Blakenham Hall

At the back of the Grange lies an island formed between the River Brett and an old moat. The island was called ‘Mill Hill’ in King Edgar’s time and 'The Snayle' from at least 1441 and is the site of the areas named 'The Mote' and 'Hall Garden' in other records.

Court records from 1599 and 'Chorography of Suffolk' published in 1602 mention ' a most ancient house' with moats to the west of the church, (on this same island) which was taken down by Howard, Duke of Norfolk and rebuilt at Stoke Parke.

This was Blakenham Hall, the Manor House of the de Blakenham family. It was the last Manor House to be lived in by the Lord of the Manor for centuries. The list of Lords of the Manor is described in detail on a page dedicated to this part of our village's history. It would appear that no Lord of the Manor lived in the village after the death of Sir John de Plays in 1389.

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It has been alleged that Killigrew the 'celebrated jester' of Charles II's reign, was banished to The Grange and died there. This title originates with Samuel Pepys and is a nickname for Thomas Killigrew the Elder (1612-1683), who was at one point the English Ambassador to the Court of Venice and later became a prolific and popular playwright, built the first Drury Lane Theatre and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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