Hengrave Hall has a fascinating history, its own idyllic chapel, beautiful gardens and 30 magnificent bedrooms – these are just some of the charms of this magnificent Tudor mansion.
Set within 350 acres it’s grace and historical charm offers a fantastic ambience for a wedding.
Whether you are left spellbound by its beauty, charmed by its romance or simply in awe of its magnitude, Hengrave Hall holds the key to an unforgettable experience. This exclusive and private wedding venue remains highly accessible to its guests, situated within close reach of Cambridge, Newmarket and just a ninety minute drive from London. A wedding photographer’s dream location!
Work on the house was begun in 1525 by Thomas Kitson, a London merchant and member of the Mercers Company, who completed it in 1538. The house is one of the last examples of a house built around an enclosed courtyard with a great hall. It is constructed from stone taken from Ixworth Priory (dissolved in 1536) and white bricks baked at Woolpit. The house is notable for an ornate oriel window incorporating the royal arms of Henry VIII, the Kitson arms and the arms of the wife and daughters of Sir Thomas Kitson the Younger (Kitson quartered with Paget; Kitson quartered with Cornwallis; Kitson quartered with Darcy; Kitson quartered with Cavendish). The house is embattled, and in the great hall there is an oriel window with fan vaulting by John Wastell, the architect of the chapels at Eton College and King’s College, Cambridge. The chapel contains 21 lights of Flemish glass commissioned by Kitson and installed in 1538, depicting salvation history from the creation of the world to the Last Judgement. This is the only collection of pre-reformation glass that has remained in situ in a domestic chapel anywhere in England. In the dining room is a Jacobean symbolic painting over the fireplace that defies interpretation, bearing the legend ‘obsta principiis, post fumum flamma’ (‘Stand against the basic tenets, behind the smoke is a flame’).
The house was altered by the Gage family in 1775. The outer court and the east wing were demolished and the moat was filled in. Alterations on the front of the house were begun but never completed, and Sir John Wood attempted to restore the interior of the house to its original Tudor appearance in 1899. He rebuilt the east wing and re-panelled most of the house in oak. One room, the Oriel Chamber, retains its original seventeenth century paneling, in which is embedded a portrait of James II painted by William Wissing in 1675. It is thought that some of the original panelling found its way to the Gage’s townhouse in Bury St. Edmunds, now the Farmers’ Club in Northgate Street. The ornate windows and mouldings at the front of the building feature on the coverpiece on the Suffolk edition of Pevsner’s Buildings of England.