Eastbury Manor House (Barking, nr London)

It was Saturday morning.  I’d had enough of decorating (which I’d been doing for 3 months, slowly sanding, painting, sanding, painting, waxing, sanding, polishing).  I needed to visit something historic and crumbly.  Consulting my NT book I saw I could catch a train to Barking (hitherto unvisited) and after a short cycle ride through 1930s-ville arrive at Eastbury Manor House for its last Saturday opening of the year (for the remainder of the year I imagine Saturdays are taken over by the more lucrative wedding market).

Randomly I found myself amidst a “walking play” – the house was hosting a youth crew who were running a play about the war in various rooms of the house, while the audience moved from room to room.  This explains the beds in the long gallery.

This is an Elizabethan farm house from c. 1573 which fell into ruin and is now owned by the NT.

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Does this bricked up small window hint that the original house had a secret vault beneath the floor?  The window would fall between the floor and the ceiling.

There are impressive traces of early 17th C wall murals, hinting at the vibrancy of life in Elizabethan and early times.

This niche in the garden wall would have housed a wicker bee hive.

When visited: April 2014

Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/eastbury-manor-house/

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3 thoughts on “Eastbury Manor House (Barking, nr London)

  1. Great choice! I wonder why a terrific C16th Elizabethan farm house would fall into ruin, and when? Did the family have to pay outrageous death duties or land tax, and so they simply walked away? Did their sons die in the trenches in WW1?

    1. Hi Helen
      I think in this case it was simply that times changed – by the 20th C Barking had become a victim of the urban sprawl. The lands had been sold off for development and the government needed somewhere to put the city dwellers. Eastbury Manor House really is a juxtaposition.

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