- Lesingham House
Lesingham House is in
Surlingham, Norfolk, England.
Surlingham [http://www.flickr.com/photos/44952855@N00/297579552/in/set-72157594376563882/] ,
NorwichNR14 7AL [http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?client=public&X=632000&Y=306000&width=700&height=400&gride=632187&gridn=306200&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=pc&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=NR147AL&advanced=&local=&localinfosel=&kw=&in
The first records we have of Lesingham House [http://www.flickr.com/photos/44952855@N00/299428196/] go back to a Thomas Wode who died in
1588(the same year as the defeat of the Spanish Armada). The inventory of his goods at the time of his death indicates that his house had at least nine rooms and a stable in Surlingham. It’s not known for a fact where in Surlingham the house stood, but it is likely to be where Lesingham House stands today. The Wode and the Lesingham families were related, and the families owned lands in Rockland and Bramertonas well as in Surlingham. In his will Thomas Wode asked his late uncle Jeremy Lesingham to bury him in St Mary’s parish church. The Lesingham family is first found in Yorkshirewhere they were anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard of America from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.
Lesingham House was supposedly built in 1655, and parts of the original structure may be included in the building we see today.
Gibbs Murrell owned Lesingham House in 1841. He lived here in some style as a
farmerand brick and tile maker [http://www.flickr.com/photos/44952855@N00/300024278/in/set-72157594376563882/] . The Murrells were an old Surlingham family who for many generations lived at Lesingham House. Their land was mostly in the centre of the village. With him lived his wife Catherine and his son Gibbs H. Murrell. Also living in the house at the time of the United Kingdom Census 1841were Robert Roper (ag. pupil) and two servants Mary Hannant and Ann Fish. The Lesingham House estate consisted of some 366 acres of “arable, pasture, water and marsh” as well as six houses or cottages. Lesingham House and estate was sold in 1861 when it fetched £16,895.
There is a tablet at the bottom of the staircase in the house which reads “Lesingham House 1655 Rebuilt in part in 1834 by Gibbs Murrell” [http://www.flickr.com/photos/44952855@N00/300022286/in/set-72157594376563882/] . It is not clear whether the building stood on the site of one owned by the Lesingham family who lived in Surlingham in the sixteenth century.
Sir Charles Rich of
Devizes Castleowned the Lesingham House and Estate in 1894. He died in 1913.
Mr & Mrs Wright – a staunch
Methodistfamily – moved into in Lesingham House c 1913. The records show that the “Trust of the Surlingham Chapel” met under the newly appointed Rev. P. Webb, when Richard Wright (who farmed from Lesingham House) was made treasurer. Mr Wright made a donation of £50 and this may well have provided the purchase money required by the previous Wesleyan Trust.
The maps of this time show extensive outbuildings at Lesingham House and many of these, as well as the house, are today used as a religious retreat. The Lesingham House property today has land of slightly less that six acres. Records show field names for the original Lesingham House Estate were: Horse Pit Close, Share Water, Dawson’s’, New Close, Clay Pit Close, Green’s Croft, First Mill Piece, Further Mill Piece, Little Company, Great Company, Lombe Hills, Parker’s Close, Coldham Piece, Burd’s, Dormant’s.
Nearby present day Lesingham House, down Covey Lane, can be found expansive
marshesand the Ted Ellis nature reserve. This is one of the last remaining tidal marshes, on the Broads and its wild remoteness encourages a variety of flora and fauna.
Lesingham House has been run as a Buddhist Retreat Centre called
Padmaloka Buddhist Retreat Centresince 1976.
For an excellent aerial view of Lesingham House go to
Google Earthand type in Lesingham House, NR14 7AL.
* [http://padmaloka.org.uk Padmaloka Retreat Centre website]
* [http://padmaloka.org.uk/views_of_padmaloka.html for views of Lesingham House]
* [http://www.wheatfen.org/tethtml/tet.html For info about Ted Ellis nature resterve]
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