engraving by Henry Winstanley drawn, probably in the early 1740s, by William Delafield for his father Thomas Delafield‟s History of Rycote. The original Winstanley Engraving is dedicated to ‘James Lord Norreys, Baron of Ricott & Lord Lieutenant of the said County of Oxford.‘  This would indicate a date of 1674-1682.  Lord Norris was appointed Lord Lieutenant in 1674 and created Earl of Abingdon in November 1682.  This is the earliest known depiction of the Mansion, produced more than 100-yrs after its Construction.  When shown alongside the 1799 Sewell Engraving, the differences between the Tudor & Georgian Mansion are clear to see. The Towers either side of the Main Entrance in the Winstanley View, for example, are no longer present in the 1799 depiction.

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The Archival Legacy of the Mansion during the 16th &17thCs is very much the story of its Owning Families. Details regarding the Interior, Exterior & surrounding Parkland are almost wholly lacking.  Echoes of Rycote’s National & Local importance, however, are present in the surviving papers of its Owners.  Much of our knowledge of 17thC Rycote stems from Accounts of Entertainments for Royal Visitors, Dignitaries & other Celebrations.  An account by Anthony Wood, for example, records a Dinner held by the 1st Earl of Abingdon for the University Troop following the defeat of the Duke of Monmouth’s Rebellion against James II.  He notes that the Troopers ‘came home well fuz’d.‘  Evidence of the Mansion during the Tudor Period is again rooted in the Documentary Legacy of its Owners. The earliest written evidence of Alterations & Building Works at Rycote are 2 Accounts of Works undertaken for the Progresses of Elizabeth I in 1568 & 1570. The 1st account of 1568 records Costs including Carpenters occupied in makinge of a prese for the quenes Majesties Robes.’  The Account of 1570 is more extensive. Again it records payments to ‘Carpenters occupied not onelye in daminge upp of dores and windowes and mending of Flowers as alsoe in makinge of presses and tables for the Robbes and mendinge of the stayers.‟  The most important aspect of the account, however, is the record of ‘sand and gravell for the sellor butterye and wardrope of beddes.’  This is the earliest record of Structures being built at Rycote.

We also know that in 1596 Rycote Housed an Armoury containing 2 pieces of Brass Ordnance & Arms for 100 men. This information is revealed in a confession of an accomplice to Bartholomew Steer.  Steer, a former Carpenter on the Estate planned to instigate a popular uprising in Oxfordshire by Seizing the Armoury at Rycote.  The Armoury reflects the important role the Norris Family played in the Elizabethan Military Establishment.  Rycote was the Central Hub of a Family Military Organisation whose Operations spanned all the major Elizabethan Theatres of War.

An entry from the Itinerary of John Leland is the earliest Written history of Rycote. Complied c.1540, it offers no information regarding the House which then stood at Rycote and concerns itself solely with the Descent of the Manor.  This finally brings us to the central question regarding Rycote‟s Tudor Mansion. For whom was it built? Traditionally 3-Candidates have been put forward, with suggested construction dates ranging from the early to mid-16thC. The conclusion of the 2000 Time Team excavation was that Sir Richard Fowler commissioned it.  Simon Thurley suggested a date of not earlier than 1500 but no later than 1530.  Citing John Leland’s claim that Fowler was “very onthrift” they surmised that the expense of Building the Mansion Bankrupted him.  The 2nd Candidates are Sir John Heron and his son Giles. Sir John, Treasurer to Henry VII & Henry VIII, purchased Rycote from Fowler in 1521Giles inherited a year later upon Sir John‟s death. Garner & Stratton, in their Domestic Architecture of England During the Tudor Period, dated the Architectural Style of the Mansion to the Period of the Herons’ Ownership.  It is an assertion supported by Pevsner’s 1520s dating.  The 3rd Candidate is John, Baron Williams of Thame.  He acquired Rycote from Heron in 1539Thomas Delafield wrote, prior to the 1745 Fire, that it has been said that the most antient part of the present great house at Rycote, was the work of the Quatremaynes [15thC Owners]: and the Remainder seems to have been built, or eminently repaired, by John, Lord Williams of Thame, his Arms appearing on the Portal in the Grand Front.’

Unfortunately, the Archival evidence is inconclusive. Chancery & Exchequer records may suggest that the Mansion was not built by Fowler. He is cited as a Debtor in early 16thC records.  It is possible that he did not possess the wealth to Build on this Scale.  Or do the records simply reflect a man prone to not paying on time?  His reputation as a Spendthrift may suggest the former.  He inherited Rycote in 1483 upon the death of his aunt Sybil Quatremains, affording him at least 17-yrs to work his way through the Family Fortune.  With regard to the Herons, the Archival remains are negligible.  There is simply not enough evidence to argue a case either way.

Finally, we come to Lord Williams.  Again the evidence is inconclusive.  It is clear that there was a substantial House at Rycote in August 1540 when Williams entertained Henry VIII and his new bride Katherine Howard.  Was it the Medieval Manor House or a recently built Tudor House? There is Archaeological evidence of a Manor House at Rycote dating from at least the 13th-14thC.  Williams certainly possessed the wealth to build on this scale having benefited substantially from the Suppression of the Monasteries.  In May 1554 he entertained Elizabeth I, then a Princess & Prisoner of her sister Queen Mary, en Route to her Incarceration at Woodstock.  Elizabeth’s Guardian Sir Henry Bedingfield reported that she arrived into the inner chambers at the inner courte and alighted at the Hall doore.’

Is this the same Mansion shown in the Knyff & Kip Engraving?  A final indication that the Mansion was of recent date in 1559 comes from Williams’s Will. It contains the following clause: ‘item, all the beds, hangings, and furniture of all the chambers and lodgings, and the furniture for the same beds in the new lodging, and the old without the Moat at Rycote.‟  The Knyff & Kip View shows the course of the Moat (below). Does this Reference & View indicate 2 different Phases of Building?  In the absence of detailed written Accounts & Records, we must rely on the available Architectural evidence to date the Great House at Rycote.

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Much Land in the North-West, including part of 109 acres allotted at Inclosure to the Earl of Aylesford, was acquired in the late 19thC by T M Francis of Quy Hall. His descendants, having purchased in 1914 Frog End Farm (138 acres) and c.1948 the Parish Charity Land in the Fen (88a), eventually owned over 260 acres in the Parish.  In 1921 the County Council acquired, for use as Small-holdings, a 105 acre Farm North-east of the Village, which as Council Farm it retained c.1990.

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Rycote Park was bought by Mr & Mrs Bernard Taylor in 2000, since when the House, Grounds, Farm & Woodland have undergone many renovations, restoration & re-development.  Rycote has undergone various incarnations from Medieval Manor House to Tudor Palace to the Grade I Country Residence of today which reflects many aspects of its History.  As such, the Gardens through history have reflected the contemporary Styles & Fashions, from Elizabethan Parterre with raised Walkway & Gazebo, to Capability Brown Landscape with Serpentine Lake. Today, with a nod to all these aspects, whether long since replaced or still evident and with the input of modern interpretation (with 3 Formal Gardens designed by Elizabeth Banks) the Gardens continue to grow & develop always with an eye to the genius of the place.  An Edwardian walled Garden of a 1/3rd acre, encompassing Glasshouse, provides fruit & vegetables to the House all year round.  Further fruit production is found in the 1930’s Orchard and newly planted 6-Tier Espalier Pears designed to soften the view of the Tennis Court.  Further away from the House the remit of the Garden Department extends to the Landscape surrounding the 15thC Chapel, much of the 11-acre Lake, various Ponds & Woodland Edges.  

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Residual Ruin of Rycote Mansion

Comment:  I am descended from the Norris Family of Rycote c.15thC. There are many of us who are descended from this Family who are very much interested in learning about this era of our Ancestors. Thank you so very much for putting this composite together and showing how Rycote changed over the years, and for posting an actually accurate Portrait of Sir John Norris. The Picture is a painting that shows him as a Ginger, rather than the Jet Black hair that the Line of my Family is so very well known for, which is what he actually had… and the features of his face are different too- the Portrait that was hanging in Rycote is without a shadow of a doubt….accurate. The genetic features have been handed down in the DNA for generations. Thank you so very much for all of the time & energy that you put into this Project of yours, which helped me learn about my Family- and will help my progeny learn about them, too.
Sincerely,
Ms. Doreen Goslin-Walton